Shaver Lake lost a legend kokanee fisherman and tackle maker on March 19.
Capt. Jack Yandell succumbed to cancer. He battled the terrible disease for about two years before it took its toll on him.
The captain was like a brother to me. He was Shaver’s fishing guide for five years before quitting to care for his ailing wife Jo-Ann, who eventually passed with ALS –– or commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The captain encouraged me to get into the fish guiding business and mentored me for the first year. That was 14 years ago. I will continue the guiding business this year without stopping by Captain Jack’s Tackle for our daily afternoon Coke as we had done for years.
About 15 years ago, the captain and I co-founded the Shaver Lake Trophy Trout Project. It was through his many contacts that we were able to bank about $10,000 and start purchasing trophy sized trout. The captain was a true advocate of educating youth in the sport of fishing. We served as president and vice president of the SLTTP until this year when we stepped down for younger leadership.
Under the captain’s watch, the SLTTP hosted the annual youth fishing derby, special needs children and at risk youth fishing trips. He was sold on hooking the kids on fishing.
During his declining health years, SLTTP treasurer and great friend, Bob Bernier, often visited Captain Jack and helped him and his companion, Jerry Lynn, with chores and getting him to the doctor. Even though Captain Jack and I were long time friends, it was Bob who had his back for the past few years.
In touching others life, Captain Jack was fortunate to have his long time physician, Dr. Barbara Stewart, a mountain doctor in Prather. Not only was she his doctor, as well as mine, she is one of the best kokanee fishermen at Shaver Lake. Captain Jack taught her and she excelled from that point on. He truly got her hooked on fishing.
Under the brand name Captain Jack’’s Tackle, the captain made and sold quality kokanee lures and accessories to sporting goods stores. His tackle was used throughout the West Coast.
A memorial for Captain Jack will be held at the Shaver Lake Community Center on May 11, at 11 a.m. Everyone is invited.