I have more gear and what if stuff in the back of my rig than a group of Explorer Scouts at a SAR Callout. But, often I hardly carry any gear with me once sauntering down the trail. Well, I am close to the truck, kind of. That is true more often than not. They would eventually find me upside down, over the embankment, where I slipped and tripped over the tree root that hooked my toe….eventually. Or, that short walk down to the drift results in “I think I will move on down below those rapids and fish there.” A mere 200 yards from the p-u.
The point is that, if alone, you have slipped, fallen, stumbled, broken rods, twisted your ankle, slipped atop boulders with wet boots on gritty sand, walked into bushes and branches narrowly missing your eyes, fallen so hard you had to stop and consider if you can actually break your ass. Well, maybe you haven’t but I have. I am clumsy at times. The older I get the more clumsy I seem to become. I recently mentioned a loss of hip/leg strength contributing to poor wading and I know it affects me boulder hopping and moving up and down muddy embankments crisscrossed with protruding roots.
I should be more prepared and certainly be prepared on a cold afternoon, when injured, to ride out the hours into the night or the next morning to avoid hypothermia and shock. This article by Kirston Koths is entitled How To Survive Fly Fishing (Preparing For Being Lost, Injured, and Other Angling Emergencies) is informative and a reminder to carry survival gear with you, not just in the back of your rig.
“The most likely serious injury that might happen while fishing is a gash, incapacitating sprain, or broken/dislocated bone as a result of falling. Over two hundred search-and-rescue operations occur in Yosemite each year, many for hiker with broken ankles.”