So, after a day of cruising around Bull Shoals reservoir on a large (and expensive to rent) party barge (they didn’t rent anything smaller) The Cosmic son and I decided to do some sight-seeing and river fishing around the upper middle part of Arkansas. We started in Mountain Home where we went over the Bull Shoals dam and stopped at a couple of river parks with public fishing access. Unfortunately we didn’t catch anything. So we headed down to the Ozark national forest for a short hike through the fall foliage. After driving down a long and winding dirt road in the hopes of finding a creek or pond away from the normal beaten path (where we ran across a large box turtle trying to cross the road), we decided to head back towards Mountain home.

On the way back we came across a resort that had a sign saying they rented johnboats, so we stopped to see if we could rent one. It was too late to rent according to the lady there… So instead we stopped at a public access place across the bridge from the resort and decided to do some casting from the bank.

There was a boat launch there, with dirt and then gravel providing direct access to the river, and then further away from the boat launch the river was lined with large boulders randomly tossed around on the shore.

Unwilling to fish right off the boat launch, I decided (of course) to go boulder hopping to get to lesser fished water. This proved to be a poor decision. Not nearly as poor as the unthinking casual continuation of wearing my droid smart phone.

At first everything was fine, I nimbly (for a semi-centenarian) hopped from boulder to boulder and worked my way up and down the river bank. Then, on a large boulder about two feet above the water line, I took a casual step up to a higher boulder…. and then I had the strangest sensation, I think it’s called “off-balance” or something like that. Not something I’m familiar with, really. I’m the guy who has gone hiking for 30 years without once tripping and falling. I’m abnormally careful about this sort of thing. Mostly because I am deathly afraid of falling.

So, when the strange sensation of “wrongness” first hit, the shock of being unbalanced while standing on a boulder two feet above a cold river was so unusual that it took a split second for me to recognize the likely consequences. At which time I desperately cast about for something to grab. There was nothing to grab. But the instant spent looking for something to grab further unbalanced me such that I was now rapidly acquiring a horizontal attitude while simultaneoulsly losing vertical altitude….

I hit the water completely laid out horizontally and immediately went fully under water, losing my eyeglasses without even realizing it. Within seconds I was clamboring out of the water back onto the boulders.

At that instant, the Cosmic Son yelled out “I’ve got a big fish!” and sure enough, he did. So I quickly pulled my phone off my belt, shook as much water off it as I could, and went to help him with a very nice 18″ rainbow trout. Very nice trout. Of course I was soaking wet and covered in river grime, but that was the best, biggest fish of the trip, so all worth it.

So I then ran back to my phone and took it to the car where I took it apart and dried it off as much as I could. It seemed to be working still, so I breathed a sigh of relief and decided that I needed to dry off as much as I could, so I went back to casting.

After about ten minutes I noticed that things weren’t quite as clear as they should be, which is when I realized I no longer was wearing glasses.

Five minutes of dragging my treble hook through the river silt where I fell in, and I managed to retrieve my submerged glasses. Whew! At that moment I was feeling pretty good.

Until I got back to the car and found that my phone was no longer working.

It turns out you can buy a new cell phone if you don’t have insurance for the one you went swimming with…