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On the Mend

by: David Coulson 11/28/2012

It has been too long since I last blogged.  No real excuse other than crutches have a way of slow a person down.

This story began a couple weeks back when Cody and I decided that Monday of Veteranís Day weekend would be a good day to fish the Dream Stream as it was slated to be the warmest day of the weekend, and fishing traffic should be light. 

I was correct on the second point.  Arriving a bit before eight that morning I was surprised to see the parking lot empty.  That lasted about ten minutes.  Before we could get our waders on four other rigs pulled into the lot. 

We headed downstream about half way to Elevenmile and started fishing back toward the car looking primarily for kokanee.  We hadnít worked through many runs when I stumbled while watching the water rather than where I was walking.  Jerking back my right foot slipped out from under me.  At the same time my left foot jammed solid into a small depression. I went down hard, twisting may ankle badly.  With Codyís assistance I managed to get upright and found I could stand on it and even walk.  More of a painful shuffle, but at least I was mobile.  And I figured if I could walk, nothing was broken.

Over the next few hours we slowly fished our way back to the car.  Fishing was decent for rainbows and an occasional kokanee. It was a nice day, and by midafternoon guides icing up ceased to be an issue.  But that wasnít true for my ankle and leg, both of which were starting to become intolerably painful.  So we cut things short and I limped back to the car.

As I undressed, we discovered that the soul on my left wading boot was torn free, and was only attached by the last couple inches of the toe.  I obviously went down hard.  So I decided that a trip to the emergency room would be in order once we got back to town. That turned out to be a good decision. The x-ray showed my ankle was badly damaged and that I had also broken my fibula.  They splinted my leg and suggested a visit to an orthopedic surgeon the next day.

The surgeon said I  was a candidate for surgery, but because everything was correctly aligned that I could opt to wear a boot and use crutches for a couple weeks and if after that time everything stayed stable I would be able to avoid surgery.  I gambled, and as of my appointment this week, no surgery.  Good choice.

However, Iíve still got another four weeks in a boot and crutches.  If the X-ray is good after that Iíll be able to transition to normal footwear, including waders.  Just in time for the main part of the ice fishing season 2013.

Despite a broken wing, I did manage to wet a line at Pearl Reservoir over Thanksgiving weekend.  Close parking and a concrete boat ramp were just what I needed to hobble to the waterís edge.  I even managed a couple of cutthroats, although I will be the first to admit that balancing on crutches while fishing is mildly challenging. 

Guess Iíll be tying more flies over the next few weeks, although I may try to get out when I can.  Anyone got a rod holder that fits on a crutch?

Cody with a Pearl Grayling
One of my cutthroats from Pearl
Blog content © David Coulson
Member comments
JKaboom, CO   11/28/2012 11:58:32 PM
Dang Dave, that is a real bummer to say the least. I wish you the best and most speedy recovery possible. Bet that Bud can get you setup with your rod holder...
Tiny Stevens, CO   11/30/2012 12:39:47 AM
Sorry to hear of your misfortune Dave! Glad to hear that you are recovering ok. J is right.... Bud (Antique OG) could definetely make you a rod holder for your crutch ( as well as your OG walker! LOL) Just kidding!!!! Tiny
Tbubb, CO   11/30/2012 10:02:29 AM
Dave, I broke a fibula once and had a similar experience. I slipped on ice and went down with one foot in front and one behind, which I ended up sitting on with the toe turned outwards. I and my climbing partner both heard the "snap". It hurt pretty bad, but I got up and was shocked to find I could walk. I stepped onto it gingerly at first and then harder, and then eventually agressively stomped the leg down before deciding to hike out of where I was without help. We figured it must have been a "pop" not a "snap." It got worse with time and eventually I went to the doc about the "sprain" that just would not heal and hurt when I turned the leg. That's when I learned that the tibia, not the fibula bears all of the weight - the Fibula is there to help manipulate the twisting and turning of the foot... Mine also healed quite completely. The doc said I didn't need a boot or cast because by the time I saw him, it was already 1/2 mended. Best of luck, heal well, and may you have an equally desirable outcome!
IceFishingFool, CO   11/30/2012 11:03:48 PM
Thanks for the faith guys, but I think Dave just needs to be tied to his fly tying chair. Dont rush it Dave, let it heal properly Now if we still had a lot of open water, I would be suggesting a floating platform with a dolphin rocking chair ( give you extra thrust ) for casting your line, with the platform being towed around behind Walleyeone,s boat, at a safe distance of course. .-)
FISHRANGLER, CO   12/1/2012 6:42:05 AM
Don't overlook the possibility of a chair, shore rod holder and some Power bait. Someone please get a picture of that if it happens. Get well soon.
Dan Swanson, CO   12/1/2012 11:47:15 AM
I feel your pain Dave. After 3 months of having a cast on my my left arm I got it off last week.
David Coulson
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