Funniest Things That Have Happened When FF
I am organizing and cleaning all of our gear for a trip starting Thursday to the South Dakota Black Hills & Badlands with my two sons.
Cleaned out my old LL Bean skiing fanny pack I have had since 1978. This thing has been downhilland cross country skiing, white water canoeing, hiking, and a steelhead/salmon fishing trip miscelllaneous bag for the last twenty two years. Really still in great shape just had to be cleaned.
Well in it was two amber lenses from an old pair of polaroid sunglasses used for PM steelhead and salmon fishing in the early 1980s. Yes they have been in there that long. These bring back two funny events with old PM fishing buddy Dave from Indiana.
We had driven up from South Bend, IN to the PM for the September salmon run, got there 2 in the morning slept in the Bronco in the state forest access parking. Hit the water at day break hit the fresh kings pretty good as I recall. Usually do at that time on the PM. Well about 11 AM we were tired so decided to drive to town and get something to eat. I was real tired from the all nighter we did. Dave is driving the Bronco looks over at me in the passenger seat and just bursts out hysterically laughing at me. I said what the heck at you laughing at ? He could not talk just keeps laughing for a couple of minutes it seemed. Now mind you my eyes were really tired and the bright sunlight made things seem brighter anyway. Finally he gets himself under control and points to my polaroids. One of the lenses had fallen out and I did could not detect it. Then he had me hysterically laughing. Glad we were in the middle of the national forest and there were no witnesses for that one.
Yes it was with Dave again on the PM during salmon season in September. We were wading up to a prime stretch before daylight and the current was strong. Had to look before you waded with a flash light into the water. I was leading since I was Indian guide on these trips. Dave was behind me. I would look back every 5-10 seconds to make sure he was there. He had a slight limp from having polio as a child but was amazingly agile even with this physical impairment. Well I looked back again and he was gone, he had just went down completely under in the current and resurfaced about 5 yards downstream looking like one cold and very wet fisherman. Temperature of air was in low fifties and water in the high forties. I know I shouldn't of started laughing but it was just some thing I could not control. He was OK spitting water and cursing up a storm. He gutted it out and we started to fish. Immediatedly he nails like a 4-5 lb wild beautiful PM german brown in front of me. Still the nicest brown I have seen with my own eyes from there. I made him release it, but he was thinking about keeping it.
Again on the PM during salmon season. We fished all day (as usual) was taking my mid afternoon nap on the river waiting for the dusk fishing. I did fall asleep. My brothers friend comes down where I am fishing and hides my rod and reel. He knew how much I loved that rod and reel. They leave me sleeping there and then come back a while later and wake me up. I of course start panicking where the Hxxx is my tackle. They played it really cool, and started searching up and down the river for it. I really thought it had been stolen. Finally they both just break down hysterically laughing at me, and then I new.
Again with Dave but this time Hex fishing on South Branch of the Ausable in the FF only Mason Tract during July for this famous dry fly hatch for big browns. This is a dense woods area, not many trails into the river and we did not know it well. Got there at 8 at night walked in. We had a few beers with us in a small cooler. One of us I don't know which one decided you know we do not know this river or trails and at two in the morning when we are coming out we may not be able to find our way out. There were no trails in this section just dense woods. We had a roll of toilet paper and decided to place a piece every 15-20 yards on our way in. We fished in the pitch dark until 1-2 in the morning it was full moon night, could see the northern lights, it was beautiful. Bats flying by us in mid stream and beavers going by us in the dark. Have to be brave to do this type of fishing at night. The hatch was not great that night, we caught a couple of small ones.
So we decide to head pack to the Bronco, and could not find the first piece of toilet paper to lead us back through the woods. We made the mistake of drinking a couple of more beers also. (Would not do that again if I was doing this fishing). Oh yes the bugs were eating us alive that night, don't believe our bug spray was very good. We keep looking for the first piece of toilet paper still can't find it. Then Dave says he has to go to do you know what and asks me for the toilet paper. I respond well its all gone I used it for the trail and we both burst out laughing in the middle of Huron national forest at 2 am in the morning. I think he went and used some skunk cabbage. I don't know how we did it but we finally found the trail and then had to slowly proceed (while laughing) back wards looking for the pieces of toilet paper with our flashlights, laughing all of the way. This was through the infamous Michigan muck swamps and we had a couple of slight falls. This stuff is like quick sand and the blackest mud I have seen. Yes we did get dirty. I still don't know how we made it back to the Bronco in the dark. All I remember we were exhausted, sweating, smelly eaten by bugs, no fish, but had one good laugh all the way back through that dark woods and swamp!
Thats enough for now, I am sure there are a few more I could think of from my eastern fishing days with that set of fishing buddies.
Lets hear any others you are willing to divulge.
It didn't seem all that funny to us at the time but there was the time, back in the early 70s, dad and I were fishing with Key West light tackle guide John Eckard. We had been fishing with John for a couple years and had become good friends or I don't think he would have pulled this on us. Anyway we were fishing some flatts near tne Marquesas and dad and I both needed to go. So John pulls up to this little Mangrove Island and lets us out with a role, then pulls back out into the channel to wait. It didn't take long. I don't know if he could actually see us for the cloud of no-see-ums or not, but I KNOW he could hear us!
John was a pretty well known and respected guide back then and he had tackle companies giving him tackle to field test. Anyway this one major brand had supplied him quite liberally and we were using their gear. Dad hooked into a nice tarpon on this one particular ten or twelve lb spin rig and after a while the drag simply went to virtual freespool. Apparently there was something catching so that on a hard run the drag unscrewed. Needless to say the tarpon made a fast exit. I tried to tell John but he was sure we had done something wrong.
Next day dad comes down with the cramps in the morning so we take him in and I fish out the day with John. Now John never fished with dad on board. He just didn't feel like it was professional to play when he had clients on board.
Anyway, with just me he let his hair down and picked up a rod. We were near a particular channel marker outside Key West harbor where permit used to hang out. What most Keys guides won't tell you is that a permit is a great delicacy. I was buisy with a tarpon when these permit showed up. John grabbed a small live crab out of his bait well impaled it on a hool on the first spinning rig he could grab and flipped it to the permit. By now you should have guessed which reel it was. There is a light at this paricular location and John was concerned that HIS permit would cut him off so he started yelling at me to start the engine and back down to lead the fish away from the tower. Bear in mind that I am still firmly attached to a 75 lb tarpon. I am very ammused at the whole thing. I was having more fun teasing John about who was the guide and who was the customer than fighting the tarpon anyway. John informed me that this was HIS supper, and he was captain and to get that boat away from that light! I did, still fighting the tarpon. Then it happened. the permit made a run for the light. The faster it ran the less drag he had, and before John could react the reel was in freespool and supper was making his first and only lap around a barnacle incrusted leg of the tower. John just stood there with his mouth open until it finally sunk in exactly what had happened. Then he slowly unscrewed the reel and heaved it into the channel.
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