By John Campbell
The TOPS Dragonfly was designed by a good friend of mine and fellow Brothers Of Bushcraft member Caleb Musgrave. He is also the owner and head instructor of Canadian Bushcraft. The Dragonfly knife is now one of my favorite carry blades. I found it to fit my hands perfectly and with the Scandivex grind, it performs tasks in the field beautifully. At first, I had a little difficulty putting it down. I also had so many ideas of how to present the knife that I could not decide what I wanted to do. I took a few days to handle the knife and do many tasks from carving and cutting notches for lid lifters and even fireboards. After doing this it hit me, I was going to cook up some trout for the video review.
A friend and neighbor had given me two trout that they had caught on a recent fishing trip. What better way than to set up camp and prepare everything I needed for the task with this blade. I started out splitting wood planks to set on the ground to keep the fish clean. This also helps by giving you a solid work surface when preparing food in a primitive setting. I gathered willow bark to use as lashing material and watercress to cover the fish and allow it to bake on the coals. Once I got the fire going and the mesquite down to coals I wrapped up the tasty package and placed it on the coals to cook. While I was waiting, I removed the branches from a willow branch and made a set of tongs to be able to turn the fish over in the fire then remove it when it was finished cooking.
Then it was my son and his friends turn to give it try. It is important to me for my son to learn how to cook in a wilderness setting with minimal equipment. These are things I would do while growing up and I want to pass them down to him. I find that these memories last a lifetime and are valuable skills to own. My son and his friend Tyler met this task with great enthusiasm. After they watched me prepare the fish the first time, they took to it like a duck to water. Seeing the smiles grow on their faces was an amazing site especially when they started to smell the fish cooking. My son added a small pot of crayfish to go with their dinner. One of his favorite camp foods, he can not stay away from them.
At Left is a photo of the trout resting on the watercress just before it was wrapped up and placed on the fire to be cooked. At right is Tyler taking the steps to tie the willow bark around the watercress to secure the fish for cooking. While this was being done, my son was placing more wood on the fire for coals.
This is a photo of the crayfish in the pot along with the package of trout cooking on the fire. There are also a few crayfish roasting on the coals next to the small pot. Doing these types of tasks using only a knife and teaching these types of skills to a younger generation of people are what I feel is the spirit behind the design of the blade.
O/A Length: 9 ¾”
Blade Length: 4 1/2”
Steel: 1095 High Carbon Steel
Handle: Black Canvas Micarta
Blade color: Beed Blast Finish
Sheath: Ballistic Nylon
Designer: Caleb Musgrave