PFD's, compasses, and whistles are for sissy boys!? (NOT!!!) [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: PFD's, compasses, and whistles are for sissy boys!? (NOT!!!)

08-07-2001, 01:40 AM
I got a very low profile (a bit bigger than a large fly box)/wear around the waist SIMMS PFD from Jim Bender at LowerForty...nice insurance!

08-07-2001, 03:18 PM
Thanks for all the good words!!!...I made a "new friend"...Kevin Ryan from Ohio on some swell "vacation"...

There I wuzzz...standing thigh deep in out going cold water waving a stick in the air...a bent stick!...fighting a substantial fish (one of those "pesky" mid-30 something footballs)...the fog vizzzability from 25-100 yards, up and down...I can just about see the YAK at my six o'clock...Compass around my neck!

WAY OUT on the end of a string of sandbars somewhere on the way to NovaScotia...and into some backing when I hear the strangest seagull or seal noise (not)...faint but out at my two o'clock in the fog...there it was again...a distant and still invisable "HELP"...! (goosebumps!)
Vis about 75 yards and I spot a bobbing head at my 1 o'clock...Break off the fish ( ya think I could have just one more of you "special" flys...only this time with one of those EXPENSIVE hooks!!!...)...race to the YAK while tossing my Charlton reel and GLX in the drink (ya right...not on you life!...broke it down while scampering and stashed it on the floor! ...Mrs Gray didn't raise no fool!)...
Compass heading already set (close enough)...then reaquire "bobbing target" and paddle like there was a big sale going on at LL Beans outlet...Finally get eye contact and trade pleasantries while I decide whether he's going to attempt a mutiny or cooperate...seems like a nice chap and, since I was already in the neighborhood, offered him the hand hole on the back of da Pungo...

He was just about "DONE"...(the thermometer had popped) he was giving great thanks as I got a "good bearing" and paddled toward what I hoped would still be the last of the last sand bar...

BOY AM I OUTA SHAPE!!! new pal had no idea where he was...with blue lips 'said he was a diabetic and about 30 minutes 'til the next shot...a bit chilled so I gave him my coat and we made tracks north while I called 911 and was transferred over to Chatham emergence! They didn't seem to know about the part of South Beach we were on...I think they had Stage Harbour and Monomoy on their brains... but, after a few calls, they had a "good idea" of our "20" and were looking for a teal YAK, yours truly and, my personal BIGGEST CATCH EVER!...
About half way back the fog started to lift and we could see the rescue truck on the beach...over the PA rang out "are you the folks who called in the report?...if you are wave"...We did and they "opened fire"...oops, wrong story...the rescue boat soon came to take my new pal back to safety...Have a swell day!

I've been pretty bummed ever since I hurt my shoulder...airplane fire in chilly Alaska...and, after my new titanium parts were installed, got "grounded" two years ago. Now a Penguin (flightless bird!) Up until yesterday I had moments of feeling a little less than up to speed...after all, 30 years of hanging under the wing and then NOT...So it goes!
...but I'm on a cloud 9 right now and I've had a big boost... I've made some great friends here at the Forum...things have been looking up! The 44"er was one of those things...(put a chimpanzee in a room with a typewriter and, sooner or later, he will come up with a best seller!?) My Time on the water!

Had I not met Juro at BlueNorthern and been handed the Forum card I probably would not have been there in the first place...BUT!...funny how things work out!

To his credit...Kevin, even though he was on his way to the Azores, never lost his rod/reel...white nuckles around the cork grip!...chalked the gone sunglasses up to bad luck...and, as we made our way back said he had a compass and whistle in the car...Go figure!

I sure hope he had sense enough to buy a handful of lottery tickets once he got the salt off!

08-07-2001, 04:49 PM
What a story! Thank the big guy up stairs you were there. Great job Pete! You must have gotten the strenght from all the protien intake earlier in the year ;-).

08-07-2001, 05:37 PM
Nice catch - kudos

Soooo...what did he dress out at?

08-07-2001, 05:53 PM
I practiced "catch-n-release"...Looking into a fiberglass repro mount...It's going to look great over the fireplace!

Rip Trippers...consider the possibilities afforded by standing that close to a major rip...a PFD could buy you time to get picked up (or run over) by the boat .02

08-07-2001, 06:45 PM
Pete -

Although I'm sure it was a bummer for you, being grounded has put Kevin and this group into the good fortune of your acquaintance! Besides we need a lifesaver in our midst.

You seem to do pretty well with the titanium parts when it comes to slaying the striped beasts. Hey wait a minute.. not fair! That 44" wasn't dealing with an ordinary human foe... ;)

Kevin sounds like my kind of angler... never let go of the fly rod! Thanks to you the convinction paid off - he will fish another day.

