The Gar

Main piece:

Where we grew up, we were always warned about swimmin’ in Steven’s Creek on account of the Gar. The Gar was supposed to be a huge – six, maybe eight feet long – alligator-nosed Gar we’d seen a couple times. You could ask anyone from along the Creek or the Lake and they all know, and some’d swear they seen it too. There were a couple times we thought we saw it but who the hell knows, right? Big log looks a lot like a big fish.

When we were maybe eleven or twelve? We got it in our heads to try to killim. Showed up on the creek with our rods, heavy line, and bait the size of most things you’d expect to catch. We chummed the water – and I think we had a harpoon or somethin’ we’d made. Brought a deer huntin’ bow, and waded maybe four or five miles up and down the creek.


Story originally told by Jake Handley in Decatur, IL.


Jake and I grew up together. We swam and fished in Steven’s Creek for most of our childhood, encountering everything from snakes to foxes.


This story is a “Big Fish” motif, but is also similar to the Loch Ness Monster – a threatening creature, supposedly one-of-a-kind, which can disappear into the deep at a moment’s notice.