release photo

whew!!!!! That was cold!

It’s good to laugh at yourself!

For safety reasons, I don’t wear my waders when we are on the sled and sometimes even the drift boat. If I fall in, I would rather have on pants that open at the top and bottom then waders, even with a belt. So, occasionally I take on water over my boots when launching or taking out the boats, but it’s usually just a small amount and almost always when I’m taking out so it doesn’t matter.

I have never run into the situation where I needed to take a picture with a wild fish when I’m in just my boots and rain pants, but there’s a first time for everything!

It was really quite cold outside and we only hooked one fish Saturday afternoon, so I wasn’t expecting anything Sunday morning. Of course our buddy Lloyd predicted that I would catch the first fish (and he’s always right). Sure enough, first pass in the first hole, “There’s a fish!”. I almost thought this fish was a snag because she immediately ran upstream and just peeled line off my reel. She ran both away from and straight towards me and like most fish, found it safest right underneath the boat. Why do they do that?! So we cut the motors as I try to bring her out and she goes running straight out into a few cartwheels. “Man I hate when they do that! Please stop jumping!”

After about 2 minutes (which by the way, felt like 10), I brought her to the boat near the bank. As I head out to snap a quick picture, I give my camera to our other buddy who says my internal memory is full and I only one shot. Great! I forgot to put the memory card back in. “That’s fine, just take a picture so I can release the fish”.

Right as I kneel down, I feel a huge surge of water fill my boot! “AHHHHHH! Did you get it? Okay, I don’t care, my foot’s wet”. I immediately released the fish knowing that I saw one flash and I was sure the pic was just fine. What are the odds he snapped the shot as soon as that “AHHHHHHH” came out of my mouth? Apparently very likely because this is what I ended up with :)  

I spent the next hour with my socks off, sitting next to the heater while the rest of the boat fished. I played caddy and tied leaders and baited hooks, but had no idea how I would manage to get my boot dry. I decided that wasn’t going to happen and you can’t catch a fish if your line’s not in the water! I put a plastic bag over my foot and took the extra sock on my other foot and slipped right back into my boot!

A day and fish that I won’t forget and a picture to remind me in case I ever do :)