Wildwood Outfitters Blog and Fishing Report
Fly fishing isn't one of the most dangerous activities you could hope to partake in. Can't say the perils quite measure up to spelunking, gator wrangling, or bull riding. Maybe fly fishing doesn't have the dangers associated with the aforementioned hobbies, but there is plenty of stuff that can hurt you out there on the water! Here is our list of 5 of the more dangerous aspects of the sport.
5.) Lightning Zapping Your Rod and Electrocuting You
Alright maybe we are starting off with one that's a bit far-fetched, but it's true! A dear friend of mine who worked in a Colorado fly shop often told a story about the time he was fishing a meadow stream in Montana when a thunderstorm rolled in. He hightailed it back to the truck but the storm became so intense his fly rod started to vibrate from all the electricity! Anytime you're out fishing keep an eye on the sky. The last place you want to be during a thunderstorm is standing in water waving a 9 foot pole around.
I wouldn't say I'm extremely worried about an animal killing and/or eating me whilst fishing, but the thought does cross my mind from time to time. Grizzly bears are nothing to mess around and having spent enough time near them, I've considered the possibility of meeting my end in this fashion. After you throw in plenty of fishing trips in rattlesnake country and the odd mountain lion or black bear, it makes sense that fanged and clawed creatures of the animal kingdom can pose a threat to the fly fisher.
Why is this more dangerous than grizzly bears and rattlesnakes? Well, let's just face reality here. Odds are if I run into a 2,000 pound Kodiak bear or mountain lion searchers will be looking for mere pieces of me, but I'm far more likely to accidentally use poison ivy for backcountry toilet paper than be bitten by a timber rattler. I've dealt with quite a few more thorn injuries than animal related injuries, which leads to flora receiving a more dangerous ranking than fauna.
If there's a hook buried in your skin you have a few options. Which option you choose has to do with a number of different outstanding circumstances: proximity to real medical facilities and probability of successful hook removal, just to name a few. The first option you have is to back the hook out the way it came. Use this one if the hook has just barely entered the skin. The barb (always use barbless for both the fish and you) makes it quite uncomfortable to pull the hook out against the grain. Your second choice is to keep pushing the hook through the skin until it protrudes, creating a new wound. Once you've done that it's possible to crimp down the barb and reverse course on the hook, pulling it our from whence it came. The last thing you can do should a hook be buried deep in your hand, or head, or leg, is go seek medical treatment right away from a professional. This is always a safe bet, but it makes you look soft, so doing this among mixed company is discouraged.
The fact that I just presented three different detailed choices for hook removal probably speaks as to why it's #2 on our list.
Wet rocks and swift water make for precarious situations. There's a reason why wading staffs, boot cleats, and felt soles exist. While wading mishaps can be lethal in the worst of scenarios, even minor slips can have a big impact on a day of fishing. The sudden adrenaline rush and freezing cold water can stop hearts and leave an angler gasping for breath. Many a bruise has come from a slip and fall while wading, as have cuts and scrapes from wet wading season come summer.
Don't be sad if trying to walk in the water makes you feel like the Winter Warlock...
Keep a heads up for these things on your next fly fishing adventure!