Re: What have you found or encountered while fishing or otherwise outdoors?
While I've come across my share of lost knives and fishing gear, discarded or just old pots, pans and "overnight accommodations," the most telling thing that I've encountered while fishing was the meaning of true friendship.
A few years back and just into my second "post-cancer" stage, my fishing cronies/brothers-- "Stump" and "Trunk"(their nicknames as these boys both exceed the 6'7" mark and weigh in at over 340 lbs. each) and me were wading a stretch of the AuSable River known for its deep holes and frigid waters, especially in early May. In typical fashion, I got it into my head that I could cross a certain stretch of water without floating my hat. I was wrong...
The currents were stronger than imagined, and the water far deeper than first thought. I went under, the water hitting me with the same effect as a thousand frozen needles, causing me to lose my grip on my rod, reel and hat, and filling the upper half of my waders above the belt. The cold water disoriented me, to say the least.
Moments later, I was being pulled back to the surface and dragged ashore by "Stump" where "Trunk" already had a fire going. Off came my waders, wet gear and the like, and I was "guided"-- I call it "carried" --over to a place by the fire and covered with the jackets and a "space bag" contraption belonging to one of the brothers.
As my shivering started to wane, it was then that I noticed that "Stump" had shed his waders and gone in after me, as he, too, was soaking wet. "Trunk" returned from just downstream about 30 minutes later minus his waders as well, equally soaked to the skin and carrying my gear in hand.
For the next hour in front of the fire, no one said a word. But, in those 60 minutes of silence, I realized that I'd found something very rare-- two solid friends who were willing to risk it all. Both had waded into ice-cold waters minus waders and coats to save my proverbial "bacon," and to retrieve fishing gear that they knew meant the world to me.
On the river that day, I found myself bathed in the warmth of the fires of friendships at know no bounds. And, that, to me, is one of the finest things that I've ever discovered while fishing a river...