I remember when I was just starting to fish… my Dad introduced me to the ritual of kissing a fish for good luck when you threw it back. I’ve done that often on over the years joking around, but now I realize how lucky I have been.
Dan Neuland wrote a great article in the Frederick News Post (click here) on the dangers of waterborne infections.
The bottom line is that our local rivers are not pristine mountain streams that have just emerged from the small spring. Instead, they are full of wildlife doing all sorts of things that wildlife normally does — to include dying and decaying; creating a ripe, welcoming receptacle to grow bacteria. Now… it’s not a cesspool, but there really is no such thing as clean dirt.
Dan quotes a horror story in the article about an individual who had a small cut from a hook become infected and eventually caused him blood poisoning that, even when cured, demanded extensive physical therapy to recover. I remember hearing another anecdotal story last year about some poor soul who got the flesh eating disease from wading in the Rappahannock with an open sore. Not sure if that’s true or not, but it is certainly scary.
The point to this is that we all need to exercise care in what may appear to be a “pure” environment but is actually… well… nature. Keep cuts clean, don’t wet wade with an open cut, wash up with soap and water… you know the drill… your Mom trained you well.
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Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore