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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter #1
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 in almost still water 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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I'm a warm water wader...:) To cold and I can't make it back either. Great catches but not so great losses.
 

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Red X Angler
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Really sorry you lost your stuff. Cold can do bad things to the human body, it's nothing to mess around with. Let's just say I have some medical background. I've seen journal reports of people throwing clots in their legs from significant cold, that then lodge in their lungs and kill them. If you're cramping up like that and getting chill bumps on non-submerged body parts, you've probably already worn out your welcome in the water.

Sounds like you caught some good fish, and I love hearing about soft plastics (warms the cockles of my heart), and I am sorry you lost some gear, but I'm mainly glad you made it through without injury.
 

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Red X Angler
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not sure what the water is like, but if your going out when the water is that cold maybe you could wade up with the yak in tow.

congratulations on getting over the winter blues with such good smallies

Darrell
 

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Why not invest in some waders? And some rope and a carabiner for your gear lol.
 
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Red X Angler
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Discussion Starter #9
I've got waders....I've got rope....I've got carabiners....this was a quick wade trip. I usually tow the yak behind when I'm covering some distance but this would've been a waste of time with the yak. I didn't use waders because when I wade, I actually wade. Not like in a trout stream where it's a foot deep the entire time. Waders are handy and I use them in winter but they scare me when I'm around water that could fill them up in a split second. I'd rather deal with the cramps. Also, about losing the gear: they make it every day, i'll survive. I've lost pliers before but never a box. It's all good. I'll come across it one day and have a good laugh. Or who knows, maybe a kid has already found it and has caught several fish with it....that'd be great.
 

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Fished the New river around Draper, Virginia over the weekend. Wind was tough in the john boat. Only caught 1 bass on a tube jig. Water was 55 -57 degrees, to cold to wade Got to stay out of water less than 60 unless with insulated waders. I hope you wasn't wading alone in water that cold. As for the cramps "Mustard" works, about a ounce. Be careful on the wade, and don't forget the lifejacket. I almost forgot, a guy caught a 45 inch 32 pound Muskie trolling above our camp Saturday, pretty sure he released it.
 

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Red X Angler
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7,806 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Fished the New river around Draper, Virginia over the weekend. Wind was tough in the john boat. Only caught 1 bass on a tube jig. Water was 55 -57 degrees, to cold to wade Got to stay out of water less than 60 unless with insulated waders. I hope you wasn't wading alone in water that cold. As for the cramps "Mustard" works, about a ounce. Be careful on the wade, and don't forget the lifejacket. I almost forgot, a guy caught a 45 inch 32 pound Muskie trolling above our camp Saturday, pretty sure he released it.
Wow...I hope I'm lucky enough to find a musky one day. Was the guy smallie fishing? I was alone, almost always am when wading.
 
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