September 22, 2010:
Fishing falls into certain categories … Good … Bad and if I’m involved always Ugly. 😕 This is a Bad trip even though I managed to catch 7 fish in the 16” to 19” range.
I decided to go tubing at Stewart lake by myself a couple of weeks ago. Stewart is a small lake located South/West of Fort St. John and usually takes around 1 hr to get to. I started off by dropping into the local Tim Horton’s and grabbing a large double-double. What I didn’t realize at the time was I also unknowingly picked up Murphy and his law book!!! As I turned onto the highway this 1-ton cut me off causing me to swerve and deposit half of the said coffee into my lap!
I’ve got to learn to pick up on these omen’s … I really do! Anyways onward to the lake…….
After turning off the Alaska Highway onto a secondary road a sign proclaimed road under construction. Well they weren’t kidding! I got stopped twice and had to wait 20 minutes each time in a 10 km section. I then branched off onto the Stewart lake road (26km) and thought I’d have clear sailing. Wrong again! There has been so much gas exploration and drilling in this area the last few years that roads were branching off all over the place. I had to look for landmarks to confirm I was going the right way!!
About 3 km in I rounded a corner and was grill to grill with a gravel truck. The road is around 1 1/2 lanes wide so down into the ditch and back out I came. As I was sitting on the edge of the road picking up CD’s, camera and whatever wasn’t secured another gravel truck roared past heading my way. I tucked in behind and that’s a good thing as we met 17 more gravel trucks on the way in!
I finally made it to the lake and there was a couple of hunter camps there but the lake was all mine. I pumped up the tube, got on my waders and kicked off from shore. I was using an intermediate sink line with a black leech and started catching some feisty bows right off the hop! We’ve already had some killer frosts up this way and the lake was cold but it seemed a little too cold especially around my crotch. I kinda wrote it off as just having jeans on under my breathables. It wasn’t long though before it became apparent that I had a hole in my waders! I lasted another hour with the water seeping down my left leg and filling my boot. I would’ve gone longer as the fishing was pretty good but the wind came up so I made my way off the lake.
I went back to shore got out of the waders, found a dry sock and was standing by the jeep when a big splash caught my attention just off the floating dock. I thought I’d grab my dry line/indicator/mini leech and fish for awhile and let the sun and wind dry my jeans a bit. It wasn’t an overly warm day but the casting and moving around in my insulated vest made it bearable I caught a few tiddlers and my jeans were almost dry when the indicator went down hard! 😯 It was a nice rainbow and I planned to release it, pack up and go. Well…….
……. As I crouched down on the dock trying to shake the fly lose my left leg (the one that was wet and cold) gave way. I tried to just flop straight down but ended up with my legs on the dock and most of my upper body over the edge. After a second or two of balancing … Bloop .. head first into the lake!!!
Tip To All: always take a complete change of clothes! 😉
I finally pulled myself to shore and stood there dripping, thinking now what. I stripped down to my boxers, hung everything on the sunny side of the jeep and dug out and old pair of moldy coveralls that my dog lays on. I fired up the jeep to warm up and said screw it, threw all my wet clothes in the back and drove home barefoot – commando in a pair of moldy coveralls! 😯
So you see she’s not always sunny, warm, calm and 10 pounders … with fishing you’ve got to take the good with the bad, and this was definitely the bad … but overall it’s still worth it cause all it takes is one good day on the water and you completely forget about that Murphy guy! 😀
…….Gord (Flyguys Northern Division)