Driftless Trout Anglers

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weiliwen  
#1 Posted : Friday, March 9, 2018 12:50:12 AM(UTC)
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Today, I walked outside my house north of Chicago. I live alongside the Des Plaines river; it's a steep drop to the river. I decided to walk down to the river's edge, and most of the way down, I slipped and hit my head HARD on a tree. I couldn't get up for a couple minutes, I was so dizzy. My feet got wet, and I slowly crawled back to horizontal land and even more slowly, got to my feet and shuffled to my house. I have a headache and lump the size of a tennis ball on the back of my head. The dizziness has mostly gone away but I can't turn my head quickly. I should probably go to the local ER to have it checked out but I'm not going to unless I have a setback.

It really made me realize how quickly things can go pear-shaped. Had I fallen into the river today, I'm not sure I could have gotten out, and I could have been knocked unconscious. I walked alone along 6 Driftless streams last weekend, and this could have happened on any of them, and my bleached bones would be found months later. In fact, I did slip and fall on a patch of icy ground, but fortunately only on my ass. I don't attribute either of these falls to lack of balance, they were just accidents, but shit can happen at any given moment.
Bob Williams, "Weiliwen"
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JGF  
#2 Posted : Friday, March 9, 2018 1:31:46 AM(UTC)
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Scary stuff.

Nothing like your adventures but a couple of weeks ago, as the top layer warmed up, I slipped and fell on my arse as that "greasy" layer gave way on a slope. Save the rod, sacrifice the buttocks. But it sure did not feel good!

Edited by user Friday, March 9, 2018 1:32:28 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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weiliwen on 3/9/2018(UTC)
William Schlafer  
#3 Posted : Friday, March 9, 2018 1:48:56 AM(UTC)
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Ouch. I can relate.

A few years back I decided to go out on a snowy March day to try my luck. I managed to slip on a sheet of snow covered ice along the bank and took a hard fall flat on my back - right on top of my net. It took a few moments to verify that the only thing I had broken was my fly rod (again, dammit!). A large bruise on my lower back and bad limp was all I suffered.

It could've easily gone much worse. I would've lay there for a long time before anyone would've come along to discover my corpse had I seriously injured my hip or back. It ended up being a long sore walk back to the car.
UserPostedImage

Later that same season I managed to step into a coyote hole right up to my backside, and could've easily broken my leg. And, I've taken head-first falls into the stream on a couple of occasions.

So now whenever I'm heading out to remote stream by myself, I let someone know where I'm going, and generally when I expect to head home. At least someone will know if I'm overdue.


-Bill

Edited by user Friday, March 9, 2018 1:50:26 AM(UTC)  | Reason: added text

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
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weiliwen on 3/9/2018(UTC)
Gurth  
#4 Posted : Friday, March 9, 2018 2:01:23 AM(UTC)
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Yeah... I try to be more careful. I usually step in a hole when I'm walking and have my eyes on the next spot I want to target.

A couple of years ago on Trout Creek, I stepped in a hole with one leg and went to my hip and my foot was not touching anything below. Lucky that both feet didn't go in together and that I didn't get hurt.

I've been lucky to be blessed with very limber joints. Never really got sports injuries despite awkward rolls and bends.

Anyway, I've gotten better at being careful and have probably only stepped in one or two holes so far this year. Laugh

I do slide on the mud layer that sits on the frozen ground at this time of year though. Have to relearn that the hard way every winter for some reason.
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
shebs  
#5 Posted : Friday, March 9, 2018 2:33:55 AM(UTC)
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Glad you're alright, Bob!

I think anyone who trout fishes long enough has this experience. For me, it came in my first season of serious trout fishing - I stepped on a rock to hop over a feeder, and it turned out to be weak sandstone, split, and left me on my ass with a cracked rib. Certainly not the worst outcome - had the rock my torso landed on been another foot and a half further back, it might have been my skull cracking instead. Nowadays, when I fish alone, the lady always knows more or less where I am...so if you want the secret spots, you gotta get to her, even when drunk I won't spill the real beans Flapper

Don't even get me started on the quicksand I often run across...it's a good thing I usually fish with ron, cuz he's had to help me out of waist deep muck a few times...

