Last Sunday while fishing alone, I decided to get some more practice in with the fly rod for muskies. I am getting fairly proficient casting the large flies, but doing it in the wind still presents challenges. Last Sunday was a perfect example of why I will now be removing the barbs. I had a gust of wind carry the fly into me, hitting me in the wrist. I looked down to see the fly firmly embedded in my wrist. I clipped the line and assessed the situation. No massive bleeding, so at this point all is looking good barring the lodged hook. It's a large 7/0 long shank hook, with the barbs still intact. After careful consideration, I decided no way I could back it out due to proximity to the artery and vein. I decided to push it through. It was also lodged in the tendon, and I quickly found out. All I did was push the surface of the skin up, with the point barely showing. It wouldn't come through. So, I tried hard to hold a pair of pliers with the hand that was wounded, further tightening the tendon. That wasn't going to work either. So, I looked around and finally headed for the closest boat. I had a good Samaritan hold my pair of pliers tight to the point, so the skin would not buldge further, allowing me to push the big hook through my skin. Went to the doctor the next day. He was amazed I pushed it through myself. Said I did exactly what they would have, prescribed antibiotics and sent me on my way. Take home message, if you fish alone a lot, barbless is the way to go. I will now accept the slight possibility of losing a fish due to no barbs, just to make a situation like this much easier to handle when by myself!Click image for larger version. 

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