Don’t Get Bold Feet!

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Photo by Justin Pickett

Photo by Justin Pickett

By Justin Pickett

A few weeks ago I was sitting on the back of my jeep, getting ready to hit the water.

Just like any other day, I grabbed my rods and rigged them up first and laid them across the roof. I tossed my fly boxes in my chest pack and made sure I had all the tools and tippet that I needed. I jumped into my waders and buckled myself in for the day. Grabbed my left wading boot and slipped it on and tightened it up. Reached down for the right one and began to slide my foot into the boot. Before I could get my foot settled into the boot I felt quite the bulge in the toe of my boot. Not knowing exactly what it was, and knowing what it could be, I quickly kicked the boot from my foot. My wading boot landed on the grass, just a few feet in front of me. I waited a few seconds to see if anything crawled, hopped, or slithered out from it.

Nothing.

Cautiously, I picked up the boot and held it upside down, and, immediately, something fell from the boot. To my relief, it was not the worst of what it could have been. What fell to the ground was the harmless, petrified corpse of a frog.

While this situation ended in a bit of humor, it could have easily been way worse. I had left my wading boots on the floor of my garage for the summer. I wet wade during the dog-days and wear a pair of Simms RipRap shoes when I’m on the water. Apparently this frog found comfort inside my stinky boot and never made it back out. It’s likely the malodorous fumes that sealed his fate! While I’m glad this situation ended with humor, that frog could have easily been a juvenile copperhead, which would have brought my day to a painfully screeching halt.

It’s something so simple, and it only takes a couple of seconds. Maybe the majority of us anglers and outdoorsman do it on a regular basis. Check your boots! Wading boots, tennis shoes, hikers, high heels, or whatever you like to wear. If you leave them out, check them for creepy crawlies before shoving your foot into the unknown! I make more of a habit of checking my boots when I’m out camping, or if my boots get left on the porch overnight. I had never before really checked my boots before putting them on after leaving them in my garage, and I was also a little anxious to hit the water so I didn’t take the extra time to check them. I’ll gladly take this gentle reminder to check my boots from now on! You should do the same!

Justin Pickett
Gink & Gasoline
www.ginkandgasoline.com
hookups@ginkandgasoline.com
 
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6 thoughts on “Don’t Get Bold Feet!

  1. I found a baby tarantula in my boots a few weeks ago. Alive. I always shake my shoes out, mostly for emptying gravel, sand, and any other “debris.”

  2. I had that happen with a pair of shoes I leave on my deck. Stuffed my foot in and thought “these don’t fit quite right”. Took my foot back out and out jumped a mouse!! Still quite alive even after being smashed into the toe of my shoe.

  3. Living in NYC means there’s nothing hiding in my boots, but I got a good laugh at this one, because it made me think of the time I found a scorpion crawling on my pack in Utah when I woke up one morning while on a mountain biking trip. Good advice to always check the boots before putting them on!

  4. It’s a longtime, if not universal, practice for cowboys, after a night in their bedroll, to invert and shake out their boots. You never know what’s crawling around the sagebrush in the dark.

  5. Pingback: Opinion: Don't Get Bold Feet | MidCurrent

  6. I put my foot into wading boots hung to dry in the boathouse. Several days later when putting foot into one boot I felt something move at the toes. I quickly removed the boot and a bat flew out…yikes! I always shake boots and shoes since then, nearly 30 years later.

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