Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by mpirak, Feb 22, 2012.
I always review this video the night before any trip to Rocky Ford:
Seems to work.
Rattlers can only strike something at about half of their body length. For example, a 24" snake could only bite you at a distance of 12". I keep reminding myself of this as I walk through snake country and it helps keep me from getting overly concerned. Whenever I hear that buzz, I stop, locate the bastard, and go around.
Two fly fishermen were trekkin through some high grass when they stopped for a break. As one was having a piddle behind a rock, a rattlesnake shot out from nowhere and promptly bit him right on the tip of his member.
Reeling from the shock and pain, he called his buddy. His buddy told him to just lie still and he would race back to the town they just passed, locate a doctor and find out what to do.
In a flash the buddy was off and very quickly he found a doctor. After hearing the predicament, the doctor instructed...
"You must work quickly, time is of the essence if your friend is to live. You must take a sharp knife, make a very small incision at the bite area and suck the poison out. Place your mouth over the wound and gently suck, then spit, suck, then spit. Do this for at least 15 minutes. Now hurry back."
The buddy rode back to his friend, who by this time was barely conscious. He asked weakly "Well, what did the doctor say?"
His buddy replied... "The doctor said you're going to die."
Here's some alternatives.
1. Find a stick and poke at it. It will hiss and such, and eventually slither off.
2. Leave it alone and walk around it. It'll forget about you before you forget about it.
3. Throw a lawyer on it. Leave before they figure out how to split the fee.
4. Throw poop on it. If you're wondering where you'll find poop, it's right behind you.
My favorite: take a picture of it. You're out in the big wide world. You'll have a rememberance when you're stuck in the asphalt jungle later.
Three of us were leaning against a tree discussing the mornings fishing on the Klickitat. A fourth guy walks up and says: Hey, did you guys know there is a rattler right over your heads? Sure as hell the snake was sleeping in the bough of the tree just above our heads and I mean about a foot away! Man, what a rush to get away from there. Fortunately there doesn't appear to be any up here in northern Pend Oreille County. But I was really puckered up on the San Poil last year. Carry a walking stick, make noise and pound the ground with it. They are hard as hell to see in the brush so watch your steps carefully.
I saw plenty of rattlesnakes hunting this last deer season (Tonasket area). Most were pretty good at letting you know they were there. I just walked around them and made darn sure I was scoping out the rocks and stuff I was scrambling around on. Or you can get yourself a Taurus Judge.
If you just want permanent peace of mind, wear these over your waders, or in hot weather, over a pair of nylon hiking pants (you can wet wade in them): http://www.cabelas.com/product/Clot...Rprd725400&WTz_l=SBC;BRprd725400;cat103951980
They're comfortable, flexible and light. I started using them in the desert due to snake paranoia. I now wear them mostly for spiny brush protection when wet wading. In any case, they serve a dual purpose quite nicely.
I never saw that picture, but several years ago my wife and I were driving on the paved road along the Missouri River at Wolf Creek headed for Holter Dam (which as you know isn't far from Helena) when I drove over the biggest rattler I'd ever seen. It stretched across almost the entire length of the road, and after I drove over it with all four tires of my pickup truck I looked in the rearview mirror and it just continued crawling on across the road, heading in the direction of the river.
May have to start something new called the Rocky Ford Rattlesnake dance. It goes..... you put your right foot in....
A rattlesnake would never mess with a lawyer; professional courtesy (and before all of you legal eagles out there get your panties in a knot, my brother, a retired attorney told me that one).
I spent 13 years of my life in Texas, and I have seen more rattlers in five trips to Eastern WA and Eastern OR than I saw the whole time in Texas. They're out there, for sure.
As others have said, the snake you can see is not a threat; it's the one you step on that gives you trouble. ALWAYS look in front of your feet when walking the banks of rivers East of the Cascades, especially Rocky Ford. I've been there twice and seen no less than five rattlers. Perhaps the most disturbing sight was that of a large bullsnake eating an average-sized rattler, right in the foot path.
Anyway, watch where you're going, and don't make any sudden movements if you come right up on one. They will always back down if given a reasonable chance.
Buy snake gaiters and use them, the peace of mind they give you is well worth it.
I grew up in central Texas and lived there till I was 28. I'm 57 now. I have a fair amount of experience with them. They aren't gonna chase you; they're not like a mamba or a cobra. Rattlers will do one of two things if they perceive you and think you are a danger to them: try to crawl away from you. Or curl up in a coil, which is a defensive position for them to strike from.
If you come across one, just walk around them, giving them several feet of room. Or use a long stick to move them off the trail. They can only strike half their length. Their strike is lightning fast, but when they are stretched out and crawling, they are fairly slow moving creatures. A human being moving at a fast walk is faster than a rattler crawling at full speed. Rattlers are not like prairie racers.
It is very dangerous to try and shoot them with a pistol. You are far more likely to have a bullet ricochet off a rock or hard ground and hit yourself or someone else than you are to hit the snake. I'm not kidding -- people in the rattler-infested states get hurt or killed every year this way. If you have a shotgun loaded with pheasant or quail loads, well, that of course works great. Stand 20 feet away and shoot the snake. But the easiest and safest way to kill a rattler is with 2 garden hoes or 2 long-handled shovels. Pin the rattler to ground (right behind his head) with the first hoe or shovel, and then cut off his head with the second one. It is very easy to do. Don't pick up the head. Dig a hole and bury it.
Obviously you aren't gonna be carrying garden tools when you're out hunting or fishing. So if you must kill a rattler, use the other easy and safe method: take a few good sized rocks (rocks the size of a football or large loaf of bread are perfect) and drop them on the rattler's head and body. Then leave him for the coyotes, hawks, and ants.
shoo it off the trail with your rod tip...
Go hike down into the Bear Trap canyon on the Madison in June finding a rattler shouldn't take too awfully long
P.S. Some people think humans shouldn't kill rattlers. I respect their opinion and would never denigrate them for it. However, being a native born Texan (and I'm also a pheasant & quail hunter who knows how many hunting dogs get bit), you can probably guess how I feel about rattlers.
The only scare I had was at Dry Falls when one slithered out from the cattails and swam right into my pontoon. It stopped and started raising up as though it might try and crawl up an over. I was still half stuck in the mud and suffice to say big pucker factor ensued. I started to reach for my net to use as something of a defense -- it turned and swam back from where it came.
Now I use my rod to poke around the reeds in those tight put-ins
Geez....I think I'm done fishing in eastern Washington now. Staying on the west side.
I grew up with rattlers. Carry a stick, not to hit the snake but to whack the grass and weeds ahead of you. They will get the heck out of the way. Watch out if you have a dog, he might not be as noisy as you.
Funny, the only rattlers I've seen at Rocky Ford were rubber ones put out along the trail by my fishing buddy. But then I've never fished there after April. They start coming out when the weather warms up.