Garmin was a Drifter

garmin was a drifter
WUSTERMARK, GERMANY—Europe’s oldest-known fishhooks have been discovered in a field along with animal and fish remains. Five of the six 12,300-year-old hooks had been carved from reindeer or elk bones; the sixth hook was carved from the 19,000-year-old tusk of a mammoth. It had been thought that Paleolithic hunter-gatherers just speared slow-moving fish such as salmon. The hooks suggest that they also caught faster eel, perch, and pike in lakes as the climate became warmer. “These people had strong ideas to use the new resources of this changing environment,” said Robert Sommer of the University of Kiel.

Listen here to my interview with Crappie Kirby. We discuss this story, Livescope and fishing with my grandfather in this interview.


Garmin was a Drifter

Around 19,000 years ago the people used spears to catch their fish. One day a young boy watched as his people speared fish in the stream. He began to laugh as the spear anglers tripped and splashed about trying to spear a little fish. It took all day to get dinner.

The young boy was convinced there was a better way and set out to create something. Eventually the boy fashioned a small hook from a piece of woolly mammoth tusk he had found while hiking in the lowlands.

The boy began catching fish like nobody else and he thought that he would be celebrated and cheered. Instead, the boy was ridiculed and jeered. The people ignored him and even left him alone to catch fish with his hook. They yelled over their shoulder, cheater! Loser! As they found a new place to spear fish. The boy had a few followers that wanted to try the wooly mammoth hook and some even improved on it and the group grew larger.

Of course, the girls finally came around as they watched these great anglers catch dinner in just a few minutes. They kicked back by the fire and told stories and drank fermented plums until their bellies nearly popped. Life was good for the losers and the cheaters while the spear people struggled with their spear as many changes took place on the stream as time progressed.

The hook people finally had enough and left the streamside homeplace for deeper waters. With the hook they could ply many more bodies of water and catch many more species of fish. Their bellies grew large with the bounty that the bone hook afforded them and the extra time they had to perfect their plum beer. The stories grew like their bellies with time and fish tells became a thing. Life was good.

This went on for hundreds of years maybe even thousands until one day a drifter came into the hook people’s camp and joined them for dinner. Later, around the campfire, the drifter had his own story to tell. He told of the great spear people that finally went extinct. He said that he was the last of the spear fishers and he had left to find the hook people and join them. He said that the story of the hook people was forbidden even after the spear people couldn’t spear enough fish to save them. The story had become a legend, a myth among the spear fishers, but the drifter believed it was true.

This drifter slept good that night and dreamed of his first fishing trip with the hook that he traveled so far to see. He could see the fish in his dream casually gulp the worm and the hook into its mouth. He could even see the fish fighting against the hook and the line as he pulled it from the depths. The next day the drifter caught so many fish that his arm hurt but the smile never left his mouth.

Before the drifter left the hook people to search for new waters and experience new adventures he asked if they would show him how to fashion a hook from bone. The hook maker was more than happy to show the drifter his hook making skills and spent several days with the drifter until he had it right.

It was a perfect morning when the drifter bid farewell. The anglers were preparing to go out in their new invention, the canoe, to try and catch a few fish for fun and food. The drifter waved goodbye and began to leave camp with his knew found knowledge when one of the hook people yelled.

“Hey drifter, we never did get your name.”

The drifter turned back to see who had asked then responded. “My name is Garmin and thank you for the lessons.”

Story Written by Ken McBroom

Europe’s oldest-known fishhooks

About Ken McBroom 307 Articles
Ken McBroom is an accomplished outdoor writer and photographer. Growing up in Lynchburg Tennessee allowed him many opportunities afield as a boy and young man. Later in life, after Desert Storm, Ken’s wanderlust took him to Alaska to live and work and experience the last frontier. Married now with two beautiful children, Ken now calls Kentucky home where he continues to communicate our American outdoor traditions and the lifestyle it offers.


  1. Thanks Rick. It’s funny how so many people call people that use forward facing sonar loser or cheater while they have every piece of modern day electronics on their boat. I actually had a guy at the boat ramp say to me when he saw my livescope that he wasn’t a cheater and only a loser would use one of those. LOL I responded with a chuckle and said “Well, you caught 9 crappie today and I didn’t get a bite, if that makes you feel any better.” This guy was in a brand new Ranger aluminum boat and had 4 fish finders and Ultrex trolling motor but thinks using Livescope is cheating. It’s nuts really and what inspired this little story. I had posted a FB post with a couple Livescopes mounted on the bow and started getting the hate comments and I had to write this story. It took me 10 minutes to write and I chuckled the whole way through.

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