OT: Safety on the river

This is a public service announcement in my own way of doing it. I have asked for permission to use the name of the man whom had the incredible first time day with Kristopher. He’s an extremely good friend from my Rogers days. We sat beside each other in Sunday School for years. I helped teach him golf and then asked Kristopher to help teach him fly fishing. He had asked me and Louis Campbell to take him fly fishing for years, but I turned to my ace (Kristopher) for this day.

Note: US Senator John Boozman responded. He doesn’t mind being included in this story. He was the newbie on his first fly fishing story so that edit has been made.

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I have worn reading glasses since I was in high school. What ever I do outside I wear sunglasses. This is great advice for any type of outdoor activity. But something else stood out to me;
“I know several elite fly fishing guides. There is no comparison to what they do…”

As I have gotten older and have more understanding what it takes to be, not just good…but really good, at anything, is that the difference between being good and being elite is astronomical. A good golf player at the local course no matter how good they are doesn’t even play the same game as a truly pro golfer. I play disc golf and compete in tournaments as often as possible. I am a pretty good amateur, especially in my division of MA50 that competes against other 50 year olds. Even then the difference between me and the Pro 50’s is amazing. The difference between me and the elite pros is like the difference between the Wright Brothers plane at Kitty Hawk and a FA-35 fighter jet! I have gotten to where I can truly admire and appreciate greatness whether it is a great guide, player, musician, or even a cook.

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Great article Clay. I am a retired eye surgeon and have operated on several fishermen who got lures stuck in their eyes. These were bass fishermen and two of them were fishing at night so could not see their lure heading toward their face after jerking it loose from a hangup. One was a Lucky Thirteen and had two treble hooks embedded! Fortunately all of them recovered and did not lose their sight, but this should cause all fishermen to protect their eyes at all times. Especially at night.
I was taught fly fishing for trout by another excellent Arkansas guide, Duane Hada. He is also a terrific artist who creates amazing trout and trout fishing images. There are few things more enjoyable than standing in a mountain trout stream waving your magic wand as you try to outwit a creature with a brain the size of an English pea!

Doc, I’ve had several eye doctors send me private messages on Facebook in the last 24 hours since I wrote this column. They have interesting stories. Some of them sad.

Duane Hada is a friend. My wife takes art classes from Duane. I fished alongside Duane last week – by chance – on the Norfork River. He’s an elite guide.

I appreciate your feedback. I recall those Lucky 13 lures. Lots of hardware on those things.

Lucky 13 is long standing top water lure for large mouth bass. Also the jitter bug (originally made in Ft Smith, Ar by Fred Arbagost) is a dandy. When a big bass hits those or any lure and feels the hook they will come out of the water to try to spit that out. Half of the time they succeed if there is slack in the line. Good chance of yanking that lure right back at your head and face.

Fishing with lures from a boat with 2 or more people can be dangerous as well when casting, always check behind where your partners are.
I hooked a friend once right in the ear lobe and made a near perfect ear piercing. Scared the heck out of me and pretty painful for him.

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