Reader mailbag: Idaho anglers say goodbye to a local legend

The message on the marquee outside Tackle Tom’s in Cascade said it better than I ever could: “After 31 years, I can finally say it: Gone Fishing!”

It is a bittersweet message for Idaho anglers, as it marks an official goodbye to longtime shop owner and community favorite Tom McGlashen. Tackle Tom sold his store to John and Tina Christoffersen, a move that seems like a win all the way around. The Christoffersens, who have local roots in Kuna, will to keep the store a tackle shop (with plans to add a new guns and ammunition section).

I’ve always enjoyed Tom. As a fellow Michigander, it was fun to commiserate about the bad fortunes of our beloved Detroit sports teams. He was a great resource to me and Statesman readers, keeping the Treasure Valley informed on fishing conditions, ice thickness and weather reports for Lake Cascade and other popular fisheries. He also gave perfect fishing advice — delivered with a smile and good enough to get your started without giving away hard-earned secrets.

I paid Tom one last visit before he sold the shop, and he seemed giddy about his impending retirement.

“I’m going to travel Idaho,” he said. “My wife and I are going to experience it. All the places you write about, all the places guys talk about when they come in. We’re going to see it all!”

Fare thee well, Tackle Tom. Wherever your travels take you, I hope the fishing treats you as well as you’ve treated us for more than three decades. Tight lines, and go Tigers!


Kevin Cassidy recently sent me the most touching note I’ve ever received from a reader. Kevin and several family members have attended my fishing classes, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know them. When Kevin’s brother and niece came to visit, I emailed them a few pointers and suggestions for family- friendly fishing spots. I’ll let Kevin take things from here:

“My brother’s daughter caught several bluegills and a trout, which we cooked up the next morning for breakfast. I don’t think I’d ever had such a great day with my brother, niece and father. Little did we know at the time that it would be the last fishing trip with my brother. The next month, he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He’s now too ill to travel and will likely never get a line in the water again. After he passes, the memories of that fishing trip will last forever. They will bring joy and a feeling of love as I think of my brother and the smiles both he and my niece had every time she reeled in a fish. The simple act of spending a day fishing did that, and I have YOU to thank for it. It was your class that gave me the knowledge I needed to help him and his daughter fish. It was your act of kindness in taking the time to suggest some fishing spots that made the day possible.”

I appreciate Kevin’s kind words, but I can’t take the credit. The man upstairs was smiling down on the Cassidy family that day. I pray he continues to watch over them during this difficult time.


- I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the new fishing-themed Lithia Ford commercial. Yep, it’s me! My buddy Bryce and I are the anglers rolling around in the sweet Raptor truck. A big thanks to local ad agency Mitchell + Palmer for the invite, and Boise film crew North by Northwest for a fun day on set!

- Reader Brent Kotter recently sent in a picture of a monster bass caught by his teenaged son, Ryan Kotter. The 5.57-pound giant was caught and released at C.J. Strike. Check out the photo — and lots of other cool fishing pictures — on my Instagram page @tight_lines208.

- Last call for dinosaur hunters! I have a few spots left in my Sturgeon Seminar, happening Monday and Tuesday (Aug. 19 and 20) and featuring hands-on sturgeon fishing at a private lake. Get all the details and sign up at

Jordan Rodriguez has been fishing Idaho waters since he was a teen. Share your fish stories, adventures, tips and tricks with him at or visit

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