Edited by user Friday, March 9, 2018 2:35:28 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work. ~Author Unknown
Modern Translation, with respect for the Notorious B.I.G. : "Fuck Money, Get Fishes"
weiliwen  
#6 Posted : Friday, March 9, 2018 2:56:40 AM(UTC)
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“A foot and a half further back.” Yeah, that’s exactly what I thought. I could have been completely knocked out and then roll unto the river.

I got stuck knee deep in quicksand on Castle Rock Creek a few years ago. I was in no danger but it took all my effort, using muscles I obviously hadn’t used much. I thought I’d have to leave my wading boots behind. I was so sore!
Bob Williams, "Weiliwen"
shebs  
#7 Posted : Friday, March 9, 2018 3:12:26 AM(UTC)
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Oh there's a couple of good ones on Ron's YouTube channel of me doing the walrus...just flailing my upper body to wrest my legs out of the muck...not my best moments, but he makes sure not to edit those out LOL
A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work. ~Author Unknown
Modern Translation, with respect for the Notorious B.I.G. : "Fuck Money, Get Fishes"
Gurth  
#8 Posted : Friday, March 9, 2018 3:37:11 AM(UTC)
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Why would he edit that out?

I don't need to see you catching fish. I need the walrus. Flapper

Should have a blooper reel.


Trout Creek is a death trap. Also got into sand muck there to my thighs. Luckily the stream is only about 5 feet wide there and I could reach the banks and stream side vegetation. Took some serious effort and I thought I might have to leave my waders and then try to get them afterwards.

Last year I was forcing my way through 8 foot grass near a stream and stepped into air and helplessly fell face first into the lower grass and was suspended horizontally. Of course, my first thought was to check if anyone was around to see me. Laugh

Had there been a post below me I would have been skewered. Had it been the stream, I would have gone in face first.

Luckily it was a gentle mattress of prairie grass.


Tripped over some brown wire fencing in the woods in January that I didn't see because it was brown and only about 2 feet high.

Landed on my elbows and had a yard sale. Again... a post and I'm skewered.


Fishing is dangerous. Blink
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
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weiliwen on 3/9/2018(UTC)
shebs  
#9 Posted : Friday, March 9, 2018 3:53:39 AM(UTC)
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Oh there is a blooper reel...thankfully on a private Google drive LOL

I've had that thought on beaver infested streams...those stumps look an awful lot like pungees.
A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work. ~Author Unknown
Modern Translation, with respect for the Notorious B.I.G. : "Fuck Money, Get Fishes"
rschmidt  
#10 Posted : Friday, March 9, 2018 1:01:20 PM(UTC)
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This is some of the best info on the website. I wade a lot and overconfidence is the problem. Since my near death motorcycle accident, I have a different cautious viewpoint, but wading can be dangerous for the angler. Also, if you are getting older like me, a biological fact is a deterioration of a human sense called proprioception - the body's own GPS. The position of your limbs and joints is critical to safe wading. I am still strong as an ox and have good balance. It is best to fish in pairs for fun, safety and humiliation hahaha!!! When I go out the wife gets the location info, so if necessary the body can be located. I have learned the best way to take a fall is to go with it and get to the ground as soon as possible. Don't grab with arms and hands, you'll pop a shoulder. I protect my head as is feasible. In the winter wet can be a major emergency, but concussion or broken limbs is worse. I am always ready to abandon gear and ditch waders to save my ass. The quicksand is another story, Shebs loves to get a mud bath a few times a season :) Really though, having a knowledgeable smart angler and person as a partner helps mitigate my poor decision making, hahaha. The mud is always too slick. The rocks are always less stable, the water always gets deeper. I do fall. I do go the wrong way. I do get stuck. I love it all. If this is the way I go, just like when I was motorcycle riding, I ask that friends and loved ones accept that it was while doing a thing I love. Heal up Bill, I would not neglect medical care with the symptoms you have mentioned. A concussion and or brain bleed can be sneaky bad. Hope you are back out there soon! R
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weiliwen on 3/9/2018(UTC)
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