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  1. Default "Two Keys" to a better fly fishing trip..

    I enjoy reading this site and only occasionally post. I’ve been meaning to put this topic up for a while and thought it might be appropriate to finally get off my posterior and do so.

    I’m just getting ready to dig into the final planning on yet another month+ long fly fishing boondoggle. I am very fortunate to be able to fish in a lot of different places. Some are seriously urban, others are very remote. I don’t enjoy spending time worrying about what misfortunes might happen; but I don’t want to ruin a trip, endanger or seriously inconvenience myself by not thinking ahead.

    Over the past few years, I have been in a place to help a few others who wound up in a bit of a pinch that might have otherwise been avoided. My purpose with this topic and in telling their stories (in an fairly anonymous manner) is to hopefully help some of my cyber fishing friends avoid a similar situation. I’ll put these stories in the next few posts..I hope others will add their own, and some helpful suggestions/experiences.

    I’m grateful for what I have gained from participating in this web-board and hope this may help some of you.

  2. Default Re: "Two Keys" to a better fly fishing trip..

    Story one is only about fly fishing because I was fly fishing that day. The person in this story could JUST as easily have been fishing though.

    GF and I had just finished a nice hike up to a high altitude alpine lake. Despite the winds, I’d been able to catch a few greenback cutthroat trout. Even better—I’d caught one of them on a fly that my Uncle (long since gone) had passed along to me. Now in my 60s, I know it won’t be many more years that I can do things like this.

    Sunset would be in just few hours and the shadows were already growing along the valley floors. As we were driving the “troutmobile” back down the very rugged road from the trailhead to town, I saw a guy pulled over to the side of the road. We stopped to ask if he needed help. He’d had a flat tire and was just about done changing it so we started heading back down hill when GF asked if I saw the guy waving at us (I didn’t). We pulled over again, and shortly saw a person who had monetarily disappeared in a depression in the road. He was waving “very enthusiastically” (not frantically. He turned out to be a pretty cool guy and cool guys don’t get frantic). He’d been on a hike (summiting a 14er) and his car was parked at the trailhead we’d just come from. He had just gotten back from his hike and was locked out of the car. He had a day pack, some water and snacks, a light fleece and a windbreaker. The forecast low at that altitude was for the high 30s that night.

    We moved stuff around in the troutmobile so we could accommodate our new passenger. It was a pretty rough ride for him sitting on a sleeping bag for another few miles until we got into the closest little town. At that point, GF volunteered to get out and wait in a small store while I took the guy into the closest town with motels and got him set up with a room for the night. I had an extra phone charger which I gave to him and we agreed that I’d be back there to meet him the next day.
    Without going into great detail, the next day I picked him up and took him up to where he met a tow truck.

    The truck charged $250/HR for the “off road” portion, and took him to his car, which they winched onto the truck and towed an hour and a half over mountain roads to the dealership. He texted that the dealership would have to take his car apart and ship a portion of it away to get a new key fob made, total cost around 1500 bucks. He took a motel for a few nights there. Fortunately, he had an extra key fob. UN fortunately, it was 800 miles away. He was able to contact a friend, who located the key and overnighted it to him so he was able to drive home.

    The coolest part of this story—some other savvy hiker a few days later noticed a Subaru key fob on the ground at 13,000+ feet elevation and figured it might have gotten separated from its owner. The finder took the key to the Subaru dealer, who notified the hiker and he was reunited with his spare key. Yay.

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  4. Default Re: "Two Keys" to a better fly fishing trip..

    Second Story..

    I had just finished fishing on a popular but somewhat remote river. I was camped in a “dispersed” area by myself. I’d fished until total darkness and it was pitch black as I made my way slowly back to my campsite along the one lane mountain road. I was totally taken by surprise as I rounded a corner and saw a couple of young people waving in the middle of the road.

