Spend enough time on the water, and you’re gonna see some interesting stuff!
From the amazingly cool to the hilarious to totally the bizarre, I’ve seen it all. This time around, let’s take a look at some of the creepier stuff I’ve encountered while out on the creek.
A few years ago, I was rowing my drift boat down a riffle in the American River near Sacramento, CA when I spotted a very odd skull (above and below pix) in about a foot of water.
The current was just fast enough to keep me from rowing back up to it, but I was able to snap a quick pic as we drifted by…
As you can imagine, I stared at this photo for a long time that evening and couldn’t figure out what the heck I was looking at.
The next day, I drifted the same stretch and made a point of getting the anchor down early enough so that I could stop the boat in time to scoop the skull with my net.
It was the craziest looking thing…horns and huge fangs. We were perplexed as to the origin until I flipped it over and saw this on the bottom:
“Made in China.”
My clients and I got a good laugh out of that one — and had even more fun showing it to other boats that we passed that day.
One Early November, a buddy and I were hiking the West Fork Carson River, chasing late season trout. The terrain was pretty steep and we were having to do some serious booney-crashing to get to the next hole.
To keep from stumbling over the rocks and brush, I spent most of my time looking down at my feet and, at one point looked up just in time to come face to face with this…
Let’s just say I may or may not have made a sound similar to that of a 12-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert…
Halloween gag…or way to scare people away from the best fishing hole…or???? Who knows…but I can tell ya it took about 20 minutes for my heart rate to come back down to normal…and about the same time for my fishing pal to stop laughing.
I had a boat load of clients boonedoggin’ roe for king salmon on the Sacramento River several years back when one of the guys reeled this up…
You can see our hook and glob of eggs on the right side of the “meat.” There was no way I was gonna touch the thing, so I cut the line and let it go…but not before snapping the pic.
As you can imagine, this unusual catch led to lots of speculation the rest of the day. Who or what was it? Who chucked in to the river and why? And perhaps most creepy, why was the bone sawed off?
I’m sure there’s a perfectly logical answer to all of these questions…right? Right?
I launched my boat on a gravel bar on a remote river one morning and then, in the afternoon, came back to find this creepy-ass doll head and some unidentifiable fluids under my truck…
Im not a big fan of weird stuff like clowns and dolls and this one looked particularly evil. How it got there or why remains a mystery.
Nobody messed with my truck and there were no signs of other weirdness…just a creepy baby’s head and some odd fluids where there hadn’t been before. Hmmmmm….
As my buddy Reilly and I walked down a small creek deep in the in the Alaskan bush, casting for silver salmon, we noticed this humpy carcass on the bank…it was notable because it wasn’t a pink salmon year (they run every other year).
About 5 minutes later, we reached an impassible section of the creek and turned around and headed back upstream. The humpy was still there…only this time he was sporting grizzly bear bites — and was missing his very tasty brain.
Apparently, we just missed crossing paths with Mr. Brown…who may have thought a couple of slow two-footed critters may have been a breed meal.
ABANDONED FISH CAMP
In remote Southwest Alaska, there’s an old abandoned fishing camp that’s largely intact.
The structures are all still there and there are still half-empty cans of soda and unwashed dishes on the tables.
While it looks as if the camp’s visitors were suddenly overtaken by a zombie apocalypse…it was really a lease issue between the lodge owner and the land owner that couldn’t be resolved that resulted in the facility being abandoned.
It’s a really eerie place to visit…especially if you don’t know the whole story!
Speaking of zombies, take a look at my finger here. This is what happens when a little line cut (you can see the vertical slit running horizontally in the middle of all that gross purpleness) gets infected with salmon slime.
I woke up to it being very stiff and I kinda just ignored it. The next day, I had red veins running up my arm…a sure sign of “salmon poisoning,” which is really a bad infection that, if left for too long can result in loss of limbs or even life!
A bunch of antibiotics later, I was ok!
In the winter of 2017, we had record rainfall in California and because of that, I got a gig ferrying engineers out to a TV tower that was on a flooded island in the Delta.
I’d tie the boat off to the tower while the guys worked on the platform above. My job was to simply be a taxi driver — and to repel unwanted borders like snakes!
Let me clarify something: I don’t do snakes in any way — they creep me out and I stay as far away from them as I can.
So, when this guy and a few of his buddies who were displaced by the floods decided that my boat looked like a nice place to hang out, I had to take action.
It still makes my skin crawl thinking about the sight of these slithery devils trying to climb the sides of my boat. Luckily, I had a long pole onboard with which I was able to keep the serpents at bay. I was hoping for a nice relaxing day napping on the boat but the thought of snakes out there kept me wide awake!
One morning I was walking the beach, fishing for surf perch in Humboldt County when I spotted something about 40 yards off that looked like strawberry-blonde hair sticking up from the sand…
I really didn’t want to walk over and discover a body, but I decided it was the right thing to do. I got a chill as I got closer because I was certain I could see a hair braid (bottom right corner of the photo). That could only mean one thing: it was a corpse buried in the sand.
Only a few feet away, it still looked all the world like a head of hair…but I was relieved to see that it was just be a ball of twine or sea veg. Pheeeeew!