Often times when I fish I forget important things. Sunblock, hat, or a flybox with a better selection. The most important thing I've ever forgot was water. This story began with a hunt for white bass. There was a heat wave from the recent cool spring temperatures. The temp was in the mid 80's, with humidity and wading in deep sediment it seemed like 90. I was with a friend and he was trying to show me a spot where he had caught a bunch the year before. The wading wasn't that tough but at times I got tired of the deep sand and tried to scurry up a muddy bank to find a better spot. This usually ended up with me bush whacking and slipping down an embankment. There were numerous times when my rod went one way and I went sliding a different direction.
The wade was grueling and my friend determination to find a good fishing spot had us hiking more than fishing. We started in the heat of the day at around 2pm. Two hours into it, I think to myself, man I'm thirsty. I see my buddy pull some water out and the smart part of my brain said ask him for some. Ignorantly I didn't listen and pushed on. There was some fish activity, not the kind we were looking for but enough to entertain me and make me forget how thirsty I was. After we were done we decided to try one more place to see if we might have over looked something.
The fishing wasn't any better then where we were at before, we almost were going to call it a day when another fisherman passed us. The conversation was the usual, what's working, how's the fishing? The gentlemen told us of a spot that was about 15min downstream that was supposed to be good if the spot we were at was slow. As tired and thirsty as I was I still wanted to catch some fish so I told my friend let's go for it. The spot was about a mile and a half away and as we neared the bank two other fisherman were coming towards us. I said "You leave some for us?" The reply back was yeah all of them, didn't catch a thing. My heart sank and now I was overcome with fatigue. I cast a few futile attempts and just told my friend I had to get back.
On the walk back I was trying to hurry because I had told my wife I would be home at a certain time so she could get to a dance performance. The pace of my walking and dehydration started to make me feel light headed and I started to feel like maybe I was gonna pass out. I rest for a second, gathered my bearings and calmed my self down. I slowed my pace way down and eventually I started to pass some people fishing. I asked how they were doing not only to be friendly but also give a heads up that I was there in case I was laying some where unconscious on the trail. The more people I saw the less worried I was. I eventually made it back to my car safely. I went to the first restaurant I could find which happened to be a Wendy's. I got some food and the largest sprite they had. I figured this would give me some fluid and sugar to get somewhat re hydrated.
I made it home and my wife left to go to her performance. I was home with the baby and she was asleep for her afternoon nap. I drank some more water and took a shower then sat and relaxed on the couch and watched some TV. About a half hour into it, I felt a tingle in my left quadricep, then it turned into a full blown cramp. It hurt so bad all I could do was yell and try to massage my leg. The cramp hit really hard and I tried to walk it off but that seemed to make it worse. The intensity finally subsided and as soon as it was almost totally gone and I thought my worries were over I felt a tingle in my right quad. The same thing happened all over again this time to the other leg. All I could do is yell and rub my leg. I couldn't even walk right afterwards. When the cramp finally stopped, I went into the kitchen and started looking for any nutrients. I took 2 chewable vitamins, ate some salty tortilla chips a banana and took an adult regular multivitamin. I drank about 3 glasses of water. I was thinking I needed the ingredients of gatorade, which is mostly sugar and salt.
I decided to try to sleep it off and I was happy my daughter didn't wake up through this whole ordeal. I started to slowly dose off when I felt the dreaded tingle again. This time the intensity of the cramp was so bad I almost thought I was gonna have to go to the hospital. The cramps hit both legs pretty much at the same time and after they were over I walked like a monster from a zombie movie. The muscles in my legs were involuntarily twitching. I drank some more water and was so exhausted from the whole ordeal I went back to bed again. My daughter never did wake up and my wife came home wondering why I was in bed. I explained the whole story but when you tell a story like this to your wife, you just get the you're an idiot face.
It was a lesson well learned. Only fished for about 4hrs, but the heat and sweating in the waders made the perfect formula for severe dehydration. I always try to carry water of some kind with me at all times if I'm fishing for more than two hours. In the summer it's a must have. You don't want to go through what happened to me.