While in summer school at U of Fla in late 60s a buddy and I were wading one of the sandy bottom lakes near campus for largemouth bass one afternoon...a Volkswagen minibus pulled up to the lake and about ten minutes later the side door opened up and through a cloud of pot smoke came two naked coeds and a long haired guy running to the lake to go skinny dipping....those were magical times.
The strangest 2 things I have seen fishing happened on alternate coasts.
The first was when I was very young, fishing in the Sierra Nevada mountains with my father. The river was really high and strong in a particular spot, and so my dad had put me on his shoulders to carry me across. A mink swam right between his legs.
The second happened to me this year in the salt marsh in South Carolina. I had walked out onto a shortgrass flat, early to beat the tide. I had gotten there probably 45 minutes before there was enough water for the fish to be coming in. As I was walking out, I saw several racoons doing the same thing in front of me. Occassionally one would look back, see me and head in another direction. I got to the spot where I was going to wait, and looked back to see a racoon heading for straight for me about 100 yards behind me coming out of the trees. This racoon had not seen me yet, so I just stood there and watched him to see when he would finally notice me. He finally noticed me when he got about 40-50 yards away. I watched him stop, go up on his hind legs and stare at me. I then waited for him to move off. Instead of moving off he started to charge me. I was dumbfounded at first, then figured he just didn't see me very well. Anyway I stood up straight, waived my hands in the air and yelled. Instead of stopping or going away it just came faster. I ended up running toward the incoming tide as fast as I could with this big growling coon hot on my trail. I was slapping at the coon with my fly rod. It finally stopped chasing me, and wonder upon wonders I didn't break my fly rod, although I did have to clean the mud out of the last 4 eyes in the rod. That coon really gave me a scare, and I was breathing hard. It ended up getting into some higher grass about 60 yards away and watching me. I could just see his dark mask through the grass. I moved in the other direction. The water soon came in and I ended up catching two tailing reds. That coon watched me for at least an hour from that grass, and I stayed well away. Towards the end of the tide I watched what I think was that same coon, lead 3 baby coons from the water into the trees. I must have somehow ended up between the mama coon and her 3 babies that were already out in the grass in front of me. During the event all I could think about was that maybe the coon was rabid. I carried a .45 pistol with me the next three times to that spot, but never again had an issue, thankfully.
Now that's funny John! I have one, here in the Va Piedmont a bear is occasionally spotted but its rare. About 3years ago I was on 50000 acre buggs island lake and thought I spotted a deer headed toward my boat. Turns out it was bear, a big one, swimming across the channel in about 75 ft deep water!
<(((>< In tribute to Ben, Duck Hunter extraordinaire, and man's best friend.
I have a couple memorable events:
I was fishing a hole in a local creek and had a bird come flying from upstream of me, headed downstream towards me, and when it flew by me it dropped a fish in the hole I was fishing!! I didn't catch anything in that hole but I can't say it was because no fish were in it!
Fishing a run one day and got to this spot where there were some roots on the bank right above a likely looking spot for a trout. The cast had to be a good one and I threw it a little long and my fly landed on the root and I paused for a moment. Before I could do anything a HUGE spider jumped out from behind the root and tackled my orange palmer! Guess it was pretty disappointed with that meal.
Working my way up Cataloochee Creek one day, I noticed a BIG barred hoot owl on a limb overhanging the creek. As I fished upstream the owl became noticeably uncomfortable with me being there. He flew to another limb further upstream and held his position. Eventually I made my way up to him again and he seemed a bit anxious. All at once the owl, who was facing away from me, jumped around on the branch to face me, tucked in, and jumped off the limb flying right at me. I honestly thought I was about to have to fight this owl. This thing was big, probably boasting a four foot wingspan. When he jumped off the limb he dropped a few feet but ended up leveling off and flying right over me. I could have slapped him in the face with my rod if I wanted to. I was just thankful not to have a face full of talons.
Good thread Mr. Casada.
OK, gotta throw one more in for good measure - I think I've shared this story before but it bears repeating.
I had been fishing for about a year when I was up on Lynn Camp Prong. I came to a pool that I was certain had trout just wanting to be caught (can't wait to revisit that pool in another five years when it's full of specs). I threw a Parachute Adams up at the head of the pool and let it drift down - no action. Several more shots with the same results and some of the nicest dead drifts you could ever hope to see (after fishing for only a year).
"Okay, one more cast and I'm giving up." Wouldn't you know it, I snagged a rhodo-beast. I yanked a couple of times and broke my line. Soon as I did, the fly dropped out of the rhododendron and into the water. After drifting just a couple of feet a trout came up and took the fly and I never saw either one again.
His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.
That's a funny coincidence about the owl on Cataloochee Creek. Forgot about that one for me. Similar thing happened to me. Dropped down off the dirt road to head for the stream, came almost face to face with an owl that I clearly woke up. Big bird for certain. He gave a nasty look, then took off.
This is a great and informative thread and I thought that I would recount an incident that I saw happen on Abrams Creek a couple of years ago while guiding a Pediatrist on Abrams Creek. Most of the things that we see are sort of strange or funny, but this one was dead serious and I thought that my heart would stop for a few minutes as I watched this unfold. A young couple had apparently started down the Abrams Falls Trail and they were passing over a section that crossed over a small ridge with a very steep dropoff. I wasn't aware of anything taking place until I heard a small child scream up above me and then a blood curdling scream from a woman right after that. The small child had fallen off the trail and was hanging upside down caught in some Laurel bushes on the side of a steep cliff. It looked like it was 30-40 feet straight down to the rocks along side the creek edge. It would probably have been sure death for the child if it had come loose from the bushes and fallen all the way straight down. The Father slid down the side of the cliff and managed to get the child loose. In the picture that I took you can see that he has the child back onto solid ground and after a few minutes he received some help from other hikers and was able to get the child back up to the trail. I still get a tight spot in my throat when I think about it. He had a guardian angel looking over him that day.
Last edited by Hugh Hartsell; 12-31-2009 at 05:41 PM.
Hugh Hartsell---East Tenn.
I wasn't actually fishing,but was going to a creek bank to look for fish and came up on two guys who had just found a woman's skeleton...she was a murder victim,killed by a boyfriend.
I always thought sooner or later I would stumble up on a body or something bad happening out in the middle of nowhere......for me that was close enough,I don't want to experience it ever again.
You get several feelings when you see a sight like that,knowing that something really bad happened to the poor person is one of the first and strongest,wondering what they went through at the end....not something easily forgotten,if ever.
Jim Casada's mink story should have immediately triggered this in my brain, but it took a while. I was fishing the Caney Fork below the rest area years ago. I stopped by a big stump half on the bank and half in the water. I had been standing there still as a post for several minutes watching the water for any activity. Suddenly, something touched me lightly on the left side. I turned my head and there was a mink staring up at me. I said hello and he turned an went up the bank. Curiosity on his part I guess. Silvercreek