When we grab our gear and head out the door on
another fishing adventure, we often don't give
thought to anything beyond all of the good things
that could happen through the day. A perfect hatch,
rising fish, the correct dry fly and a few good
casts, we hope that everything will go right to
make the perfect day!
But what about when things go wrong? Are you
prepared? Was it something you gave some thought
to, before you went out the door? Before you had
even planned this trip? A seemingly small oversight,
could turn your day into a very unhappy one, but
with a little planning, you may be able to control
or even prevent a bad situation, with a little
preparation, you can make the best of a bad situation
and possibly save yourself or your partner from
potentially serious after effects of an accident.
Not many of us really believe we will or could have
one, an accident I mean, but think about it, have
you ever planned to have one? Things can happen to
anyone and so quickly that by time you realize it
is happening, it HAS happened and now you or your
companion must do damage control, to both minimize
the immediate effect of the accident and to try to
decrease the risk of long term effects after the
Some of us carry first aid kits in our R.V.'s, or
automobiles and boats. Alot of us carry them in our
vests, tubes or packs and that is good! There should
always be some kind of emergency kit close by when
you are on an outing, but accident and emergency
prevention should start well before you or your
partner ever have to reach for a kit.
Almost everyone realizes the safety benefit that Polaroid
glasses provide when flycasting, no they are not just
meant to help you see the fish, they protect your eyes
from errant flies, dust and other airborn particles on
a windy day. By far though, the most feared situation
for me is to actually imbed a fly in my eye due to my
own error or an errant gust of wind. Those of you who
have not either experienced this or been with a friend
who has had it happen, may have a hard time imagining
the panic that can set in when a person suffers an eye
injury. Fear of the loss of sight can cause you to panic
and actually go into a sort of shock. I am no doctor,
but I have experienced this fear and it is not a pleasant
thing for you to feel or your companions to have to deal
One of the first methods or tools of prevention then,
is glasses. If you don't own any, you need to. If you
can't afford Polaroids or think you do not need them,
then purchase a clear set of safety glasses, do not
go out on the water without them! Purchase glasses
with side shields, or the goggle design, anybody who
has seen a tippet wrap around a twig or branch,
should appreciate what can happen on the arm of
your glasses without a side shield.
First aid kits are great! But if it is in your vehicle
a few hundred feet away, or a mile away, it may be of
little value. Take a small well stocked kit with you
in your vest, it can make all of the difference in
how you control the aftermath of an accident.
I carry a small one with me all of the time. To date
it has met my needs, providing mostly clean bandages
and antiseptic to abrasions and cuts that I have
afflicted myself with while on the water...or rather
while falling on the rocks, near the water. You need
not have a full arsenal of materials, but a small
selection of the right stuff, will make it alot
easier to deal with some situations, until you
can get to a bigger kit, or more qualified help.
I am not going to fix up a broken leg with my
vest kit, but I can bandage a good sized wound,
or deal with an extra addition to an eyeball,
until I can get my partner to a doctor. I will
give you a list of what I carry, but please feel
free to add to it if you see something I am missing,
or if perhaps you also need something to deal with
local hazards such as poisonous snakes etc.
Okay so the top half of my kit contains:
The lower half of my kit contains:
- 1 pr. of blunt nosed scissors.
- 1 pr. of blunt ended tweezers (the really
sharp tweezers some kits have may not be the safest
thing to carry around with you, let alone use on
- Several antiseptic towelettes.
- several sting relief pads.
- A #4 pressure bandage.
- Several butterfly bandages.
While this may not be the most comprehensive kit
out there, it does give me the ability to handle
most of the common cuts and bruises as well as a
few more serious wounds should the need arise.
If you can think of something else that you
should carry, let us all know.
- Several Telfa pads.
- A good selection of Curad bandages.
- One eye pad, but I recommend 2 eye pads,
if you want to keep someones eye from moving,
it is best (if they will let you) to cover both
eyes, but keep in mind that this is an uncomfortable
feeling for most folks and may not go over well,
so instead of wrestling them to the ground, let
them dictate what you will do here.
- One pair of latex gloves (if anyone is
allergic to latex, there are other choices such
as nitril or vinyl).
- 2 pkgs. of iodine ointment.
- 1 pkg. of acetominophen.
- 1 roll of gauze.
- 1 roll of white medical tape
As I said, safety should start well before you
hit the water and there are other factors you
should take into account. Things like allergies,
are you or your partner highly allergic to bee
stings, spider bites or other things? Do one of
you carry a shock kit in case of a violent allergic
reaction? Does your partner know about it and how
to help you with it? I know in some countries and
States administering help that is invasive, is
illegal, but if my partner is lying unconscious
on the ground due to bee sting, I may overlook
that point of law, that is a personal decision
not a reccommendation on my part.
Are you or your partner on any medication? It
doesn't hurt to know this either. I know this
seems like alot of information to exchange with
each other, but often times we fish with the
same friends and it is not hard to be up to
speed on how each of you are doing health wise.
I have to take level #1 first aid every couple of
years and while I hate the classroom setting I am
always glad I have taken even something as basic
as that. Perhaps as a club, it would be an idea
to bring in a 1st aid instructor to give everyone
some basic skills and techniques that may one day
come in handy. While I am on that subject, if you
do not know CPR it wouldn't hurt to learn it, of
all the things I learn each time I take Level 1
first aid, I am always the most appreciative of
You know, often times it is not so much remembering
everything you have learned about dealing with
accidents, it is knowing where to start and that
you should do something and you can do something.
Knowledge is power, so learn what you can, prepare
as much as is reasonable and enjoy your outings!
~ Kerry Pitt (Inconnu)