Don't bite your tippets!

21 August 2006 By Dan Bachman • Other • Comments (4)

Author on Silver Creek.  At this point I am probably already infected. Photo credit: Hugh Griffith I recently posted Tips from the Fly Fishing World Championships on the Backcast sidebar. Of the 9 bits of advice given, number 8 jumped out at me when I first read it because I use my mouth as a 3rd hand when I am on the water. It comes in real handy when I need to hold leaders, tippets or even the occasional dry fly. I made a mental note to stop this behavior, but old habits are hard to break.

Two weekends ago I was in the Wood River Valley fishing Trail Creek, the Big Wood and Silver Creek where I caught myself on more than one occasion with wet leaders or tippets in my mouth but I wasn’t too worried about it. Fast forward to last Tuesday evening when I needed to reboot my intestinal track a couple times in what would become 6 days of utter misery spent in close proximity to my restroom. This also explains my lack of new posts on Tattered Fly over the past week.

I have no way to know for sure that the bug I caught was in fact from the water that came in contact with my mouth but the incubation period for many bacteria that cause the symptoms that I experienced is between 17 to 72 hours. This puts me in the ballpark and is enough evidence to provide additional motivation to break the habit. So my advice—Keep anything that has been in the water away from your mouth.


  1. 21 August 2006 Craig

    I read this and found my nippers and put them back on my vest after I took them out a while back for some other use. Thanks for the good pointers Dan. I hope you are feeling better.

  2. 22 August 2006 Murdock

    You know, I had never even given this subject any real thought but now I wonder sort of junk I have eaten streamside and this might explain some of the post fishing trip stomach aches.

  3. 23 August 2006 Alistair

    That is a pretty good point, my urban river is full of lots of rubbish, one of the best pools is called the “sanitary towel pool” You just dont want to go nipping your leader with your teeth in their ;-)

  4. 1 September 2006 Anglers Lounge

    Yes, I suppose its time to change my ways too.

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