Fisherman catches more than rainbow trout |

Fisherman catches more than rainbow trout

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Above: Curtis Harnar of CarsonCity holds the Cabela's gift certificate he received as thanks for returning a wallet he found while fishing on opening day on the Carson River in Hope Valley. Photo by Marcia Vixie Below: Oregon resident Bill Vixie holds the wallet he lost on a bridge in Hope Valley.

When Curtis and June Harnar set out to fish opening day on the west fork of the Carson River April 28, little did Curtis know what he would catch.

While looking into the river from the bridge, he found a wallet – right on the little sidewalk of the bridge.

There are several scenarios which a person could follow, but for Harnar there was only one – return it.

“I looked in it to find a phone number, and there wasn’t one,” Harnar said. “And there was no cash, just credit cards. So I enclosed a letter with the wallet and mailed it out. No big deal.”

It was no big deal to Harnar, 67, a lifelong Carson City resident, who credits his parents for raising him to be honest.

“I thank my parents for teaching me the value of honesty. I taught it to my sons, also.”

Harnar said he has been fishing all his life. He loves to fish the Carson River around Woodfords and Markleeville.

“I’ve caught a number of big fish,” he said. “But never anything else. And not a wallet.

“Replacing cards is an amount of pain,” Harnar said. “And your driver’s license. I was just hoping he’d have the relief of not worrying about his credit cards floating around out there. That’s why I did it.”

For Bill and Marcia Vixie, it was turning out to be a road trip they would rather forget. It was April 23. They were on their way to Casa Grande, Ariz., to pick up a tractor.

From Milton Freewater, Ore., the Vixies were driving through the Woodfords area after leaving Auburn, Calif., where Bill had a business meeting. From Highway 50 he took what he figured to be a shortcut – Highway 89, to 88, to 395. To get a better look at the Carson River, Vixie got out of his truck to take a picture from the bridge near the intersection of highways 88 and 89.

“It was really beautiful,” Vixie said. He and his wife love the outdoors. “I enjoy taking pictures, too.”

He got back into his truck and headed for Highway 395 south. They stopped in Bridgeport to get gas, and Bill realized he didn’t have his wallet. He had made a stop in Coloma, Calif., to make a few purchases and thought he left it there. He contacted the people at the store who said they would look for it, but it was nowhere to be found.

Vixie immediately called to cancel his credit cards. He had removed the cash and put it in his shirt pocket when he was in Coloma.

“I then drove into Barstow, Calif., to stay the night,” he said. “When I got up Thursday, the window on the truck was smashed and everything inside had been stolen.”

Things had gone from bad to worse for the Vixies.

Upon getting the window fixed, they drove into Arizona. After waiting for their tractor to be brought to the dealership, it finally was loaded on his trailer and they headed home Friday afternoon, through Monument Valley.

They arrived in Camp Verde, Ariz., and discovered they had no trailer brakes. The wiring harness had been damaged by the vandals who broke into his truck. After fixing the brakes, the Vixies made the long drive home to Milton Freewater.

“I thought, ‘Man, what a horrible trip,'” Vixie said. “Then I get this package in the mail and a letter with my wallet.

“The guy said he looked for my number but couldn’t find one. He didn’t know how long my wallet was there (on the bridge), but he wanted to get it back to me.

“There is a bright spot in this world. It made us feel good somebody was honest. And after what we’ve gone through.”

Vixie said though his wallet had no cash, it did contain his business license and other information perfect for identification theft.

“It was very nice of him to do that,” Vixie said of Harnar’s action. “It was wonderful to get that letter from that gentleman. That’s an outdoors-type person for you.

“He changed the outlook of our whole trip.”

In return for his honesty, Vixie sent Harnar a $100 Cabela’s gift certificate.

“I was surprised at that amount of money,” Harnar said. “I’ll go to Cabela’s and get some more fishing stuff.”

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at or 881-1223.


See more