Safety First

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Bourbeuse River near Union, MO

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.

 

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My Kayak on the Bourbeuse River

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.

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Heating up beans and weenies on the river bank.

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Fish I caught early 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

K.I.S.S.

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Old building in Berger, MO

“Progress is man’s ability to complicate simplicity.” – Thor Heyerdahl

Keep It Simple Stupid.  Simple always worked better for me.  For instance the old math (I am a 1954 model, learned how to count on an abacus) was quite simple in my opinion and it was easy to understand.  I remember the first time I saw a “common core” math problem.  Wow!  Gee!  “I’m so dizzy my head is spinning, like a whirlpool…….”.  Oh yeah I felt dumber than a bus full of politicians.

“Grandpa tell me about the good old days, sometimes it feels like this world’s gone crazy and grandpa, take me back to yesterday when the line between right and wrong didn’t seem so hazy….”  – Grandpa/The Judds

I heard this song today while I was headed fishing.  My mind began to drift back to those simpler times.  In those days people kept their promises, hand shakes were as good as a signed contract and families bowed their heads to pray.  If you had a phone you probably had a party line.  These could be fun.  One of my favorite things to do was call my cousin and when i was sure someone was listening I would say, “Do you think we buried the bodies deep enough?  I sure wouldn’t want to come out of church and see Penny (my dog’s name) chewing on an arm.”   At that point you usually heard a click.  If you had a television it was probably a black and white set.

I do have to tells ya though my mom didn’t wear a dress and pearls like June Cleaver did.  My dad worked for Carnation Milk and delivered milk on Galveston Island.  For fun when we were around a crowd I would holler out that my daddy was the milkman.  The look on my mom’s face……Priceless!

A person could actually work on their own vehicle.  You could actually see (and get to) the spark plugs.  Common sense wasn’t dead.  It actually existed.  Folks respected one another.  The only time you locked the doors was if you were going to be gone for more than a couple of days.

I will admit that technology has made our lives easier.  It has given us the capability to do things we would have never been able to do 40 years ago.  HOWEVER!  Ya all are probably going to moan and groan and say bad things about me but I would love to go back those times.  The days of K.I.S.S..

Well folks thanks a bunch for taking the time to read my blog.  Be kind to one another. call mom and dad, share the love and God Bless you one and all!

Oh What A Night On The River

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Before I get to the good stuff I guess I should tell you a little bit about me.  I love to fish.  I am addicted to it.  I like to get on the river around four in the afternoon and stay out all night.  It is so peaceful on the river at night. Usually anyway.

I launched the yak on the Big River at Washington State Park.  It started just like any other trip.  I work my way upstream so I can float back down.  I set out some limb lines then I fish until dark at which time I bait the lines.  Once the lines are all baited I tight line fish.  I usually back the yak into a gravel bar and fish out of the yak.  That is what I did this particular night.

I was all backed into a gravel bar.  Now this stretch of the river has had some meth cooking activity in the past.  It is about one a.m. and I hear a rustling in the woods behind me.  I really didn’t think anything about it.  Then about 10 minutes later it happens again and it sounds like a moose on steroids raking its gigantic rack through the trees.  Talk about getting rid of the new underwear smell!  A certain part of my anatomy slammed shut.  Well ladies and gentleman I am here to tell ya that I launched that yak and it looked like it had a 150 horse Johnson on the back of it.  I think I even got it up on plane.  I never looked back to see what it was.  I thought it was better that way.

After “Big Foot” (or whatever) chased me off the gravel bar I settled on another gravel bar down stream.  I calmed down and started fishing for cat again.  I had my rod and reel just laying against my tackle box.  Then it happened.  I had nodded off around 2:30 a.m. when something decided it wanted a closer look at my rod and reel because all of a sudden it took off out the boat.  A million things that it could have hung on and it hung on nothing.  Nothing at all I tells ya!

Now what does one do?  I knew the water was very clear and was only about 4 feet deep so I started searching for my rod and reel,  I was going from one side to the other when my light shined on my rod and reel.  It is just stationary floating in the river.  The current was so swift that it brought the rod and reel to the top.  I manage to maneuver the yak into a position for me to grab the end of the rod.  I am stretched to the max.  My fingers are so close and I am going to grab it and then………….it takes off upstream.  What?  Am I really chasing my rod and reel up river.  Is this a dream?  Guilty of chasing the rod and reel and no it wasn’t a dream.

