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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Your Worst Day / Calamities While Fishing

    This ought be a good thread. Plenty of stories of success on the water to be found but what about your worst day? I thought about this after re-viewing the thread of the truck in the water.

    As The Day Tapered Off; my story.

    Back in 1980 I was headed out to fish Kettle Creek in Pennsylvania. While on the way there I collected a speeding fine for doing 64 mph on a 55 mph road. The national speed limit was 55 mph back then so I got the axe.

    So if that didn't dampen your spirits enough try this; by evening I had tried to put the ticket in the recesses of my mind and there was an outrageous hatch of Hendrickson spinners over the water. As I sat waiting for them to come down to the water I lit up a fine cigar. After doing so I rested the cigar while I examined my fly box for the perfect match for the hatch.

    The cigar rolled a bit on the big old boulder I was sitting on and neatly burned the front 15' or so off of my 5wt DT line! Like Popeye would say "I've stood all I can stands and I can't stands no more", I went home. I did obey all speed limits as I made the drive home.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Your Worst Day / Calamities While Fishing

    The Warrior Princess and I took off down to the North Fork of the White River (about a 3 hour drive) for a 3-day weekend (2 day trip) of camping and wade fishing in the Fall a few years ago. She was really due for some down time, so I was really determined to make it a nice trip for her. We lived in a nice loft apartment in the downtown of a city of 300k people. Sooooo...

    We get camp all set up just before dark when it hits me: I haven't seen the wader bag, which contains our waders and boots. I had left it outside the door of our apartment in the hallway!

    I called our neighbor. He confirmed the bag was still there. He was also the resident manager, so I asked him to use his master key and slip the bag inside our door. I drove all the way back, got the bag, and drove back to camp...6 hours. It was now midnight.

    The next morning I awake and discover the campground owners' cat mangled and hanging from the under-carriage of my truck. I disposed of the body quickly. Then the Warrior Princess got up and asked what was for breakfast. That's when I realized I hadn't brought anything for breakfast. Mind you, we were a good 30 minute drive from the nearest gas station...and more like an hour from any sort of restaurant or grocery store. So I had quite a bit of whining and grumbling to endure until lunch time.

    __________________________________________________ _______________

    Then there was the time they opened up to full generators @ Norfork Dam and I got my legs knocked out from under me and swept downstream. But I didn't break my fly rod or even lose my sunglasses or hat on that deal. Danged-near drowned due to exhaustion from fighting my way out of the current and up the bank, but all's well that ends well. So that one really doesn't count.

    __________________________________________________ _______________

    And then there's the time that the 2-hour hike into the canyon, a couple of hours fishing, and a 2-hour hike back out turned into a 2.5 day fight for survival in the Gila Wilderness during which I lost $1500 worth of gear.

    Yeah, that one was probably the worst.

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Oh Yeah, The Dam, I forgot that one


    I had one of those experiences on the Ragged River in North Central Maine. My buddy and I were on shore when we heard this weird noise in the distance (turned out to be 8 miles distant) and after having lunch we waded back into the river (opposite side from the one we were parked on about a mile upstream) and resumed fishing. Just after I had raised a really nice salmon I began to notice lots of leaves floating in the water with sticks and other debris.

    So, I call upstream to Steve and say "Hey Doc, is there a bunch of junk coming down the river at you up there"? He replies in the affirmative and adds, "I think the water is getting higher too". This was just the beginning, we made a panicked dash for shore, the wrong shore. When we finally managed to cross at a spot we had passed on the way down the river that was originally only a foot deep it was at the top of our waders and a rushing torrent. Getting across without being hit by a floating log was a miracle.

    That weird noise that we decided was probably a jet breaking the sound barrier was the roar of the water being released from the Bowater Paper Companies Ragged River Dam. Heck, I didn't even know there was a dam on that little river until that day. Live and learn.

    Funny, I forgot about that one till I read your post. I still think the speeding ticket and burnt line is at the top of my list.

