That sinking feeling when you know you’ve caused some carnage, now just imagine you’ve hooked someone else on your backcast and to top it off, it was someone you’d just met and you’ve hooked them in the face. That’s what I encountered on the weekend, about 5 minutes after landing my first fish on fly and my elation quickly turned to horror.
Fortunately for me Gina Cleaver is an absolute champ and saw not only the lighter side of the situation but also the rational side of it. On our trip to Huskisson’s ambulance station, I felt the burden of responsibility but was buoyed by the rational words of the ambo, “you’re either an angler that has been hooked or an angler that WILL be hooked”, luckily Gina heard those words too.
Gina’s extra piercing was firmly set in her chin, there was no gently easing it out and the use of force was going to be necessary. Fortunately for Gina, she did have others around her with the experience to help make the decision to go see the Ambo’s rather than tackle the problem ourselves.
My first experience of getting hooked was on a size 14 Decoy YS-25, jammed in under my finger nail, right near the fingernail bed. Fortunately for me, it was me who got it in there, unfortunately for me, it had to be me who would have to get it out. I was alone, in the rain, in the middle of nowhere.
I tried a couple of methods, the “gently, gently” approach, the “fishing line” method but finally got the treble out by actually cutting the skin around it. Either my low pain threshold or my lack of strength meant that the “fishing line” and “gently, gently” method were out. Funnily enough, cutting the hook point out was a less painful, more effective method.
For Gina, once the hook was pulled out, we were back to the fishing and still landing fish. What was obvious to me was the method of removing the hook from Gina but the challenge was having the confidence to do so. Considering the hook had been lodged in a very delicate area, we felt it best to use the professionals.
Sometimes accessing professional help isn’t always possible but considering the risk in getting it wrong, was another reason I’m glad that Gina opted for the Ambulance Station. What we have learnt from this situation is: