Waters & words : a celebration of flyfishing

Posts tagged “falling in the river

Off with the glove

I am not sure how your glove can fall off in an accident. But I have witnessed it happen.

The river was up, you see, and some cross like spring chickens, and others don’t, because….well because they aren’t.  Every time we get together in a group, George expresses his surprise to Tony, that he is still with us. Tony, being the good sport that he is, takes it in his stride.

Knowing this about Tony, when he fell in the river,  exercising his right to do so (as a non-spring-chicken), I though it best to just take photos for George.

There you go George:

falling in (1 of 1)

But here’s the thing. Tony can’t have been at any risk of dire harm, because he was able to alert me, from his spot right there in the middle of the Bushmans, on Thandabantu beat, that his glove had fallen off. Being nimble of mind, I didn’t stop to question how a glove falls off, I just set off downstream to track it and retrieve it for my old buddy.

The glove made it to pumphouse pool. There, I stripped line off my reel and set about some narrow loop accuracy casting. I hadn’t noticed my audience from above…high above, on the cliff opposite. They were a band of small boys, down at the river to catch some dinner, when they witnessed this weird spectacle of gloves falling off, and one crazy Mlungu trying to cast a gold ribbed Hares Ear at it in the pool.

Sensing that this task was way beyond me, they took pity and offered to try with their tackle from their side of the river. Now, accepting help from spin fishermen on a trout river is a real mind bender for a holier-than-thou fly addict like me; but again being nimble minded…

So they cast from their side, and I cast from mine. Time was not on our side. The glove, which was displaying its neutral density by sinking and then swirling to the surface again, was getting ever closer to the tail-out of the pool, and a considerable length of white water below, in which we would have been unlikely to retrieve it. The boys had sensed this too, and set about this important task with impressive gusto.

Now I know that fisherman’s stories are hard to believe, but this is what happened: The boys and I hooked the glove at the same time. I could tell you that I struck first, or that I hooked the glove and they hooked my line, but being the honest fisherman I am, I have to tell you that it was absolutely simultaneous!    As we both declared a hook-up, in the way that fishermen instinctively do, we briefly made eye contact. In that split second, we each started with a notion that we would wrestle the glove to our side of the river, but age quickly (and thankfully) won the day, and the fellow paid out line while I retrieved.

So there you have it. Tony was a bit wet, and if he had an ego it would have been dented, but he got his glove back.

Tony. I still want to know….how does a glove just “fall off”? 

TONY?……..are you still with us?

Being as nimble minded as I am (did I mention that?), I have come out with this story while we are in lockdown, figuring that Tony’s sense of humour will have returned, and that neither Tony nor George can get at me.