Cast Out

Never to Return

Story and Photos by Les Tanner

I really goofed up, I’m afraid—and it happened, of all times, while I was fishing. My mistake was to fly-fish eight hours a day for three days straight, which in itself is not all that unusual but this time it caught up with me, and I found myself with a substantial case of fisherman’s elbow. I’m sure this is the same thing as racquetball elbow or tennis elbow, although contracting it is more fun. Still, I’ve had both and neither one feels better than the other. So far as I know, there are no remedies for it, except to avoid activities that might put a further strain on the joint or muscles or whatever it is that gets strained. Naturally, I immediately gave up shot-putting, painting the garage, washing dishes, and petting the cat. In spite of all that, the pain didn’t go away.

On the slim chance that more of the same activity that caused the problem might also cure it, I embarked on a three-day fishing and camping trip two weeks later with a friend. It didn’t help. If anything, the elbow got worse. By the time we returned home on the Friday before Labor Day, my mind was made up that I’d lay off the fly-casting for a few days, at least—and maybe even racquetball.

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Les Tanner

About Les Tanner

Les Tanner is shown here with his late wife, Ruby, to whom he was married for more than sixty years, and who also was on the staff of IDAHO magazine. When Les, a retired teacher, isn’t working on the magazine's calendar, proofreading, fishing, writing, playing pickleball, or pulling weeds, he’s out looking for Jimmy the cat.