What's Your Worst "Uh-Oh" Moment While Out Fishing?

That's my friend Tim Brass, Colorado Coordinator for Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, dragging my raft over some sketchy ice yesterday on the Upper Colorado River. About three-quarters of a mile of it to be precise.

We decided to play a little hooky yesterday and take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather in the high country of Colorado. We went to swing streamers for brown trout and jump-shoot any errant ducks we might see. The day was going splendidly with many nice fish brought to the boat and a few sneaky shots at ducks when we came upon what looked like the Ross Ice Shelf.

Granted, I have never floated this section of river this late in the season and flows were as low as I've ever seen them, but I did my homework. I called my local shop, looked at the temperature and CFS trend the past week, and talked to someone who lives down there. I was confident we'd be fine. While I did have the foresight to bring two ropes for just such an event, my stomach dropped and I verbally uttered, "Uh-oh" under my breath when I saw the ice across the width of the entire river.

It was towards the end of the day; the temperature was dropping and it was getting dark fast. This was not expected and we had a couple miles to go. There was no one around, no cell service, and we did not have the safety equipment necessary to be walking around on varied ice on top of a flowing river. Luckily we tied up the boat, bow and stern with a rigging of ropes that allowed us to slide the boat on the ice while we bumbled along on shore, slipping and falling every hundred feet or so. It was a ton of work and not so much fun. In the end we simply missed dinner and ended up with a few bumps and bruises. Granted it could have been much worse and in the scheme of things, it was on the lower end of some other screw-ups that were much bigger, but this one was pretty nerve wracking.

So I'm curious, what's your worst "Uh-oh" fishing moment?