A little no-fish story

T
Tinker
I took all the great advice from my post asking for help with summer steelhead up the river yesterday, ready to do battle with what I call "steelhead" but wiser minds rightly call sea-run cutthroat. I don't care what others call them, the rod is rigged for steelhead, so I'm fishing for steelhead and if I catch a cutthroat, I'm calling it a steelhead. Poo! to wiser minds.

I was wading and being patient. Creeping further and further upstream until I found a place I was sure would have fish. Looked deep, had overhanging trees, and the bottom seemed clean and rocky.

First cast and Zowie! I hooked a limb on the far side. I hate losing gear and hate littering the trees so I decided to go get the Lil' Cleo. Fumbled my way downstream where I could cross, picked my way back up the other bank until I got to the tree, bent the branch down to retrieve the lure.

And suddenly, I'm in the pool with a broken limb in my left hand and my rod in my right hand while my waders are rapidly filling-up. First question - after I figure out where I am - is do I drop the limb, drop the rod, or try to float through it? Float through it! but the water isn't moving fast enough and my waders are starting to pull me down.

Drop the limb! but I'm a cheap S.O.B. and don't want to waste a lure if I don't have to, but when it got hard to keep my head above water, I let it go.

Maybe thirty seconds later - hours in cold water time - my feet touched something and I started to crawl out of the pool. First thing I notice is that I broke my rod and while I'd held onto the tip end, I'd left the end with the reel on it in the pool. Second thing I noticed is that the line and the Lil' Cleo is wrapped around my leg and still with me. Third thing I discovered was that Gore-Tex doesn't drain very fast, if at all. Hat's gone, some damned fish is wearing my sunglasses, and everything in my pockets is thoroughly soaked.

I got out of the waders, followed the line still on the rod tip back into the pool to dive for my reel, decided that I needed a new hat anyway, and that those sunglasses weren't all that great and now I could get a better pair. Put away the Lil' Cleo, packed everything into the waders and splashed back to the car.

It was great! I thought that Lil' Cleo was gone, for sure. I wish I'd taken a picture of the tree limb before I released it, it was a pig.
 
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Hooked Up
Hooked Up
First and most important, I'm glad you're OK! What a great story. Nothing like trying to be a bobber to get your heart pounding.
 
B
bran_man
Man all of that just to try and save a Cleo!? Ended up paying way more than that! Sorry to hear, but good to know that you're ok! Sounded pretty sketchy
 
18406ej
18406ej
I ashamedly admit to hooking trees on the far bank at times, sometimes at points a more than a hundred feet above ground level (no, I will not explain further). Here are some safety practices and practical tips I learned when dealing with these "errors".

1. Always load your reel with 50# braided line. Sure, you might scare off some fish when actually fishing and yes, you will break your rod tip most assuredly when attempting to pull your Cleo off of a distant limb, but I have successfully snapped off and retrieved said limbs up to 2" in diameter from the far bank, bringing Lil' Cleo safely home.

2. Always practice the golden safety rule and immediately perforate dry waders at several points between bootie and knee upon purchase. This allows the wader to drain while submerged and keeps one from the dangerous position of being pulled under by water-filled waders. Depending on the sensitivity of your skin you can also super-glue or caulk your dry waders to your skin all the way around your waistline, negating the opportunity for dangerous water intrusion in the first place. If you do have sensitive skin apply a protective layer of auto paint primer around the waistline before applying the sealant. This helps in the formation of scar tissue which will completely encircle your waist and resist any future irritation.

3. Should you (foolishly) choose to ignore step 2 (above) and find yourself being pulled under by flooded waders in deep waters, simply allow yourself to sink to the bottom and then walk calmly and in single file to the nearest exit.

People often ask me if I worked at NASA in the past, but no, I did not need to be a rocket scientist to develop these simple procedures which I now happily share with you.

EJ
 
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O
OnTheFly
Good stuff! I'm still laughing. Glad that it came out like it did.

Sometimes a fishing trip just goes that way. One time I was making my way up a rugged dirt road to a remote lake when I came around the corner and found this old guy and his little dog camping in the middle of the road. As I approached, I saw his truck and it was then clear why he was there. He had tried to cross a patch of snow and, during a back up maneuver, drove off the bank. His front left wheel was up off the ground about a foot and a half and the back end was down the hillside. I drove him back down to Detroit, he called a towing outfit, and we returned to his truck to get it tugged out. The twisted part of the whole thing was that he was unable to pay the tow driver with his card. Sometimes you just have a feeling a person is trustworthy so I paid the $200.00 towing charge for him. We agreed to meet up at the lake again in two weeks at which time he would pay me back then fish the rest of the day. Meanwhile, we tried to make the best of it and fish another lake in the area but again we were blocked by snow. It was then obvious that fishing was not going to happen so we shook hands and left. Two weeks later I met him back at Rainbow Lake, he gave my money back, then had a great fishing day. So I guess I could consider this a no-fish story as well.:)
 
18406ej
18406ej
Too bad the tow operator wasn't as honorable as his customer. $200 for pulling someone out? The driver should have been arrested for extortion.

It is the trust and overall kindness that you showed the old man that keeps God from just shutting this whole thing down.

E

PS- The Forum won't let me give you a rep point right now, but you deserve several for your demeanor
 
T
troutmasta
Tinker said:
It was great! I thought that Lil' Cleo was gone, for sure. I wish I'd taken a picture of the tree limb before I released it, it was a pig.

Fisrt OFF- Wader belts are super cheap. Like a couple bucks. Get one. They'll save your life.

B- Awesome it wasn't winter, 36 degree water and snow covered bank.

3- I Love litte Cleos.

Finally- That last line is classic. Thanks for the story and for not dying. -TM
 
T
Tinker
It wasn't just my Lil' Cleo. You can't let a tree have it's way with you! Once one of them gets away with it, they all think they can do it, too, and the rest of your your life is going to be nothing but misery and ocean-fishing.

I started looking at submersible pumps this morning, like the ones folks use to make "water features" in the backyard? They'd have to be mounted inside my waders and they're a bit big, and I'm not giving up desert just for a little personal safety. I think Eamon's holes are the best solution because they'd cost nothing, would work whether it's hot or cold, and wouldn't require that I make any personal sacrifices. Simple, elegant, and I still get cupcakes!

Honest, I was wearing a belt, but I'm somewhat more buff and pumped around my middle than I am on top and when the water pushed the waders up, my belt followed. I blame the cupcakes, but I've already forgiven them.

I like the story of The Old Guy and The Pup. Definitely a no-fish fishing story and a better one, I think, than mine. At long last, a solid bit of data proving that human evolution has not ended. Gobbess you!
 
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