Body Betrayed | Body Disabled

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Trout Fishing and a Gouged Leg

While I enjoy fishing of any type, trout fishing may be my favorite. It is relaxing and
peaceful to walk in mountain streams, observing the scenery, listening to the sounds of nature, and catching fish.

Over the years, I have fished in many North Georgia trout streams. Since we moved to Ringgold, my trout fishing has been limited to two basic areas: Tiger Creek in Catoosa County, and Holly Creek in the Cohutta Wilderness Area of Northwest Georgia.

Holly Creek is a beautiful, isolated mountain stream that is well stocked and well fished. It is classic in its appearance of rocks, fast moving water, and mountain laurel. There is abundant fishing area to try one's luck. But, since it is more mountainous and the stream is slippery, I do not like to fish there alone. Since I fish alone most of the time, I seldom go to Holly Creek.

Tiger Creek is less than fifteen minutes from my house. It is classified as a year-round trout stream and is stocked twice-a-month during the spring and summer. The bridge on Keith Road over Tiger Creek is where the trout are stocked. Most trout go down stream about forty yards to a large, old-fashioned swimming hole--complete with rope swing. A few trout go upstream to assorted pockets of slow water around rocks and other stickups. Very few trout remain in the fast, rocky water under the bridge.

A lot of regulars fish Tiger Creek. Many of them are already on the bank, fishing by the time I arrive--usually 7:30 AM on Fridays. This morning was the same; my favorite spot was already taken. I had brought along a fly rod to experiment (play) with that day. I was standing on the bank working the fast water under the upstream side of the bridge with my short fly casts. As I turned to walk a little further upstream, my right shin crashed into an old bridge support that stuck up about eighteen inches out of the ground at the edge of the creek.

The old bridge support gouged a large gash in my leg. I was bleeding a lot. I wrapped a towel around my leg and decided to quit fishing. When I got back to the car, I applied some hand sanitizer to the wound, wrapped a towel around my leg to keep the blood under control, and headed home.

My leg did not hurt that much. At home, I washed it out with soap and water, drenched it with hydrogen-peroxide, and opted not to go for stitches--I can tough it out! I did decide to get a tetanus shot later that morning because the creek ran through a cow pasture, and the old bridge support was often under water.

Things go down hill from this point forward quickly!

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