    You guessed it. No keys. The young man had somehow dropped them in the river whilst fishing. For whatever reason, they hadn’t locked their car, so could get into it, but couldn’t start it to get back home. Their plan was to bivouac overnight there and try to catch a ride with someone in the morning. As it turned out, I had an extra blanket and sleeping bag (GF would join me on my trip in a few weeks), so I offered it to them. I realized they might be hungry too, so gave them some protein bars, snacks, etc. They had water, I checked.

    I told them I’d come back in the AM to check if they got a ride and if not, I’d drive them into town. It took another 15 minutes or so to get to my campsite, and somewhere after that, I realized that I needed to go back—I could easily get them back into town that night and STILL be back at my campsite by 230 or 3 am. I made a 180 and went back to their car, arriving a bit before midnight. I offered to drive one of them into town (only had one seat) and back once they had the spare keys. They declined, not wanting to bother me.

    The next day, I got up, made coffee and headed to their car. They were gone, I assume they had already gotten a ride to town. My sleeping bag, blanket, etc were left neatly folded so I retrieved them. After fishing a bit, I went back by their car and it was gone.

    I am generally a bit pessimistic, but upon reflection—I believe I encountered the smartest man in Montana that night. His female friend was a stunning and cheery blonde with a great attitude. I’m thinking he said something like, “look honey, a bald eagle!” and then lobbed his keys into the brush. After fishing until dark, he “discovered” that his keys were missing and that they’d have to spend the night together squished together in the backseat of his car (Oh, Darn..). I wish I was that smart when I was his age….

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  6. Default Re: "Two Keys" to a better fly fishing trip..

    So-

    What plans do you have if you get back to your fishwagon and find your keys aren’t where you thought…or that your keyfob battery has died?….

    Personally, I always have a key that I can find (if need be) secured to the vehicle. It has saved me a few times. With the newer electronic fob on the troutmobile, I keep the spare fob in the vehicle—I have to wrap the fob in aluminum foil and keep it in a metal case so the car doesn’t sense it and refuse to lock. I also keep a spare keyfob battery close at hand.

    Oh, and if it looks like your fob battery is on it's last legs, try putting it right by the ignition and pressing the button to see if your vehicle will start...

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  8. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: "Two Keys" to a better fly fishing trip..

    Quote Originally Posted by ramjet View Post
    Second Story..

    I had just finished fishing on a popular but somewhat remote river. I was camped in a “dispersed” area by myself. I’d fished until total darkness and it was pitch black as I made my way slowly back to my campsite along the one lane mountain road. I was totally taken by surprise as I rounded a corner and saw a couple of young people waving in the middle of the road.

    You guessed it. No keys. The young man had somehow dropped them in the river whilst fishing. For whatever reason, they hadn’t locked their car, so could get into it, but couldn’t start it to get back home. Their plan was to bivouac overnight there and try to catch a ride with someone in the morning. As it turned out, I had an extra blanket and sleeping bag (GF would join me on my trip in a few weeks), so I offered it to them. I realized they might be hungry too, so gave them some protein bars, snacks, etc. They had water, I checked.

    I told them I’d come back in the AM to check if they got a ride and if not, I’d drive them into town. It took another 15 minutes or so to get to my campsite, and somewhere after that, I realized that I needed to go back—I could easily get them back into town that night and STILL be back at my campsite by 230 or 3 am. I made a 180 and went back to their car, arriving a bit before midnight. I offered to drive one of them into town (only had one seat) and back once they had the spare keys. They declined, not wanting to bother me.

    The next day, I got up, made coffee and headed to their car. They were gone, I assume they had already gotten a ride to town. My sleeping bag, blanket, etc were left neatly folded so I retrieved them. After fishing a bit, I went back by their car and it was gone.

    I am generally a bit pessimistic, but upon reflection—I believe I encountered the smartest man in Montana that night. His female friend was a stunning and cheery blonde with a great attitude. I’m thinking he said something like, “look honey, a bald eagle!” and then lobbed his keys into the brush. After fishing until dark, he “discovered” that his keys were missing and that they’d have to spend the night together squished together in the backseat of his car (Oh, Darn..). I wish I was that smart when I was his age….
    I agree. Very smart man. Probably married to that blonde now if he kept doing smart things like that . . .
    "Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark

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  10. #6

    Default Re: "Two Keys" to a better fly fishing trip..

