Fly fishing involves often trekking, steep terrain, crossing forests, walking on unstable ground. The possibility that you will acquire with time your warrior-marks is unlimited.

Remember:

1. “Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory….lives forever!” (Jerry Maguire – The Movie)

2. YOU ARE NOT RAMBO*!

Although it might make you feel more than a Man to take some 2x tippet and a hook and start performing self-surgery, do us a favour: think twice.

Most wounds are not as bad as they look and you need to follow some simple rules in order to get some chick-digging scars and not Frankenstein-style marks on your skin.

Step one is to clean the wound.

  • Use fresh water or disinfectant if available. Avoid alcohol as it causes wound-edge necrosis and it will slow down the healing process. If you think you still have debris left in the wound, seek medical care as it could lead to Tetanus (bacterial infection caused by “clostridium tetanii”). Cleaning the wound reduces the risk of Tetanus. Cleaning agents like iodine, peroxide or alcohol don’t belong into the wound.
  • You can clean the area AROUND the wound using fresh water and soap, avoiding that soap reaches into the wound. Remember to get your Tetanus vaccine once every 10 Years or sooner according to your age and medical history. Deep and dirty wounds will normally require a Tetanus refreshment / boost vaccine.

Step two is to stop the bleeding.

  • If they are minor, they would eventually stop bleeding on their own. If not, you can apply a clean bandage and use light pressure in order to stop the bleeding. Lifting the wounded limb can help. Try to keep constant pressure for about 40 min in order to achieve a good coagulation. DO NOT apply tourniquets if you have no experience as medical staff, a pressure-bandage causes far less damage.
  • Scrapes on a large surface can get infected.  One single-shot of Antibiotics such as penicillins, second / third generation cephalosporines have a proven clinical relevance. Local antibiotics usually don’t help too much.

Step three is to make a good bandage.

  • Keeping the wound protected and dry until the healing process is over (usually day 3-4) you can avoid infections. If the wound is closed and no fresh bleeding occurs, air-exposure will speed the healing. Take care of the wounded area in order to avoid a barely healed wound to open again.
  • Wound dressing should be changed daily. Keeping the wound and bandage / gaze clean and dry will speed up the healing.
  • Avoid getting the wound wet for the first 24-48Hours.

A very good alternative for stitches in case of superficial cuts are the so called “Steri-Stripes”, WHEN and IF applied correctly: combined with skin-glue or not. Some helpful instructions in this matter are given in the short movies below.

Deep wounds require medical care. Take a trip to the nearest ER. Remember: Frankenstein and Rambo* = no go.

If a wound is left open for too long, it cannot be stitched anymore because of the complications that can occur. Your physician has to evaluate the condition of the wound and you might require special suture techniques or Vacuum bandage treatment in order to avoid infections.

Deep wound (deeper than 5-6 mm) +/- strong bleeding = ER.

If signs of infection occur, seek medical attention right away.

Most common signs of infection are: redness and pain / tenderness around the wound, local warmth, swelling, puss or other fluid draining out of the wound (like in the image beside), fever (over 38,5 °C), red streaks on the skin around the wound going towards the heart, nausea, vomiting, chills and muscle pain.

If you’re not sure if the wound heals properly, seek medical assistance.

Remember, all this can make the difference between a successful fishing trip and a catastrophic one.

 

The use of Steri-Stripes:

The use of the skin-glue:

* We herewith declare that using the film character’s name solely seeks to let every average citizen understand the difference between movie and reality and that he/she has to follow medical instructions according to his/her own health situation, in this case, when being wounded. No defamation whatsoever is intended.