Trout Trip to Forget
Bob McNally 10.28.16
Tim Sampson of Atlanta had been waiting anxiously for trout season in North Carolina. He carefully picked the right remote river to fish and waited for an ideal weekend, then drove six hours to his selected spot. Shortly after daybreak he parked his car near the river, walked in to the stream, and worked into position to begin fishing. He had a new, expensive graphite fly rod and new chest-high waders, which he couldn’t wait to use.
He climbed over riverside rocks and boulders to the stream edge and studied the river to choose just the right fly. He placed his $600 fly rod on a large boulder beside the stream while he selected a fly from his trout vest. That’s when he heard the clickety-clack of rocks above him on a rock face wall beside the river.
He looked up, and saw two hat-size stones had broken loose from the stream-side cliff and were dancing down toward him. They weren’t dangerous, so he watched fascinated as the rocks skipped and bounced their way down from 100 feet above. One rock in particular hopped high as it careened downhill, smacking here and there until it pirouetted just above and to the side of Sampson, landing smack on his pencil-thin graphite fly rod, smashing it to ruin.
At the moment of impact, Sampson sensed trouble and leaped to pull his fly rod to safety. But he slipped on loose boulders and fell, cutting several large gashes in his new waders.
With no other rods, and ruined waders, Sampson left the stream and headed for his parked car, which wouldn’t start. It was three miles to the nearest town. Only two cars passed him as he walked to get help, but neither of them offered Sampson a ride. It was dark before he got a wrecker to tow his car to a service station. And it was late the next day before he started back to Atlanta.
“It was a trout trip I’ll never forget,” he laments. “It cost me a $600 rod, $100 waders, $200 to have my car fixed, and another $100 for food and a motel–and I never made one cast, let alone caught a fish.”