Here is a true story…really.
Canoe float trips are a great past-time here in Missouri as we are blessed with many beautiful streams.
The creeks are beautiful, with crystal clear water, low overhanging trees and an occasional turtle or snake sunning on the many downed trees and stumps.
One summer day my dad, younger brother and I were enjoying a 12 mile float on the Upper Meramec River. We were having a delightful time just lazily floating down the river.
About five miles into the trip Dad decided he would do a little fishn’… he’d rather fish than eat.
My brother Jim and I were content to just enjoy the day but we could see that Dad needed his fishn’ fix (I heard somewhere that it is more addictive than nicotine). I know Dad was hooked.
He caught and released a few small bass and then the giant fishing lure he was casting (the kind with about fifty hooks) accidentally snagged on a low tree branch on the other side of the stream.
It was really, REALLY hooked.
My brother and I tried to slow the canoe and back it up toward the tree but the water was flowing too quickly. We did at least get the canoe stopped.
Dad started to pull on the line… and PULL!
I want to take a moment and say a word about my father…STUBBORN.
A true contrarian. I mean, if I (or anyone, really) say, “do this”, it is a given that he will NOT do it. On the other hand, if I say “don’t do this”…HE WILL DO IT… with gusto.
A mule would seem flexible and obsequious in comparison.
I should have known better and take full responsibility for what happened next.
As he pulled on the line I became fearful of the possibility that the lure would let go, sending it whizzing toward usand in my moment of fear I said…stupidly…”Dad, why don’t you just cut the line?”.
The moment the words left my mouth I knew… KNEW something bad was about to happen. Jim, my brother, gave me a look like…you’ve done it now… you know you should always tell dad the exact opposite of what you want…idiot.
Now the die was cast, Dad had to win this fight.
As he pulled harder the line became more and more like a slingshot ready to let go.
I could just feel the tension as the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.
I looked at my brother and he looked at me (with real fear in his eyes) and we both turned our backs, covered our heads and heard the most interesting sound. It was kind of like a snap and then a whistling kind-of missile sound… then…thud
Whew, what a relief! It’s over.
When we turned back around Dad was looking at us with the most quizzical look on his face. It was an odd look that was magnified by the huge red and white fishing lure dangling from his upper lip.
It was just about the most unique thing I had ever laid eyes on.
It was one of those moments when laughing would seem disrespectful but…dang.
My very first thought was “why didn’t we bring a camera?”. Then, the magnitude of the situation sank in.
We still have 7 miles to go and Dad has a FISHING LURE attached to his face…please God… don’t let any friends happen by…PLEASE!
Dad had other concerns like getting the lure off without damage to it… it was his “lucky” lure.
Well, sadly he lost the “lucky” lure because the hook barbs would not come out and we didn’t think it a good idea to just cut them out. Happily some nice guys happened by and snipped off the hooks with a pair of wire cutters leaving the barbs for a doctor to remove.
Dad did a little more fishn’ then decided since we still had 7 miles to go and it was getting late, we should get a movin’. We paddled like crazy and got out at about 7:00pm.
We were too late for a doctor so we poured iodine on the wounds and stuck on a large band-aid.
The next day our family doctor fixed him right up…with a little ribbing thrown in for free.
The float was wonderful exercise and Dad caught about a hundred and ninety-five pounder.
His largest ever!
All in all it was a very good day.
Much better than that time fishing during the tornado.