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Worst Day Fishing, Better Than The Best Day At Work?

February 14, 2012

Worst Day Fishing, Better Than The Best Day Working?

Mark Daly, Not too sure about that…. A few years back while Steelheading in Central Oregon, I drove from Bend down to Steamboat, it was late afternoon on a cloudy, rainy, cool, mid-week day in November.  There is a pull out on the right side of the road, on the decent, once you are entering the Upper Umpqua River. It is a pull-out where you can see down into a pool that is just above a sharp turn in the river. I spotted four nice sized Steelies, without putting on my waders, and casting from the shore, I hooked two and landed one. On one cast I could see two fish chasing the fly at the same time, both were around seven Lbs. I thought this was the day, the fish were really on the bite. My thoughts were, it must be the weather, low clouds choked the upper valley of the North Fork of the Umpqua River, there was a stillness that was almost eerie. It being mid week, nobody was around, I quickly donned my waders, and made fast movement for the river. Heading down the bank, panting with excitement, I tripped and em-paled a #4 black leech right to the bone in my right hand just below my thumb. Being right handed, I knew this large, barbed fly would have to be removed. I tied a piece of 20lb mono around the outside mirror of my truck, and tried the old “quick pull out of the hole it came in” routine, holding down the head of the fly with my left hand. It was a very awkward position to attempt this, due to the angle the fly was embedded, I had to turn my hand at a uncomfortable position, thus making the movement awkward to say the least. But, with the promise of such a steelhead bite, I had to try. The black hook was all the way to the bend,  I have taken hundreds of flies out of clients over the years, even hooks that were this embedded. The first attempt, to tell you the truth, just was absolutely painful. I thought I was going to vomit, due to the odd angle it was not coming out straight but tearing,  the hook was an extra stout partridge #4. I knew I was going to have to really pull on the next attempt ( notice I used the word attempt, feel my pain?) On the second pull, it ripped my skin so bad, blood started spurting like an”‘oil gusher”, my hand was turning numb. The final pull I knew it was going to take everything I had to get the hook out. The problem was the angle, when you can pull the hook straight out , it will come out very easy. I was having to turn my body and arm at such a odd angle I was losing all my leverage. At this point there was no going back , it had to come out , I grit my teeth, yelled and pulled as hard as I could. The hook became free, with skin and blood dripping from my version of a Steelhead Leech. I had a first aid kit under the seat of my silver and maroon Chevy Silverado , cleaned the wound, bandaged the hole , then, like a man possessed, made a bee-line for the river. It started to lightly rain, and the temperature was dropping quickly. I fished for a good two hours straight without another  bump, or hookup. I’d even had gone as far as to wade across the river, taking my life in my hands, it being November, to try different angles to get the correct drift, but nothing. Disappointed and cold, I waded out back toward the truck, only to slip, trying to regain my balance fell on my right hand which gave way do to the pain of the earlier ordeal, I ended up swimming in the frigid clear water of the N F of the Umpqua River. Enough I thought, I gave up, then just swam back toward my truck to the other side of the river. I couldn’t wait to get out of my soaked waders, change my clothes, and drive down the road to a warm motel.

Now , making some $, and working some days has to be better than that! This is in a response to a posting on Facebook which read, ” the worst day fishing is better than the best day at work”. Keep fishing my friend!

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