View Full Version : Falling down?

09-25-2008, 01:10 PM
I was with a buddy the other day when he slipped on a rock and broke his arm. I have fell more times than I care to remember. I have been lucky to only have gotten some bumps and a few cuts. I guess the only thing I have hurt is my pride a few times. There is nothing more refreshing then taking a dip early in the am when the water is 50 degrees. I was just curious if any one else has ever had a serious injury from taking a plunge while fishing. By the way my friend is fine and he wants to do a little one arm fly fishing this weekend. lol....

09-25-2008, 01:19 PM
Like you, i've only had minor cuts and bruises. I've taken some pretty good falls before but i've been lucky enough to escape serious injury. Most of my falls tend to happen as the day progresses and my legs tire on me.

09-25-2008, 01:21 PM
I fell above Elkmont a couple of years ago by slipping and falling on a rock while it was raining. I broke two ribs but continued to fish the rest of the week. I called my doctor when I returned to Atlanta for pain medicine and she wanted an x-ray, which I complied with. Upon seeing her a few days later she informed me that I had not cracked two ribs, as I had suggested to her, but that they were broken in two. This is not the first time I have broken ribs but the first time I have broken something fishing - the others were related to sports and fighting (the fighting was over 30 years ago when I was much younger and more immature than I am currently).

09-25-2008, 01:32 PM
I am not sure if this counts but here goes. When I first moved here I heard of the WPLP and it's relative easy access. My first trip to the LP resulted in a hard fall while playing a fish. I was able to bust my cell phone and digital camara in one fall and my reel (which I used to catch myself). I at the time thought nothing of my shoulder pain. But shortly after this I had shoulder surgery for torn ligaments and cuff, Doc. said that it was related because of how I had caught myself. I guess that would count as serious, I know it counts as EXPENSIVE!

David Knapp
09-25-2008, 02:05 PM
I've fallen hard more times than I can remember. Like mtnman said, it tends to be later in the day as I start getting tired and pay less attention to my surroundings. Several times I've been afraid that something was broken but after sitting for a few minutes, things start feeling better and I usually keep fishing. Once I fell hard enough that I bent my reel and had to send it back to Orvis to get straightened... The mountain streams are dangerous if you are not paying attention. I'm a very agressive wader though so that probably contributes to more spills than some people would have...

Rog 1
09-25-2008, 02:27 PM
I have had my share of close calls and the resulting nicks and dings....what is funny is that when I was young and running the streams the reflexes compensated for some bad decisions....now that I am older I know I am a lot more careful but I have lost that edge and the falls come more often...some of the worst ones don't come while fishing per se but trying to climb out of the river at some point I have no business even trying

09-25-2008, 02:56 PM
Over a 35+ years span, I have had cracked ribs, three broken toes and a chipped elbow. The falls just add insult to injury and now the falls take a week to recuperate instead of hours.

09-25-2008, 03:15 PM
I will tell you one thing that puts me in the water often, moving rocks. I just love it when I am on a tricky creek trying to get my balance and step one foot on a rock that seems to be way too big too move and it turns over right under my foot. That's usually when I do the good old split. lol. The funny thing is that when I fall I am usually just worried about not breaking or losing my rod and reel, even though it has a 25 year unconditional warranty...

09-25-2008, 03:31 PM
I've "gone swimming" a few times. So far, the worst injury was a cut finger this spring. Nothing like standing in the water with blood running down your arm, dripping off your elbow and fishing. I'm glad trout are not sharks because I'm sure I was leaving quite the blood scent trail in the water. I could see the red in the water for several feet downstream of me.

I cut a piece off of my T-shirt and wrapped the finger and had a section of old fly line tied to my fishpond thermometer so I used a piece of that to tie the t-shirt section to keep pressure on the finger.

After 30 minutes or so, it stopped bleeding. I did keep on fishing evan though it was really throbbing.

I've been fortunate to not break anything or have more serious injuries.


