“Tight Lines!”

Maryland’s North Branch of the Potomac River is a wild and wooly trout stream. My friend Keith and I went out for a day of great trout fishing. The river’s access point is called “Lost Land Run”, and on this day it was almost true.

Keith prides himself on handcrafted rods, flies and gear. His hand crafted wading staff was truly a masterpiece. He would attach it to his wader belt with a stout strap.


To protect the staff tip from damage, he attached a brass 45 cal. shell casing. This tip was glued and riveted for a strong and perfect fit.

“The fishing is always better on the other side of the river”. Keith decided to make the crossing despite the high water. His “Thighs of Steel” and “Sturdy Custom Wading Staff” would certainly keep him safe.

Just as he was into the heart of the current, Keith lost his footing. His wading staff was wedged between the rocks and he was off his feet and dangling in the current! The wading staff tipped with the 45 cal. shell casing has a lip around the edge and apparently hooked onto a rock.

His sturdy wading staff strap was securely attached to his wading belt. Fortunately so was his sheath knife. Keith was able to draw his knife and sever his own “wading staff umbilical”!

What amazed me was how he did this without losing his head, rod, glasses, or hat. He made it safely to shore safe and soaked.

The custom wading staff was still snagged in the river. The last time we saw it, the cut “umbilical” was waving farewell in the current.

So much for “Tight Lines”!

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