With no recent fish tales to share, thought I'd relate a somewhat humorous experience from last summer. I have a feeling that a lot of other folks have entertaining stories to pass along as well.
The silvers were running in Ship Creek last July, so I decided to try my luck after work one evening. I started near the boat ramp and worked my way upstream until I noticed a large pod of fish congregated below the vehicle bridge.
A lone, older gentleman was seated on the bank and still fishing with roe nearby. I asked whether he would mind me making a few casts nearby and he welcomed the company. The fish weren't cooperating, but we enjoyed a nice chat for about 20 minutes.
During this period, the man explained that he had just undergone neck surgery and was released from the hospital only the day before. This was obviously the case since he wore a neck brace.
Despite the pain associated with procedure, the fellow insisted on going fishing and got his son drop him off for a few hours. He said the doctors had prescribed some medication to assist with the recovery.
As we conversed, I was surprised and concerned to see a guy in his condition consuming the better part of a six-pack of beer. His speech was clearly slurred.
Suddenly, the gent staggered to his feet and reeled in his line. Then he arched back to make a cast, but lost his balance and cartwheeled into the river. He floundered around in the muddy water and was unable to climb up the slippery bank.
I bolted over to help by extending an arm to pull him out. When he gripped my hand, he cracked a smile and said, "Hi, I'm Bill. **** glad to meet you." I couldn't avoid a slight chuckle before tugging him to safety.
Once back on shore, the old boy told me that the same thing had happened the previous day! He proudly held up a gym bag filled with an extra supply of dry clothes and stated that he had come prepared this time.
About then, the man checked the water-logged cell phone in his shirt pocket and discovered that it was dead. He grew concerned because the plan was to call his son when he was ready to be picked up. The fellow asked whether I had a phone he could use to make a call, but I didn't have it with me. Fortunately, we were able to locate another good samaritan across the river who was willing to comply.
After making sure that the gentleman had changed into dry clothes and established contact with his son, I was ready to continue my search for the hot bite and get back to fishing. Sure made a lasting impression though.
For many folks, I suppose it could be considered just another interesting adventure on Ship Creek...