Rog 1
09-25-2008, 05:17 PM
Swimming while fishing up here has to be a given....I have had rocks as large as my SUV move on me and send me scrambling....the clear water has ways of fooling you...one fall I was on the lower section of Roaring Fork...stepped into what looked to be water next to the bank that appeared 6-8" deep...ended up in a hole full of mud and decaying matter that put me in up over my waist...after the initial shock and embarrassment the stink set in and I had to wade out and take a bath.

09-25-2008, 06:01 PM
Last year I decided to take off of the dome into the top of Forney for an overnight trip. We left the parking lot around 7, got to camp at dark and got up the next morning early to fish. We ended up in Steeltrap creek? I think. The first hole I was fishing had a log across it, probably 2' above the water, my buddy crossed, then I attempted to. The log broke and I was lucky enough to brace my fall with the small of my back. I had a knot come up the size of a grapefruit. Luckily, I had the pleasure of walking back to camp, breaking it down, then climbing back to the car.......got to love it.

09-25-2008, 06:33 PM
I've busted my butt a few times.

09-25-2008, 08:00 PM
While fishing the Gibbon River in Yellowstone National Park this June, I heard a loud grunting sound in the woods behind me. I ignored it the first time, but after the second and third times, I convinced myself that the noise was being made by an angry grizzly. Growing more and more uneasy, I decided it would be a good idea to cross the river and put some distance between me and the "bear". As I briskly worked my way to the far bank, I stepped into an underwater channel that put me nose-deep in ice cold water...and I do mean ICE cold. Frantically, I began to reach for the bank, and after a moment of awkward struggle, I managed to pull myself out of the river. At this point I was pretty distraught, not to mention COLD.

While sitting on the bank collecting my thoughts, I realized what had been making the "grunting" sounds. A large bison had emerged from the woods and was now grazing in the meadow. I wanted to laugh, but I was a little too ashamed.

To me, there's always something unnerving about fishing alone in an unfamiliar place. It seems like I always make bad decisions when I let myself get uncomfortable (or too comfortable) with my sorroundings. If you fish enough, it's inevitable...you will fall. But, staying focused--and calm--will help prevent most falls.

09-25-2008, 08:09 PM
I've had a few memorable slickrock shuffles and boulder breakdances...the best are those relatively smooth shoreline spots here and there you wouldn't think anyone could loose purchase and somehow you manage to post #10 score pirouette...usually in front of a picnicing tourist family no less.

My best and most painful ever though was off trail somewheres below Ramseys while bouldering and slipping, landing flat on my back, skiding down a waterslide of a chute, clinging on to whatever I could to slow me down-funny how felt soles don't have the grab when you really need it -with rod in mouth so as not to slip off a water fall below me...threw my back out for that one...

09-25-2008, 08:38 PM
I fall a lot. The worst one, at Cataloochee, resulted in a dislocated shoulder. I looked down and saw the head of the humerus pushing out against the skin at the front of my shoulder. Luckily I was able to reduce it, then went to find my companions. Again luckily, one of them was an ortho, who ck'd me out and sent me on the road. Took 7 hrs to drive back to Nashville.


caught 108
09-25-2008, 08:48 PM
I've seen those moving rock's,and had my share of unexpected dip's in the creek.Thankfully nothing serious,Just some cut's,scrape's and bruises.Messed up a few reel's,I'm bad to throw my pole when I'm falling.

The Principal
09-25-2008, 11:20 PM
I fell at the chimneys trailhead once and cracked
a rib. It was embarrassing with people watching from
the bridge.

Gerry Romer
09-25-2008, 11:21 PM
...Messed up a few reel's,I'm bad to throw my pole when I'm falling.

So that's what I did wrong!!:rolleyes:

I'm still nursing a sore shoulder that I got from my spill in the Lynn Camp gorge a few weeks back. I forgot to throw my pole! Stubbornly hanging onto it messed up my shoulder and broke the pole. If only my shoulder had a warranty as good as TFO's!