After some time goes by I manage to grab the pole and pulled back at which point whatever was on the end of the line just kept on trucking.  It didn’t stop, or hesitate. Must have been “Charlie the Tuna.

Thanks for taking the time to read.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Share the love, be kind to each other and God Bless you one and all.

What  you lose in the fire, you will find in the ashes.

 

 

 

Oh The Joy of Fishing!

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Just when you forget about civilization it slaps you in the face.  Pic is taken on the Bourbeuse River at Union, MO

It was just another day and I decided to load the kayak and head to the Bourbeuse.  We had heavy rains the night before and that morning.  After finally getting everything together I headed for the river with visions of fish dancing in my head.

The sun was shining and the river was up. but dropping.  The current was running wild and you could see where it had been out of its banks just a few days prior to my fishing excursion.  I had my doubts about there being any good fishing in my future but there is no bad day of fishing, so I thought.

I started down river and had the thought of setting some limb lines but the nasty current would soon change my mind.  So I headed up river to a point where the water was shallow and dumped into a deeper hole.  It was swirling around a sandbar then rolled into a deeper hole where bait fish would be pushed into the deeper water by the current.

I backed my yak into the sandbar and decided to fish the hole.  I started with heavy pole and line and it wasn’t long before something started nobbling on the bait.  Have you ever had the opportunity to go to combat with a bait stealer?  It can be very frustrating and you develop an attitude that you aren’t giving up till you hook the little nuisance.  Well that is what happened.  It kept stripping the hook so it was time for plan B.  I pulled the ultra light out of my arsenal rigged with a pan fish hook and slip sinker.

Well plan B didn’t work and I guess it gave up or was full after its fine dinner of Canadian night crawlers.  As time passed I was listening to the chirp of the crickets and croaking of the frogs and enjoying the flashing of the lightning bugs to the point of forgetting about the line in the water.

Then it happened.  Wham!  something was dragging the ultra light across the deck of the yak.  It woke me out of my trance and somehow I managed to take control of the pole.  I set the hook and hot damn the fight was on.  It started south so I thinks to myself it has to be a channel.  Wrong again!  About that time the fish does a tail walk on top of the water dives and comes back up and does another tail walk.  By this time I think, oh my gosh, I have hung a bass.  It starts peeling off line and I realize that it might be a little too much for my ultra light pole with 4 pound test line.

We go head to head for about 5 minutes and I feel the yak being pulled off the sand bar and into the water where the current was waiting to push the yak down the river.  Oh crap what now?  I manage to hold the rod with my knees and grab the paddle and start fighting for position.  This stuff is hard on an old man I tells ya.

By now my heart is pounding out of the chest cavity and a million things that could go wrong are going through my head.  After what seemed like an eternity I finally jockeyed the yak up against another sand bar.  He is starting to tire a little and I am completely whooped. it

I manage to get him started to the boat and get up alongside the yak and got him close enough to realize that he was big enough that I could put my whole fist in its mouth.  Then it happens!  NEWS FLASH!  Hey dummy the dip net is behind you so how in the hell are you going to get to it.  I make a management decision to hoist him into the yak and everything is going perfectly then BAM!  He gets himself unhooked and lands on the deck of the yak and starts flouncing about like I had put him into a hot frying pan.  He is flopping and I am trying furiously to get ahold of him then, then, then SPLASH!  Yep sure enough as he hit the water he was singing Born Free.

I practice catch and release however that wasn’t what I had in mind at the moment.  Pictures!  I wanted pictures but I guess he was afraid the camera would steal his soul!  That is my story and I am sticking to it!

All in all it was a good day on the river.  I thought it was only fitting to take a picture of the MacDonald’s golden arches because that was the only place I would be getting a fish fillet sandwich.

Thanks for reading and I hoped you enjoyed it.  Nothing seemed to go right today but I am sure there is one fish in the Bourbeuse that is glad it didn’t.  Aww the joys of fishing.