We live in California so some of our steelhead
excursions may be somewhat different than others
experience. Often we have plenty of company, and
some personal travel is required to find a bit of
solitude. This was 'sorta the situation at the Mad
River this day for my bride and I.
There is a run below the hatchery where multitudes of
fishers gather to ply the water for the fish that gather
there. One of the sacrifices one must accept to homestead
here is the occasional intrusion of anglers wading across
the stream, to access the other side. The other side contains
the logging road to gain access to miles of upstream, away
from the multitudes. This run is also the only wadeable run
for quite some distance. Sometimes though, it IS about three
ribs deep...and I'm 6'4" and a rotund 300#.
Anyway, this day, like most of our days afield, we try to
be alert to any new observations that bring us new knowledge
that might come in handy at a later time. This day we learned
two new things.
As my bride and I were crossing the stream and the water came
to about mid-calf on me (knee deep to my bride), we noticed a
bit of shivering in our bride as she hung on.
As the water got to about mid-thigh on me (about butt-deep on
my bride), I noticed a bit of shrieking emanating from my
As the water got butt-deep to me (waist deep to my bride), I
noticed the shrieking rise in crescendo and my bride's upper
extremities beginning to flail enthusiastically.
Waist deep for me (how deep for my bride?) seemed to bring
forth absolute crescendo in shrieking but complete abeyance
of upper extremity flailing. Seems my lovely bride was busy
hanging on as her lower extremities lost all purchase of the
bottom and they commenced to furl like a flag in the wind.
The process seemed to reverse as we traversed to the far bank
and lost depth.
Apparently the entertainment value of these actions were far
better than the lone fisher flailing and shrieking down river
mid-stream. HIS entertainment usually requires personal
involvement by at least one or two persons along their route.
The fishers on the far bank that we had to interrupt, accepted
our apology for our intrusion quite gleefully.
I was a bit surprised to see our lovely bride smiling and
conversing with the other fishers also. So far the only
bruises and contusions were incidental to the sometimes
extreme flailing that had recently occurred.
The return crossing that afternoon was as uneventful as the
However, upon leaving the water and gaining a bit of ground,
the shrieking and flailing did reoccur, and all of my bride's
extremities did now seem involved.
Strange, I didn't remember limping earlier...?
Safe wading and tight lines... ~ lee s
Flailing subsides abruptly as the feet lose purchase...
shrieking does not.
The bank of the river with the vehicle on it is the