An Evening Swim

Rick Gerber | Androscoggin River, New Hampshire

It was the second week of October and I was guiding two clients for a full day drifting the river. The fishing was good and the men were good fishermen. The foliage was starting to fade, but there was plenty of color still. I fell into my “this is the best job in the world” mode and lost track of the time. When we got to the take out, it was dark. Dark in Northern New Hampshire is DARK. One guy stayed with boat, while the other guy and myself drove back to the put in for the trailer. When we got back, I started to back the trailer down to the boat but I could hardly see, so I hollered ” How’m I doin”? Someone said something I couldn’t hear, so I said “What”? “Your boat is going down river!” was the reply. I jumped out of my truck and sure enough, I could just see my boat slowly drifting toward the quick water. A weak voice said “I just went to pee”. I patted my pockets to make sure I had no wallet and then dove into the river and swam for my boat. It hadn’t gone far and I soon was in shallow water with my boat in tow. My fleece jacket now weighed about 40 or 50 pounds, but everything was o.k. I wasn’t mad, but I was steaming from the cold air. No harm done, we parted ways, me with a very generous tip and another great river memory.

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