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Old 08-15-2011, 11:47 AM
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Default Thinking about snakes?

I was just wondering how everyone deals with the fear, or the reality, of snakes in the water while fly fishing. Im always afraid im going to get bit. What are my chances that I will? Has anyone ever gotten bit? Any advice?
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:20 PM
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Smile Re: Thinking about snakes?

As long as you give the snakes room and respect, they will leave you alone. I've had water moccasins swim past me, oblivious to the fact I was 10 ft away. I've walked past copperheads on the trail, giving them room to retreat. I've had snakes swim right past me while wading...I just keep on fishing.

Just remember to be aware of your surroundings and give all snakes room.

I welcome the opportunity to see a big rattlesnake in nature someday...I've seen plenty at the zoo!

Cheers,

Robert
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about snakes?

You don't want to do what my late father did some years ago while out fishing. We were about to cross a small river in western Montana and dad was about to jump down from a large fallen tree when I spotted a large rattler coiled up sleeping in the warm morning sun exactly where dad was about to jump. "Dad-snake!" I shouted, but to no avail-he'd already jumped-and landed squarely on the head of the unfortunate snake! Amazingly the snake wasn't dead, but made a very quick get away. Dad made his exit the other way.
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:33 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about snakes?

I am mortified by reptiles so keep my distance at all costs. I suppose it comes from my childhood days spent in Asia when I almost stepped on a wild cobra lying on the front steps of our house on morning on the way to school.
I avoid jumping over fallen trees or logs for the reason described by the previous poster. Snakes have a propensity to lounge near fallen logs and root hollows.
I have only seen a water snake (not sure of the species) once when wading a stream in the Smokies. The snake swam past my legs as if I wasn't even there. I only saw him after he had passed by, but it was enough motivation to leave the stream and head elsewhere.
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about snakes?

I have only had one that came at me in the water and I have spent a LOT of time wading southern creeks and rivers. I am talking cotton mouths here not water snakes, so as in everything that we do just be aware of your surroundings.

The one that came at me soon found himself being dragged to show by the lure hook at the end of my rod where he met my friend Mr Rock...

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Old 08-15-2011, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about snakes?

The odds of being bitten in the water have to be pretty close to zero. I'd have said zero but there are people who pretty much force snakes into it. If you see one in the water just leave it alone and it will leave you alone. Even Rattlesnakes are pretty safe as long as you leave them alone. The poison they have is to kill prey and not for protection. They don't want to waste it on you so just don't force them to do it. When I worked in Paleontology I did a lot of walking around on contruction areas. I found a good number of Rattlesnakes. I used to catch them and move them to a safer locallity. This is not a practice I would advocate to people who have no experience with catching them. I even had a pet Red Diamond Back named Poison Pete for a while. They are not good pets and it's a long story but he was released back to a safe location. Most snake bites in the US are from people doing stuff like I was doing. If you leave them alone you will be fine. If you walk down trails where there are lots of them wear boots.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about snakes?

Although my amigo Dan is correct, I personally carry snake shot. 9mm tyvm
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about snakes?

i got bit by a snake once while fishing....was about to cross a shallow riffle, i looked down and there it was.... probably about 18 inches..... i reached down to grab it by the tail and it flipped its head around and bit me right above my thumb.... i let go and grabbed it by the head and the snake wrapped itself around my wrist.... it was a garter snake and i new they weren't venomous (or very mildly venomous).... took off my fleece jacket, tied off one of the sleeves.... dropped the snake in there and took it home after i was done fishing.... the wound on my hand turned red... swelled up a little and it itched for a few days.... after about 3 weeks in a glass tank and all the crickets it could eat, i took the snake back to where it came from.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about snakes?

....or you could do what this guy does....

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Old 08-15-2011, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: Thinking about snakes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ncflyboy View Post
As long as you give the snakes room and respect, they will leave you alone. I've had water moccasins swim past me, oblivious to the fact I was 10 ft away. I've walked past copperheads on the trail, giving them room to retreat. I've had snakes swim right past me while wading...I just keep on fishing.

Just remember to be aware of your surroundings and give all snakes room.

I welcome the opportunity to see a big rattlesnake in nature someday...I've seen plenty at the zoo!

Cheers,

Robert
I agree. I'll admit to having elevated BP when I see a water snake go underwater when I'm wading and then can't see it, but I've never had one come after me.

I think one of the keys is to move slowly enough to give them time to get away. I don't mean you have to creep along in slow motion, just walk normally. They have an unique organ dedicated solely to detecting vibrations in the ground, and they'll scurry if you give them time to.
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