Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Finally... My First Solo Fishing Adventure Since My Knee Replacement (08/22/12)

Hello Folks,

Although I didn't get out on the water early, I did get out to fish today. I had a knee replacement surgeon's appointment this morning and had to take Julie to the eye doctor's office for two eye tests before heading home and eating lunch.

Dr. Tymon explained that even arthroscopic surgery to remove the adhesions holding my new knee straight could possibly cause even more scar tissue. I was curious about this and asked Dr. Tymon about it today.  I was completely satisfied with his response.

We also talked about my upcoming meeting with Dr. Tuckman who was referred by Dr. Tymon. Dr. Tuckman is an ankle and foot specialist. Dr. Tymon told us that he spoke to Dr. Tuckman specifically about my knee issues. He explained to us that Dr. Tuckman has found success by freeing calf muscles and tendons behind the knee and freeing the join to straighten. My appointment with Dr. Tuckman is on October 11, 2012. Check back on the blog and see what Dr. Tuckman recommends.

This coming Friday I will be seeing Dr. Smith, a foot specialist who helped me with my inserts a year ago. Dr. Smith recently saw my wife to reorder her inserts and do a diabetic foot check-up. While at her visit, Julie spoke to him regarding my ankle and calf pain related to my knee issues. Dr. Smith asked to see me once again. We'll see if he has any tricks up his sleeve to help me until I see Dr. Tuckman.

So, after lunch, I came home and checked the weather radar. All seemed quite in the general vicinity. I decided to hook up the G3 and take it to Lake Aldred for my "first solo trip" since knee replacement surgery last July 2011.

I hooked up the rig and with the help of Julie, prepared a lunch with drinks for the afternoon and evening.

I got to the ramp around 1:45 pm and launched the boat using a rope. This is my normal method while alone and everything went well.

I headed over to the York County side of the river and tossed a spinnerbait in and among some submerged stumps and rocks when... Boom! What was that!? I looked over my shoulder and towards the northwest. What!?  Thunderheads were forming and a storm was approaching from upriver... Dang!

I was in the process of tying on a deeper diving crankbait and a larger bladed spinnerbait when this all took place. I grabbed my phone and checked my Weather Bug application and sure enough, there were two distinct storm cells heading in my direction.

I made the decision to head back to the ramp and wait out the storms. There were only a few other boats on the river that had launched from the same ramp, so I knew it wouldn't be a mad rush to get boats on trailers.

I tied up at the courtesy ramp and put my tackle bag into the truck so it wouldn't get wet while I waited. After a 20 minute wait, the two storm cells appeared to be stalled, but still moving in my direction. I called home and spoke to my son who encouraged me to "just load up" before the storms hit.

So, I agreed and jumped into the truck and backed it the trailer down the ramp. I untied the boat from the dock cleats and started to do the procedure I was most worried about... Loading the trailer and getting out of the rig on my own.

Once I ran the jet rig onto the trailer, I turned the motor off, jumped up onto the bow and unplug my trolling motor for safety. I then laid down on the front deck and grabbed the wench strap to hooked it onto the boat. I checked where my boat and trailer were situated on the ramp and slowly stepped over the side and onto the wheel well of the trailer. Holding onto the boat, I slowly stepped down and into the ankle deep water. I safely walked up the ramp by holding onto the boat... Yeah, I did it!

I crank the boat up as far as I could and placed the safety chain on the huge eyelet... I felt so good that I did it for the first time since my knee replacement. :)

Once in the truck, I pulled the boat and trailer out of the water and drove up the parking lot hill. At the top, I turned and faced the boat downhill. This allowed me to use gravity to tighten the wench fully down for towing. I then completed my tie down procedure for towing and was off and heading for home beating the storms!

I had the pleasure to talking with a retired gentleman who was preparing to launch his fishing kayak. I showed him the weather application I had for my phone. He liked what I showed him and said that he needed to add a weather application for his yak fishing adventures.

I also met a young family who were taking their last trip with the kids before their son headed back to school on Monday. Dad had taken the day off to get on the river with them. Too bad the weather turned on them and the storms came up because they had to call it a day a bit earlier than expected.

Their two children were cute. The son was heading into third grade and their daughter was a year away from kindergarten. She came over to me while I was speaking with her brother and said, "I'll be in kindergarten NEXT year!" I asked her if she was five years old and she said, "YEP!" :)  No wonder I always enjoyed my career as a school counselor. Kids can be a real pleasure.

I believe I lasted a whole 29 minutes on the river today before Mother Nature pushed me into making a decision to head back to the ramp. I thought it best to listen to reason knowing that it was my first solo fishing adventure since last July. I'd rather be safe than sorry... and as I always advise...

Take Care and Be Safe!