    Two keys to a better fishing trip? Beer. Make that one key to a better fishing trip.

    Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk

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  12. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: "Two Keys" to a better fly fishing trip..

    Ramjet, I enjoyed your stories. Now, and do not get me wrong, what lesson or lessons do you think emerge here from the story telling? The guy with the Subaru was quite frankly, very unlucky until someone found his keys. We all take risks and I have many stories where I have made dumb decisions that usually ended up ok, but there was a lot of worry in between. The second story is unclear to me. It seems like the guy got the gal. Fine. What is new here? You come across as an extremely Good Samaritan and I hope I run into people like yourself on my trips. Helping others is a key concept in fly fishing to me and you seem to do that in spades. What I find amazing about your stories, and especially the second one, is how you remain exceptionally positive and optimistic toward helping others who may not appreciate your helpfulness. This requires a very kind spirit. Keep at it. SR

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  14. Default Re: "Two Keys" to a better fly fishing trip..

    Quote Originally Posted by srock View Post
    Ramjet, I enjoyed your stories. Now, and do not get me wrong, what lesson or lessons do you think emerge here from the story telling? The guy with the Subaru was quite frankly, very unlucky until someone found his keys. We all take risks and I have many stories where I have made dumb decisions that usually ended up ok, but there was a lot of worry in between. The second story is unclear to me. It seems like the guy got the gal. Fine. What is new here? You come across as an extremely Good Samaritan and I hope I run into people like yourself on my trips. Helping others is a key concept in fly fishing to me and you seem to do that in spades. What I find amazing about your stories, and especially the second one, is how you remain exceptionally positive and optimistic toward helping others who may not appreciate your helpfulness. This requires a very kind spirit. Keep at it. SR

    Thank You for your kind comments. I'm not completely certain the guy in story number two intentionally "lost" his keys, but his GF certainly helped him make lemonade out of a lemon. I learned from her, and was glad to "buy them dinner". He was very hesitant to take anything, but she was OK with it.

    You would probably never think this about me if you encountered me in a typical work/public setting. I'm more of a introvert/negative thinker in many ways. But..I change when I get out in the woods, and suspect many of us do. It's a major benefit of fly fishing in my mind. You stop and help out because that's just the way it's done.. and someday you might be the guy needing some help. My father and grandfather were both that way.

    Hadn't really thought of the post in that light, but I think it's still mostly true that if you approach someone with a fly rod in a courteous manner, you will be treated well. (Doesn't apply just to people who FF). In getting ready for the upcoming trip, I'm tying flies specifically to give away to people I see struggling on the water. In a way, that's as much fun as the fishing some times. I benefited like this when I was just starting out, and there's no way to repay those folks, I can only "pass it on".

    Had actually started the thread just to encourage folks to think about some things they might be able to "buy insurance" for with an extra key, but it's a pleasant thread creep, thanks.

    RJ

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  16. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: "Two Keys" to a better fly fishing trip..

    When my key fob fails, I just use the key to unlock the door. Works every time. I know, I know, many new vehicles are not that way, which is why I don't take new vehicles out into the wild. I take a vehicle that is easier to work on, start, etc., just in case something happens. It's all part of the planning ahead process learned from years of experience in the hinterlands. As someone once said, "Good judgment is the result of experience, which is the result of bad judgment."

    One of the things I appreciate is that when you get into the high country, there is a different ethic, an ethos of leave no one behind. I check on everyone that appears to be stranded or in need, and even some who don't. When I travel in the winter in the mountains, I stock a lot of stuff in my truck--sleeping bags, shovels, tow straps, tools, water. I have used some of those things, but usually not for myself. It's all about preparedness. Refer to quote in last sentence of preceding paragraph.

    Glad to hear you have taken advantage of your opportunities to help out, Ramjet. Not everyone does so, and I admire the people who do.

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