08-07-2001, 07:47 PM
A case of being in the right place with the right gadget...
Talk about luck! The chances of anyone being there, much less having a way to rescue/retrieve, were slim to none...A major concern was not to become a co-victim myself! The YAK let it all come together. Funny how time and space got warped...All his planets and stars must have been alligned.
Been there, done that, need the T-shirt.

08-07-2001, 07:49 PM
... May we all have a "moment of alignment" when we really, really need it.

08-07-2001, 08:17 PM
Hey Pete... I met Kevin and he said that as you were figuring out how to pick him up you started negotiating... "well.... I could ....get to But...I need to know... right now....what's in it for ME. Just kidding... hope to see you this weekend... I seem to recall that you did the same for me in the spring at south beach along with Steve(fishingimpossible). Great description also.

John Desjardins
08-07-2001, 09:05 PM
Good work Pete. Your post puts my experience earlier today of two unanticipated swims in perspective. I was damn lucky and it's time for me to get an inflatable PFD.

08-08-2001, 05:32 AM
Pete - great job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's an awesome story and one you should be very proud of.

Hope the fish gods grant you a 20 Bonito day at the Boneclave!


08-08-2001, 08:36 AM
Pete -
A: sorry you've had your wings clipped. Are you grounded for civilian pursuits as well?
B: Will you, if nominated, serve as SAR CO?
C: You are to be commended. Don't know your former branch, but the training never leaves us - any of us. Kudos and thanks.

08-08-2001, 09:47 AM
DF...Being a Penguin has its' advantages...good in the water! I retire in 1 year from my civilian job at Westover ARB and plan to be a fixture at the beach...lots of survival schools etched on the inside of my cranium to get me through days like Monday (you can take the boy outa' the Air Force but you can't take the Air force outa' the boy)...Wings are now something I tie on a dresses hook. (unless I can bum one off of John Striblue).

08-08-2001, 10:28 AM
USCG, 69-73, USA, 73-76 (shoulda stayed - "thirty" passed in '99, would be cruisin' - oh well!!!) - Survival schools etched in cranium - good comment, same here, can't take the MIL out of the boy - clipped wing was not in evidence in short time I spoke with you at Orleans. Re: Morin's feathers - I might have to beg him myself, considering I've got virtually nothing in reserve. Lots of stories remembered, maybe some shared at some point.

08-08-2001, 11:36 AM
Is Pete's experience an indication that it might be worth investigating a bulk purchase of inflatable PFDs through the Forum?

08-08-2001, 11:47 AM
That's an idea! I wonder what kind of discount we could get...

08-08-2001, 03:23 PM
I use a SIMMS PFD...a little larger than a SWFF fly box and doubles as a wader belt...

08-08-2001, 04:25 PM

First of all I want to commend you on your heroism.

Second, I would be interested in 2 inflatable PFDs if we wanted to pool together and get a discount. I have these images of friends and/or family members (of course I am invincible, right?) drifting away in a rip. The thought is terrifying.

Has anyone ever inflated one of these PFDs? How well do they work? If inflated on your back I can see how they might force your head underwater depending on the size of the inflated PFD.

Any comments?

Thanks and again, great work Pete. And congrats on your 44" fish. Awesome.


08-08-2001, 04:38 PM
There is the horse collar type that you wear around the neck (already in place) (when it gets wet) and manual inflating (pull rip cord...co2 inflates device).
I have a SIMMS "wear around the waist" model that manually inflates after the rip cord is pulled and then you stick your head through the appropriate orifice, secure the straps and float on your back with your snorkel free to suck up air and scream for assistance/blow the whistle that you bought on a lark just in case!
John Morin is sporting the latest in "wade-ware" and you might give him a shout for more feedback! Cheap insurance!

All in all, I seem to find trouble/opportunity when I fish solo.
Gotta do what I gotta do...good thing I had dasBoat! LETS GO FISHING! WADE SAFE1

08-08-2001, 07:44 PM
Pete, about those Air force SOS jackets.... you must know Sargent Bilko at Westover..." Wha! Wha! Wha!You want a jacket.. it will cost you ..and for a bunch.. I could get in trouble." Not a bad idea especialy if you can offer Bilko something in return,

08-08-2001, 09:15 PM
John...Sgt Bilko retired long ago and the entire supply system went "contract" and believe me when I say any "life support gear" is manufactured by the "lowest bidder"...A heart warming concept 600 miles from land, flying over the North Atlantic at 0'dark thirty in bad weather with low fuel and unexpected headwinds and an unusual turbine vibration coming from an engine also manufactured by the lowest get my drift!?

I think your new "wade-wear" is swell and since you have always been "the tip of the spear" when it comes to fashion statements...I suspect you have already started an SOS trend for the better!!

Catch you at the boneclave!

08-09-2001, 06:29 AM
I have an associate who works at a marine supply warehouse, he's checking on prices.