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  7. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Your Worst Day / Calamities While Fishing

    While living in Fairbanks, AK: The wife loads up the motorhome for a trip after work to the Kenai for some salmon fishing, it is a 10 hour drive. We stop at one of the streams crossing the Parks Hwy, I think it was Montana Creek, but not sure. After getting settled in the campground and finished with dinner I get out my 8 wt fly rod ready to do battle with some kings. Around 2:30 am my wife comes out looking for me, I'm hooked into a nice king but he made a run downstream and now is now stuck on the other side of the bridge. So I ask her to hold my fly rod while I go check things out. After crossing over the bridge and crawling across all the granite boulders lining the bank I finally see my fly line entering the water, right at a small willow sticking out of the water. I get maybe 4 ft from where the line enters the water and grab the line. At that point a big explosion occurs in the water as the king trys to free himself and my fly line goes limp. I call back to my wife and she doesn't answer, now I'm becoming worried. I rush back across the bridge and down the granite boulders on the other side to find her holding her head. Turns out at the moment the fish broke off my wife (who was sitting on a big boulder) rolls backwards and hits her head on the big rock. We are like 3 hours from Fairbaniks and about the same from Anchorage, no real towns in between. Turns out she had a really bad headache, two black eyes and a bruised ego but other than that she was ok. Very close call, as it could have been much worse!


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  9. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Lake of the Woods/Rainy River Minnesota Canada border

    Default Re: Your Worst Day / Calamities While Fishing

    I haven't had a lot of real bad stuff happen when I'm fishing,which just odds wise, surprises me. I fish all the time.

    However, the other day I had the biggest Pike I have ever on a fly rod. Easy 30lb type fish. It took off down river and I had to climb out on the bank and run down the shore after it. Then it turned and went back up the river. This fish was beating me up. All off a sudden the fight got easy and as I reeled in a rotten tree branch pops up. My pike and my fly are gone and the leader is buried in this chunk of rotten wood. It was still fun, but I would have liked to get a picture of it. If that's the worst that happens, I'm doing pretty good.

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  11. #6

    Default This was my worst trip of the year

    Here is my submission for 09 (When I wrote this report I was not a member here).

    Well everybody posts reports telling of great adventures; however I have a different type of tale this time. As most of you know my wife got me a new rod for Valentine’s Day and I was excited to go check it out.

    I was excited for this trip and woke up before my alarm. When I woke up I heard the tell tale sign of my wife’s wind chimes, I thought to myself **** I hope the wind dies down out there. So I got ready and I was out of my house at 0630. I started to head east where I met my friend, we loaded his gear in my vehicle and we were on our way.

    When we got to the exit I noticed how windy it was, unfortunately this was the first time that the weather guys were right. The weather forecast was a high of 36 with wind from 18-20 mph with gusts of 35-40. As we made our way up the road there was blowing snow everywhere. When we drove down into the canyon conditions were the same.

    We arrived at the first location we wanted to fish and got geared up. I was curious how my new toy would perform in the wind. We made our way down to the water and began to fish. I started the day fishing a size 8 stone fly with a size 16 copper john. Needless to say I got no action with this combo and decided to switch.

    I sat down on an island for a quick smoke and to watch the water for a bit. I noticed a few fish rise so I decided that I would tie on a size 20 BWO. Well this was a new fly and I always de-barb my hooks after I tie them to the tippet (you can see where this is going). So as I was wetting the knot a gust of wind came and blew my rod pulling the BWO into my lip.

    I made my way back to the vehicle and started to try to remove the fly from my lip. I was working the hook back out when the barb grabbed hold on the way out and the hook was stuck. After fiddling around with it forever, I used an ice pack to numb my lip. After about five minutes or so my lip was pretty numb, I grabbed a pair of forceps and removed the fly from my lip.

    Wanting to actually catch some fish on this day I rigged back up and went back. This time I went with a size 20 red midge and a size 20 emerger under an indicator. I made my way back to the river and cast out. I saw the indicator move and it was fish on. As the fish got closer I knew it was not a trout, it was a white fish. I caught five more whitefish out of this spot and decided to move on.

    We drove to the next location, there was a turn off with some snow but my friend said you have a 4X4 you should be fine. So I drove down close to the river bank, got out and went to fish. I was nymphing the end of a riffle that went into a large deep recirc. Pool but I was not having much luck. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed quite a few fish rising. I thought to myself thank god and tied on a size 20 BWO.

