Wednesday, October 12, 2011
A Day On the Water
I had a bunch of chores to do today but I needed at least a couple of hours on the water. I went to my home water, Castaic, and started fan casting with a small minnow imitation. Nothing doing! In my peripheral vision a coot was splashing water, he looked like he was bathing. Other than a few Silverside flashing on the surface, there was no activity that could indicate where the Bass/Stripers where feeding. As I worked my way closer to the West Ramp the coot was still very active (unlike the fish). Finally, I was a long cast away from the bird and finally I realized he was not moving and was probably tangled or hooked on some fishing line, although I could not see it from my vantage point on the shore. What to do? The bird was a long cast away but, the Rio Outbound Short Line was the perfect line to get that extra distance. I cast to the right of the bird hoping to snag the line that imprisoned the hapless bird but the fly came back clean. A long back cast and double haul powered the line to the left of the coot and after a couple of strips the line came tight. The bird started freakin' out! I realized that I had hooked whatever was imprisoning this little guy. I slow-stripped the line back in but, ten feet away, the bird, line and fly were hung on a submerged bush. Crap! Not supposed to wade. To hell with it! The entangled bird was fifteen feet away. It was hopelessly tangled! I was wading before I had made a conscious decision. I dropped my rod and grabbed the fly line, edging my way toward the trapped coot. He was much lighter than expected, weighing almost nothing and trying to hook me with his little claws. His little eyes were wide in fear. The line was wrapped around his head and the line was stretched toward the offshore bushes and was impossible to break off. I raised the tough line above the surface and bit through the taut line. The bird was freed quickly and with a quick toss the little guy was free. After a short flight he was paddling toward his brethren and muttering about his misadventure. Everyday on the water is a new experience and, if I had decided to stay home, this little life would have been snuffed out without anyone knowing. Tell your fishing friends not to discard their monofilament. Wrap it up and take it home so that our precious wildlife is not exposed to this type of hazard. Their real world is tough enough.