A Hard Learned Lesson

For those of you that have been following my blog for a while, you are aware that I have enjoyed going up to Eagle Lake in Canada to go fishing.
Over the years, I have spent an awful lot of money on fishing gear and I spent additional money to get the gear up to Canada so that it would be there waiting for me, every year that I returned up there.
Unfortunately I made a very poor choice in who I trusted to take care of my gear.
I always took care of my gear and had it extremely organized. Not only was it organized but most of it had not even been used yet. I will not be mentioning anyones name during this post for many reasons. Everyone who is involved, knows who they are and that is what is important here.

Out of all things in my life, my fishing gear was the only thing that I spent a lot of money on and I was proud of the collection and the versatility of the gear that I had.
The first couple of years, my gear was waiting for me to use in the exact condition that I had left it in, when I returned to Eagle Lake for our 2 week vacations up there.
In 2009 when I got my gear from the individual that I had entrusted it to, I noticed a small change in what I got back from him.
It wasn't a big change, but enough of a change for me to make a mental note of it.
When I got my gear from my "friend", it was all there except for a tray of tinsel bucktail lures.
In place of my original tray full of these mostly new bucktails, was a beat up tray that was obviously not mine. In this tray was some beat up and battered bucktail lures that I didn't recognize and weren't mine.
I didn't say anything to my "friend" about this tray of lures and figured that he must have accidentally put this tray in with my gear because he had used a few of my lures.
I had given this "friend" permission to use my gear but I felt very safe in my thinking that he would never use it.
I was comfortable with giving him permission because he is a guide and has access to whatever gear he needs or wants at discounted prices. He also gets some gear for free due to his profession or at least that is what he claims.
With all of the gear he had and all of the gear he could get, I was not concerned with giving him the permission that I did. I figured that even if he needed to use a couple of lures, that he would have enough respect for me, to take really good care of my gear.
I was so comfortable that I even put my permission in writing. That was a huge mistake and trusting him was a huge error in judgement on my part.
Last year Veronica and I did not go up to Eagle Lake to fish. Instead, we decided to go on a Baltic Capitals cruise.
Maybe it was because we did not go up there this last year and it would be almost 2 years since I last saw my gear...maybe it was because my "friend" wasn't really a true friend, but someone waiting to take advantage of a situation and my goodwill.
Either way and no matter what his line of thinking was, I had decided that it was time for a change in where my gear should be stored.
So I got the ball rolling as far as getting my gear moved to a more comfortable location and with someone who I trust. I made email contact with this "friend" and advised him to give all of my gear to this other person.
This was approximately 4 weeks ago and I have had nothing but frustration and aggravation ever since.
It seems that this "friend" rifled through all of my gear, took what he wanted and incorporated it in with his gear.
This other person, who has been picking up my gear and sending me photos of what he has been getting from this other "friend", so that I would know what is being returned to me.
So far I have only got back about 60% -70% of what I had originally had and some of the stuff that I got back is not even mine. Some of the stuff that is mine, was used and some was abused and in really poor shape.
What I have now looks nothing like what I had..not in appearance, quality nor in quantity.
Unfortunately I am having to battle with this "friend" to get the rest of what I owned and had.
This "friend" has gone so far as to tell me what I had and owned and what I didn't have...like he knows better than me.....I purchased this gear, not him...I think I know what I purchased .
Of course this "friend" claims that I only had about 50% of what I know I truly had.
This "friend" comes across like I have to prove to him that I had, what I say I had. I went so far as contacting a lure company that I had made a large order from years ago, along with a couple of smaller orders, to provide me with information as to what I purchased and what I paid. Of course I was correct in both the quantity, style of lures and total price paid. As it turns out, I purchased twice as many lures as this "friend" claimed I had and the were a longer length that what my "friend" said they were.
Of course what this "friend" is telling me, makes lots of sense as to why he would minimize the number of lures I had. The less he claims that I had, the less he would have to replace or give back.
I sent this "friend" an email that was sent directly to me from the company i purchase these lures from. In the email, it stated the number of lures purchased, the style, the length and the total price paid. Of course once my "friend" received this email, his story changed to something along the lines of "I said you had about 30 meaning the 11 inch ones". This was is what he had told me prior to me sending him the order information from the lure company... "you had 2 boxes of 11 inch with about 8 in each box"
So what my "friend" was telling me, was that I had 2 plastic storage containers that contained 8 lures in each or a total of 16 of the 11" lures. When I actually had 35 lures, in 2 styles that were 11" or longer that I had purchased from this company.
I am still trying to get all of my gear back from this "friend" and it could be a while until I do. He has to go through all of his gear in order to see what gear he has that is mine.
It must be nice to feel so entitled to someone elses belongings, that you incorporate my gear into your own and basically take ownership of it.
I know that I will never get all of my gear back and what gear I do get back has been used and is nothing like what I had left there, supposedly in a safe place.
The gear is not the last of this story though.
Veronica and I even bought and brought items up from stateside for this "friend" and other family members. I even purchased fishing gear for this guy.
We did a lot of things to acknowledge the fact that he was storing our gear for us and that we appreciated it.
The bottom line is that this "friend" has stole from me and lied to me and the biggest insult is for him to be telling me what I had paid for and purchased. The only reason for him telling me that I have less gear than I actually had, is so that he can somehow minimize how much gear he has actually taken from me.
I hope that karma stops by and pays this "friend" a visit and gives him what he truly deserves. Because of the way that this "friend" has treated me, we will no longer be a loyal customer of the fishing lodge that we used to go to every year, when we went up to Eagle Lake. If this is the type of person that this lodge hires and keeps around, it is time for us to find a new "home" for our 2 week vacations to Eagle Lake.
I would like to take a moment to thank a person that has put himself "in the line of fire" to help me in this tough situation and in spending his time trying to get all of my gear back from this "friend"....Thank You so much..I truly appreciate everything you have done for me..you know who you are and that is what is important here.
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