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The River Giveth and the River Taketh Away 4/26/14

I knew the water was going to be cold. I knew the sun was out. What I didn't take into consideration is the fact that my calves would almost cramp up making me worry that I wouldn't be able to make the hike back to my truck after getting out. I was wet wading. On a lighter note I caught the first 3 smallies of the year, all on lizards. Rage Tail (junebug & green pumpkin). Gamakatsu 3/0 EWG hooks. This was a partial Carolina rig. I fished the usual haunts at first with a crank with no productivity. I found the first two hanging around logs that were partially submerged and the other at the bottom of a small rapid. Biggest was around 14" give or take. I've got to say that I like the plastics for smallies. I usually am a crank and spinnerbait guy in the river but I love the plastics in the smaller flows.

Shortly after releasing the first fish I notice my floating pliers had floated from my pocket. They were the Rapala ones with the foam handles. I was a little disheartened but nothing major....yet. I caught the second fish and moved on upriver trying to tough my way through the cramps that were forming in my left calve. I started getting chill bumps on my forearms. Upon reaching some water that was well above my belly button I thought to myself: this is it, I'm heading to the truck. I made a couple casts upriver and BAM. Third fish on. Landed it and released it. I turn around to head for the bank. Now the front muscle adjacent to my shin bone was cramping and I almost couldn't operate my foot naturally. I look down when I was several yards from the bank and notice my entire Plano gear box has disappeared from my cargo pocket. This made me angry. At least 8 cranks, 3 spinnerbaits and a multitude of plastics, jigs and hooks now lay hidden on the river's bottom. I tried shuffling my feet around to locate it but then realized I had to leave.

Hiked a few hundred yards uphill back to the truck. Painful. I had developed a headache quickly during the hike. I was walking like a zombie. And on top of the cramps I had wet wading boots on. I performed some calve stretches and eventually made my way home. I would've loved to have pictures but I don't get my new phone til Friday. First bronze of the year! Interesting way to start the river wading for 2014.

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