My story starts on Friday, June 2, 2017. David Tripp, Mark Nelson and myself are planning a week long float on the Big River the last week in June. This float was a preview of our planned float.
I put in on the Bourbeuse around 5 pm on June 2, planning to have a great weekend. Friday night went pretty well. I set out 10 limb lines and baited them for catfish. I set up camp on a gravel bar and then went on up river and tight line fished. I caught some nice cat and drum that night. The river was falling and very muddy so I was a little surprised that I caught anything at all. I did catch 2 channel cat on the limb lines. I ran the limb lines at 11 pm and 3 am then daybreak. I heated up some beans and weenies for breakfast about 4 am Saturday morning.
Saturday was like any other day on the river. I spent it bass fishing and fishing for pan fish. About dark I began baiting the limb lines that I had out, When all the lines were baited I headed to my spot that I tight line fished at night.
Dawn came and my fish basket had 6 nice channels in it that I had caught. I started working my way back down river, bass fishing as I went. I managed to get hung up and losing my hook so I tied a new one on. I had been pulled into the shallow water and instead of paddling back up and securing everything before I started through the swift water i made a bad decision to just go ahead and shoot the shallow fast water.
I had been through this spot 4 times since Friday. Water was really swift so away I went. Then all of a sudden the yak hits something, comes to a stop then the rushing water hit it in the rear, forced it side ways and over I went. I was flung head first into the water then the swift water carried me to the end of the shallow into a deep hole. The current surrounding the hole began to push me to the bottom. The water was so muddy I couldn’t see anything. I don’t know how long I had been in the river but my lungs began to hurt so i knew I had to make a decision so I relaxed and let my life jacket do its job and sure enough it started pulling me to the top so I immediately began helping it. When I broke the top I was gasping for breath,
I looked around and I saw the yak and it was heading down river pretty fast so I headed for it. Once I snagged it I had to swim it about 40 yards to the bank. Now if you have ever lifted a ten foot kayak full of water you realize at this point that Preparation H is really man’s best friend. I finally got everything rounded up and I just crashed on a gravel bar as what just happened started sinking into my mind.
I want to thank you for reading my blog. Just a reminder about safety and how important it is. Please wear your life jacket when you are on the river. Be kind to one another, Share the love and don’t squat with your spurs on. God Bless you one and all.