    I cast out to the rising fish and one took my fly, I set the hook and it was fish on. This fish was small but feisty and put on a nice aerial show. I got this little guy to my feet and he looked to only be around 13-14” As I reached down to unhook him he popped off and swam away. I hooked quite a few more on the dries and ended up L.D.R.’ing all of them. I was starting to get frustrated and went at it again I said to myself after I land a bow I am going to pack it up. So I cast out into the foam line and I see a fish rise and take my fly. This little guy put on a great show and fight. I landed this little guy who was only around 10-11” got a couple of photos and let him go.

    So I decided that it was time to head out, I geared down and packed up the vehicle. I went to take off and it went well until I hit a deep patch of snow and got stuck. **** I thought to myself and we got out and tried to dig out the tires. We were still stuck and could not get out no matter what we tried. Another car came by and two guys got out and asked us if we needed help. They helped us get out and we sat and BS’ed for a few. We thanked them and then left. It had been quite the day I said to Steve as we drove away.

    So a few things about the day: First I want to say that my new rod is frickin awesome. Even though it is a 5 WT the fish on feel is phenomenal even with small fish. It casts very well in the windy conditions. I know there are a lot of anti Orvis people but I would recommend this rod to anybody. It is too bad they discontinued the rod as it is a pleasure to fish. Second the wind just sucked it did not let up at all during the entire day. When I was at the spot with all of the fish rising I wanted to grab my TXL but decided against it. I swear I must have found the only hole with juvenile fish on the SFB. Third as far as Steve he did not fish much because he fell early in the day and his back was bothering him. I asked him if he wanted to leave, he said no he was going to sit in the vehicle and go over his TOPO for future trips.
    Flies that were used:

    #8 Stonefly nymph
    #16 Copper John
    # 20 Red midge
    # 20 Emerger
    # 20 BWO
    # 18 BWO
    # 20 Griffith’s Gnat
    # 20 Para. Adams
    # 20 Cripple Baties

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  13. #7

    Default Re: Your Worst Day / Calamities While Fishing

    I took a ride to Indian river inlet yesterday. This can be a mean inlet when the wind is blowing. This is the worst thing i have ever seen while fishing. I didnt fish because the conditions were not fishable IMHO. Indian river inlet has a current of about 6 knots depending on the weather and tidal stage. This guy is still missing. One wave knocked him down then the next swept him of the rocks.
    I don't always fly fish but when I do I prefer salt water. Stay salty my freinds

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  15. #8

    Default Re: Your Worst Day / Calamities While Fishing

    Went to Davis Lake last weekend, my buddy and I were trying out float tubes for the first time. I hear him yell and turn to look and see he has a nice bend in his rod, he also seems to be sitting kinda funny on his float tube.

    Well, long story short, he got so excited when he caught the fish, he grabbed his net and it was hooked around the fill valve for his float tube, yep, you guessed it, he pulled the valve out. Luckily, he was using a float tube that has 3 chambers, and so there he is, fish on, line wrapped around this legs, float tube leaning to the right with no air in the right chamber, and to top it all off he has a leg cramp. I kicked over to him netted his fish, showed it to him and released it. Then grabbed his pontoon and between the two of us we started for shore. Wind came up, we are both new at pontoons, and well, it took a bit, 30 minutes of fighting, wind and a caddywhompas float tube, but we finally got to shore.

    we were able to screw the valve back in and refill his float tube, and then get back on the water, during the whole ordeal the wind kept getting worse, and now it has switched direction and is blowing towards my jeep. After fighting the wind for about 30 more minutes we decide maybe it is just time to go. We deflate everything, load up the trucks, and the wind dies. From where we are we can see that all of a sudden there are fish jumping everywhere, of course they are jumping out of reach from the shore and all our gear is not deflated and in the truck.

    We thought about reinflating and getting back on the water, but decided instead to have a smoke and a cold drink and just watch for a bit, 15 minutes later, wind comes back, fish stop jumping, and we headed home.

    Just think, we almost got everything back out and reinflated, and about the time we would have had them inflated, we would have been blown off the water.

    Not a really bad day, but a recent outing. My buddy and I laugh about it now, and my family and I had a great laugh at the restaurant having dinner that night. Waitress actually came over and said we were having so much fun (I am a pretty good story teller in person my wife says) that she wanted to join us.

