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Making a short story long
When I was a kid back in the early 60's I was lucky enough to spend summers in North Fork Idaho with my Uncle and Aunt, Don & Marion Smith and cousins. They ran float trips, had (have) jet boats and steelhead camps, pack animals, hunting camps and they also owned and operated the North Fork Store. Pure bliss for a kid from the city and I couldn't get enough. When I was nine I was allowed to cross highway 93 by myself and a hay field (paddock) to fish the North Fork. I always carried a fiberglass fly rod and a corked soda bottle full of live hoppers. I'd then re-cross 93 to fish the runs below the bridge and the confluence with the Main Salmon River.
Fishing a big stream by ones self at nine wouldn't fly now-a-days, probably to our children's determent, and there were the big rigs and distracted vacationers on the road to contend with. All this I was allowed to do. What I wasn't allowed to do was to wear waders or even gum boots, ever. I pestered my Uncle half a summer to let me wear a pair of hip waders that were hanging in the shop under the store. He finally had to hide them from me. Wise man... Why? Because there was every chance that I would have eventually slipped then possibly drowned because of water filled waders. It's the same today as it was then - let a pair of waders fill up on you and you're going to be in real trouble, real fast, especially in a current. Yep, it's even more dangerous than a highway full of big rigs.
Don't ever fish in waders without wearing a wading belt, and never ever let your family or friends do it either.
Wayne T Smith
President & designer
Smith Creek Limited
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