I'm also currently nursing a nice gash on my left shin that I picked up on Tremont last Sunday. I was wet wading and my left foot slipped off the edge of a rather sharp boulder. I was wet wading in my Columbia pants, Patagonia socks, and Chota wading socks and didn't get the slightest rip, tear or dent in anything but my leg! A nice 2" long gash :frown:

caught 108
09-26-2008, 12:14 AM
What We will go through to catch some of those Smoky Mtn.Trout.May we all find a soft spot next time we fall.

09-26-2008, 08:56 AM
The worse fall I've EVER had in MY LIFE is posted on the Tailwaters board...That one hurt. I am still sore...stupid dog.

old tom
09-26-2008, 09:51 AM
I've never had a serious injury so the order of my checklist may change if I did. But whenever I settle down after a fall, in order, I quickly check my rod to see if it's broken, do a quick inventory of body parts, then look around to see if anyone saw me make a fool of myself.:smile:

Rog 1
09-26-2008, 11:16 AM
I too have adopted the pole throw technique but even that can have its downside....first time I was out with my new custom built pack rod I started into a slick rock shuffle ..... let loose of my rod and the forward momentum carried the tip right into a nearby tree....my previous 7 ft. 3wt. is now about 2"s shorter....sad part was that I didn't realize it had happened until I started casting and couldn't figure out why my line wasn't laying out properly.

09-26-2008, 12:35 PM
I've never had a serious injury so the order of my checklist may change if I did. But whenever I settle down after a fall, in order, I quickly check my rod to see if it's broken, do a quick inventory of body parts, then look around to see if anyone saw me make a fool of myself.:smile:

Same checklist, except reverse order... I ususlly look around to see how many people are laughing then do the inventory of body parts...


09-26-2008, 03:39 PM
I fell just recently while standing on riprap at a local river. The bank was so steep that when I fell, it felt like forever. I actually thought my head was going to go under!! Got my whole left side wet.

In the smokies my worse falls were this year. I guess the current was stronger on Little River because it "moved" me to fall in one spot. Got down my shirt wet, but nothing else.

But when I bought my new Corkers I wasn't used to the stupid lack of felt across the whole bottom. I stepped on a sloping rock, which normally my other wading boots would have gripped, but the rubber bottom edge slid my ankle down HARD! I still grumple about the corkers.

Even duck hunting all winter I rarely fall, thanks to patience, and a good walking stick!

09-28-2008, 04:26 PM
Seems like with all our different experiences fishing, falls is one thing we all have in common. I've bruised or cracked ribs a couple of times and had a really good kidney punch falling on a rock.

But my worst was fishing on the West Prong of Little River a number of years ago in the fall. There was a rock shelf at about a 45 degree angle going down to the water. It was covered with wet leaves and I was trying to navigate across the face of it to get to a pool. When my feet started sliding, I reached for a small tree just above my right shoulder and felt/heard some awful crunching noises in my shoulder as I fell. I could barely reach my arm up above waist level but kept fishing for about 45 minutes. I was spin fishing at the time and could throw a rooster tail out with my ultra light rod with a wrist flick. Grabbed a tree again after I finally decided that enough was enough and was headed out. Once again that crunching. Ouch!

When I had it checked out with my orthopedist, turns out it was just short of a rotator cuff tear. Took quite a few weeks and a good bit of rehab to get that shoulder working again.

When I think about the potential hazards encountered (and I try not to do that too much) of fishing in the park, it's a wonder we don't get hurt more often and worse than we do. Guess God looks after children, fools and solitary fly fisherpersons (guess those last too may be redundant).

09-28-2008, 07:40 PM
I didn't do it while fishing - God knows I easily could have - but 3 weeks ago I took a fall that put an end to any fall fishing, and maybe some wnter fishing too. Pete C. volunteered to give me a hand when I feel up to attempting to wade again. I'll give you a call Pete, when I am given the green light by the orthos.


09-28-2008, 07:48 PM
That looks like it is/was VERY painful! Hope your healing is going well!

09-28-2008, 08:12 PM
Ouch!!!! With that many screws you going to be setting off every metal detector around. :D