    All in all, nobody died or got hurt, my buddy took the tube back to Sierra trading post and got a refund due to the defective valve, and he is buying a tube that sits a little lower on the water and is not so wind affected, and has covered and hidden valves. We plan on going again before winter hits and closes down the roads to the lake. I am taking a video camera next time!


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  17. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Monroe, Michigan

    Default Re: Your Worst Day / Calamities While Fishing

    My worst day fishing happened in 2006 in April; April 22nd to be exact. I went out to try for some Perch to take with me to our annual turkey and trout camp. Perch were not biting, so I decided to try for some walleye rather then just quit for the day. I was out in my little boat, the 14 footer; and was fishing down near the mouth of the river (Detroit River) along with what seemed like a million other boats, there was a big tournament going on that weekend. Fishing was very slow, so I decided to call it quits for the day and headed in. As I was opening the throttle the motor decided to start acting up and I couldn't get the boat to plane off. I throttled back down,and did a little tinkering and tried again. As the bow started lifting a small wave picked that moment to hit me in the stern and came over my back end. I jumped to the center of the boat to try and level it off but I was too late. Water was up even with the top of the seats and the boat did a slow roll (one of the disadvantages of foam floatation in that type boat), dumping me and everything else in the river. I grabbed my floatation and climbed on the boat and rolled it back over and climbed in; the next wave rolled it right back over. I climbed on the bottom of the boat and my PFD was no where to be seen; then it popped out from under the boat and started to float away. I knew I needed it and dove in and swam to it and then swam back to the boat and climbed back on.

    The boat wasn't going anywhere as the anchor was doing a fine job of holding us in place, I was really wishing I could get rid of it at that time as the wind was blowing toward shore. Boats were going by about a half mile farther out then I was but they couldn't see me. Fortunately someone on shore saw me go over and called the local fire department; unfortunately they didn't have a boat to come get me. The US Coast Guard was up at the other end of the river making sure everyone was safe up A couple was going out to do some fishing and the people on shore told them I was in trouble. They came to my boat and between the man and myself managed to eventually pull me into their boat; with all my wet clothes and boots I must have weighed nearly 300 pounds. I began taking off wet clothes and the lady gave me her hooded sweat shirt, a very nice shade of pink... About the time I got her shirt on the Canadien CG pulled up and they took over, I gave her the shirt back and they wrapped me up in a blanket and floatastion coat and took me into the marina where the paramedics were waiting. The lady police officer who talked to me told me I had been in the water for at least 45 minutes and most probably longer; water temp was 42 degrees. The Canadian Coastie was telling me about Hypothermia, and the funny thing was he was giving me all the numbers in Centigrade; I finally mentioned I was familiar with it but his numbers were'nt making much sense at the time; all I knew was the water was freaking cold EH?

    The paramedics wanted to take me to the hospital, but I told them just take me to my truck. They wanted to know what I had at my truck, and I told them my trailer, can't get the boat home without that. They took me to the launch where I had my truck and when I got back my boat was at the marina dock waiting. The only thing I lost was a minnow bucket, tackle box and my boat battery. I did learn a valuable lesson; never buy a water resistant marine radio, always buy waterproof.

    The Man Above was watching out for me that day, I was very cold when I got home and had some bruised ribs from my rescuers boat gunnel when I was being pulled into his boat.

    When I got home the Wife was asking don't you ever answer your phone? I told her it doesn't work to well when it gets wet, as I stepped from behind the truck wrapped in a blanket looking like a drowned rat...

    I did go and find my rescuers; I knew they had a red boat and a three legged dog. It took me about a half hour of looking in the little village they lived in. I knocked on the door and when the lady answered I asked if they had pulled a man out of the water on Saturday. She said Yes they had; and was he all right? I told her Yes he was fine thanks to them, and don't I look different dry? She asked me "How did you find us?" I just told her not many 3 legged labs running around the area as I petted him...


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  19. #10

    Default Re: Your Worst Day / Calamities While Fishing

    Drove all day to a great river, no one there, grabbed the rod and realized it was the top of a Scott and the bottom of a Orvis. Almost snapped it in to a hundred little pieces I was so pissed at myself.

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