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May 3rd, 1999
A Fine Art, Part 2
by Charlie Kroll
From Pools of Memory published by
Frank Amato Publications.
It may surprise some amateur anglers to know that the
exercise of immersion can be carried out with its initial stage
completely out of water. The most satisfactory approach is to
walk to the edge of an attractive pool, placing feet firmly upon
a part of the bank that is suitably undercut by the current and
then gaze hopefully out over the river.
Some years ago I achieved a notable performance of this
Vertical Sink technique while fishing the Yellowstone River in
Montana. The bank gave way, the water was deep and I was
wearing chest waders. This is a beautiful and graceful fall. You
descend slwly into the water allowing plenty of time to throw away
the rod and extend both arms to clutch at the bankside sagebrush;
at the same time emitting a bloodcurdling yell. Provided the water
level is sufficiently near the top of the bank you descend over the
tops of the waders, allowing them to fill, which is most refreshing.
Getting out again is difficult and exciting with the added spice of
danger should the sagebrush you are clutching come out by the
A variatiion of this fall can be found in the Vertical Collapse,
wherein the fortunate angler suddenly disappears in a grass-covered
beaver hole. Timing is important here as the collapse should be
syncronized with the attention of one's companion being directed
elsewhere so that upon receiving no answer to some idle comment
he turns around, only to find empty space or at best a hat lying
flush on the grass tops.
My research has lead me to carefully observe the tactics of
other anglers dabbing in this art and I have been privileged to
witness several brilliant exhibitions. One of the finest was performed
by my friend George, who confirmed his already versatile form by
falling expertly through a small hole in a dock into eight feet of water.
Although I examinded him carefully, not a single article of dry clothing
could be found. On the way back George made a shrewdly judged
detour and, with impeccable timing, shattered the tip section of his
bamboo rod with a stumble, followed by a karate foot stomp. I
was full of admiration, knowing full well that I was observing one
of the world's greatest performances.
On another, perhaps even more noteworth occasion, George,
in hopping about preparatory to slicing into his waders, accidentally
stepped into a large and singularly fluid keepskae from a previous
occupant of the streamside meadow. George rush to the water to
launder his sock. As he reached the edge he curled a deft toe under
a tone and performed an exquisite variation of the Standing Forward
Roll, entering headlong. This was achieved in what must be record
time and in light conditions that were far from idea. It makes on
humble just to think about it.
~ Charlie Kroll
Concluded next time!
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