The wilderness is known for its lack of grocery stores and restaurants, so if you accidentally wander off into the woods without a trusty tool like a fishing pole, knife or gun -- are you out of luck?
It's pretty likely you'll be working harder for your meal than you would if you had something useful like a fishing pole handy, but you can probably pull it off with a little ingenuity and some of the techniques we'll cover on the next page. In most cases, a handcrafted device or special setup is necessary to catch fish, so you'll have to get creative if you left home without anything that can be entered into the "useful" column on your mental checklist of supplies.
You might be wondering: Can't I get away without doing any of that? Fish with my own two hands? Fishing by hand is definitely a possibility -- trout tickling is one example that might spring to mind -- but it can take loads of time and patience, along with a quick hand. If you're planning on getting more done besides finding food, it's better to use a more efficient model.
On a similar note, some people enjoy noodling as an alternative to traditional rod and reel fishing. Noodlers wade around muddy water in search of a catfish's hideout. When they come across one, it's not a worm they use as bait but their own hand. When the catfish clamps on, the noodler hauls it to the surface. Not for the faint of heart, noodling can be exhilarating and painful, and also quite dangerous. For more about this oddball hobby, read How Noodling Works.
If you're not in the mood to lose a limb, we'll discuss some of the tamer methods for catching a meal out in the middle of nowhere on the next page.