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Nineteen reasons why fly fishing should be rich people chasing the perfect fillet in Pristine water (rub, scratch)

Only wading anglers and duck hunters share that involuntary wince that comes with leaving terra firma, knowing the only thing between you and becoming a fossil fuel is two hundred years of decayed tules, woven together by the occasional Willow root and buttressed by the odd Safeway bag, washed from upstream.

Ten thousand years from now that mix will be a petroleum product, but right now all you can think is how you’d better move about extra slow, so you’re not preserved with it …

You’d made the call from the safety of the freeway above, how that couple miles of ditch that moved dirty water from the close by rice to the distant tomatoes, would finally reveal its secrets, and in so doing provide a bit of sight fishing for unwary carp, newly exposed as their murky protective blanket had been drained away.

Chocolate_Ditch

You’d seen monstrous shadows framed in chocolate milk, seen them fade and grow indistinct as fast as they showed, and knew that with so little visibility only the precise cast might result in a grab.

… and against better judgment, you’d waded out hoping the surface area of them monstrous size 12 boots would keep you suspended on top of the queasy, rather than arse deep in it.

All the while, getting that “come hither” action on the far side where big swirls in the chocolate bog attested to large carp feeding, the occasional fin breaking an opaque surface – proof that outside a noisy footfall, they couldn’t see you either …

Too far to roll cast, a wall of tall tules ensuring all casting was confined to the parallel versus perpendicular, and your best efforts landing three feet shy of money.

So I took that slow step forward – given the water I was in was only knee deep, and if the mat beneath held …

… which it didn’t, and I knifed through the bog with the front leg, pitching me forward too fast and putting all that ponderous bulk on them suddenly-tiny feet, and I’m waist deep in mud and wearing hip boots …

I got the cell phone free quick enough to save it, knowing that if I couldn’t extricate myself cleanly, it might prove really important later. Mud being like ice, it’s all about distributing all that great gut onto as broad a platform as is possible, given that struggling only sinks you deeper.

Climbing out of your waders on hands and knees is typically the best course of action, it’s akin to tearing the Band-Aid off the wound rather than teasing the edges, sock feet can find purchase on the interior rubber, and that’s enough to get you on top which is most of the way to dry land and safety.

I managed to flop closer to the bank, which couldn’t have been more than four feet away, and outside of shipping the waders full of mud and water, was able to use the prone rod to get me close enough to grab some foliage.

Outside of wallowing in mud and shipping some strange (completely gross) soapy agricultural chemical into both boots, I’m still breathing. Although both legs itch most fiercely …

The Bog Wading System

What’s needed is bog wading boot that minimizes impacts to Mother Nature, resists the spread of invasives, and allows us pear-shaped practitioners to distribute our weight in such a manner as to be gazelle-like with either shotgun or long rod …

12 Comment(s)

  1. McTage | Apr 23, 2012 | Reply

    Man I can’t count the times I have told myself I am going to make or purchase some “mud-shoes”. Truly a terrifying scenario, glad you made it out. Sounds like a switch-rod might be your only hope in that spot.

  2. A. Wannabe Travelwriter | Apr 23, 2012 | Reply

    Please, please, please – next time you attempt such a clearly rational outing, let me join you. I will remain on the bank at the ready. I can pack a long rescue rope, along with my camera.

    Of course, I would not think for a moment of publishing any incriminating photos.

    I figure it would only take me about 40 seconds to post on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    Oh, and let’s take your truck.

  3. Jim Batsel | Apr 24, 2012 | Reply

    You do realise you’ve risked your life for a CARP! Now if it were a Brown…..

  4. craig | Apr 24, 2012 | Reply

    i got my first pair of waders because of a bog.

    the guy in the fly shop sold me his proven patterns (they actually worked better than mine)then gave me directions to a DNR easement and the fateful advice to “just walk in a couple hundred feet…”.

    my sneakers are still there as well as my dignity.

    a local said that he used plastic snowshoes for the same walk. not the fancy tubbs but cheap vinyl snowshoes.

  5. kbarton10 | Apr 24, 2012 | Reply

    That very thought occurred to me, hit the garage sales for a pair of inexpensive snowshoes that I could bolt to the bottom of my waders and I’d be in tall cotton.

    Then I remembered this is California – and the closest snow being Oregon …

    Plenty of surf though …

  6. Joe Eberle | Apr 24, 2012 | Reply

    Chest waders and a belly boat might be your best bet next time.

  7. The Snowshoe Underground | Apr 24, 2012 | Reply

    All I can say is where are all the damned police state/surveillance cameras we keep hearing about?

    Well, it’s not all, but I’m not sure if pointing out your geography faux pax (plenty of snow in parts of California) is really all that productive.

    Instead, I’ll suggest most of us have given up snowshoes because grueling thighmaster workouts aren’t really that much fun.

    Instead, invest in a used pair of skis, and just glide to that perfect casting spot.

    Available used almost anywhere, and they don’t trap all that nasty shit like felt soles.

    Wadeskis. Hmm. I’m going to snap up that domain right now.

  8. YOMAMA | Apr 24, 2012 | Reply

    How do you think all those smelly dead goats came to be floating in that creek ?

  9. The Goat Underground | Apr 24, 2012 | Reply

    How do you think all those smelly dead goats came to be floating in that creek ?

    You mean besides the big hairy one in waders?

  10. Shoreman | Apr 24, 2012 | Reply

    Fear the beard. No wait, that’s the Giants. Fear the muck. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve not gone forward because of the muck.

    Mark

  11. Igneous Rock | Apr 25, 2012 | Reply

    I hear a back ground lyric: Waist deep in the Big Muddy and the big fool says to push on…

  12. Liam | Apr 26, 2012 | Reply

    Quite an experience eh? It made a great post by the way.

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  1. From Climbing Mount Shasta (Despite The Lack of Trout) – - The Trout Underground Fly Fishing BlogThe Trout Underground Fly Fishing Blog | Apr 24, 2012

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