Monday, May 22, 2017

White River "Streamer Arm" (w/ Video)

Radial Neuropathy is the “acute trauma to the radial nerve that extends the length of the arm.”  Some common symptoms include, numbness (back of the hand and wrist), and inability to voluntarily straighten the fingers.  Loss of wrist extension is due to loss of the ability to move of the posterior compartment of forearm muscles.”  In the college scene, it's better known as Drunk Arm.  It’s the result of binge drinking to the point of passing out on your arm and damaging the nerve.  In the fly fishing world it’s simply known as, Streamer Arm.  

While I have never experienced drunk arm, I can assert that 40 hours of rowing and slinging 8-10 inch streamers is traumatic to the casting arm.  Imagine if Miami Marlins RF Giancarlo Stanton used your arm for a bat in the Home Run Derby and you’re getting close to the feeling.   

High Water and fast flows

How do you know if you’re suffering from streamer arm?  Aside from the more recognizable symptoms such as, regularly blaming your poor casting on your throbbing elbow, debating the use of a woolly bugger as a streamer and the constant smell of Icy Hot in the boat.  There are some lesser known signs to look for, like wondering if you can overdose on Ibuprofen. 

Also, if you're camping in an area that’s under a tornado watch and the sound of a C-130 landing on your head wakes you up.  The idea of using your cell phone to check the weather seems logical but the action involves using your arm.  Instead, you take another Ibuprofen.    


If you’re still not sure.  A conversation I had with my wife when I got home might help.  Wife, “Did y’all sleep any this weekend?  You look terrible.  What’s wrong with your right eye?  I think you have Pink Eye.  Gross, you have a bug in it.”  Me, "Oh yeah, I remember it flying in there Saturday night but my arm hurt too much to dig it out.  Can you open the Ibuprofen bottle for me?" 

And why do we do it?  When you see a 25-27-inch brown tracking your fly back to the boat, you’ll understand?  It’s worth every painful minute.  Can’t wait to get back to the White River and suffer again!