Fishing for car keys
A friend from Sacramento had come up to fish the Truckee River with me about a week ago. He had come up earlier and we had caught several very nice fish, so he was anxious to give it another try.
I knew that the fishing would be more difficult this time around, particularly since he was getting into town around midday. The water temperatures had warmed up to a point that the best fishing seemed to be occurring early in the morning or late in the evening. Since neither of these options was available, we targeted water that was highly oxygenated.
After an unproductive first stop, I decided to drive down past Hirschdale and give that section a try. We stopped and had some lunch before heading out into the water. After lunch, we packed things away and headed down to the river to fish.
Fishing was just as unproductive here as it was at our first stop. We worked the water thoroughly to no avail. Another group had dropped ahead of us, so I decided it was time to head back to the car. I could not find my friend, who was downstream of me, but decided to head up and out to the car in the hopes that he would meet me there.
As I got to the car, I continued to look for my friend and then saw him walking alongside the railroad tracks coming back to the car. My attention then turned to finding my car keys and unlocking the door.
The realization struck me when I discovered that my keys were not in my usual location; we were locked out! A further search of my equipment yielded no results, so I peered through the window in an attempt to see where I could have left them. I did not see them.
As I tried the rear hatchback of my car, I looked down to see the tip of my car key sticking out from under the hatchback. We tried to get the key out, but since it was attached to a key ring it would not pass through the narrow opening.
Fortunately, my friend had his cell phone and I called a couple of friends to see if there was any way they could give us a ride back to the house where my friend’s car was parked and my spare keys were.
Did I mention that my spare key and my phone were locked in the car?
As it turned out it took us nearly two hours to reach someone to come and give us a ride. I suppose we could have used the auto club, but since we were considerably off the main road, we were pretty certain that they would not come.
Fortunately, we finally got a ride back to the Boca store with a group of anglers who were downstream of us and waited for our ride to pick us up.
What an adventure! I am going to head to AAA today to pick up a spare card key to keep in my fishing vest from now on. The plastic wallet card keys work great and are a much better option than the magnetic hide-a-key, in my opinion.
I am usually very careful about my car keys, and the way that this happened was interesting. I had used a bottle opener on my car keys to open a couple beers at lunch, and I have a habit of placing the keys on my bumper so that I will not lock them in the car inadvertently. Apparently they were too far back and the hatchback caught them and pulled them under when I locked the doors up. Amazing!
My friend promises me that a chapter of his new book will feature a section on fishing the Truckee River with his friend and that this incident may overshadow his fishing prowess. I can hardly wait.
It is an embarrassing situation indeed, but one that my friends tell me happens frequently. I plan on having that card key in my vest next time I lock my car to fish!
Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.