Well, I finally did it. Stupid me tried to unhook a fly that was hung on a lily pad and when it came loose I went bottom up. Thank God for the life jacket I always wear when paddling!!
I was in the middle of a patch of lily pads with some kind of clingy weeds growing in them. The weeds made it almost impossible to move when they wrapped around my leg, so I had quite a struggle. The water is several feet deep right up to the bank and the rushes that grow there. I managed to put my fly rod & boat paddle on top of the lily pads to retrieve after I got remounted. I got the kayak to the edge after a few minutes struggle, and discovered that I had to lay out and mash the tall rushes down in order to reach water shallow enough to stand. I finally got to some water that was only about chest deep, righted my kayak and pumped out the water. I managed to remount by reaching across the boat and pulling myself in using the rushes on the other side for handholds.
I lost one anchor and rope,three full fly boxes, and a fishing vest, so I'm rethinking my kayak fishing methods.
Must get floats to attach to anchor ropes.
Must keep fly boxes in something that floats and keep it closed.
Must not forget that kayaks can be flipped if you don't concentrate.
Must get float to use with my paddle to get back into kayak.
Most folks probably already follow those rules, but I had gotten complacent and mistakenly started thinking I could control my boat and keep it upright thru almost any problem. After all, it was a small lake with very little wind, and I've been out in some really rough water with no problems
It took me most of an hour of struggling to get back in the boat and gather my gear and take inventory. I was completely exhausted, but the dunking did cool me off. Matter-of-fact, I didn't get totally warmed up until I was home in bed about five hours later. Strange considering it was 95 degrees at the time.
Hope all of you read this and think twice about your safety when out paddling. This was far from a fun experience; although, I'll be better prepared should it happen again. Hopefully, I'll remember this trip and pay attention to what the heck I'm doing from now on.