This photo is of RCL guide Jake Bishop after he got whipped with a bead hook on a recent guide trip. Jake had always wanted a face tattoo of a stinger hook so this incident worked out surprisingly okay but it does show how important it is that we prioritize safety out on the water. Here are some tips to help ensure that the only thing sore after a day on the water is the mouth of the fish.
- Always wear your sunglasses. Eye protection is no joke. Take a look at that above photo and imagine how much more serious of an issue this is if that hook hits an unprotected eye.
- Stay Hydrated. Heat exhaustion, elevation sickness, and dehydration are all very avoidable as long us you drink plenty of water.
- Wear Sunscreen. The importance of this obviously varies depending on the location but skin protection is something that needs to be taken seriously, don’t let a few clouds in the sky make you think that you are safe from UV rays.
- Debarb Your Hooks. There are very few situations where we have barbs on our hooks. Our guests will see this and say how nice it is that we are taking care of the fish. Admittedly this is just as much for us as it is for the fish..
- Communication. Always make sure someone back at home knows the location you are fishing and when you plan on returning.
- Be Situationally Aware. Floating a river in a raft? You better have a repair kit and back up oars. Are you fishing an area with large animals such as bears? Always be prepared for the worst. Know what you would do if the unthinkable were to happen. This is the best way to ensure you are prepared which in return will help you avoid these dangerous situations all together.
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