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Fly Fisherman Dies After Rod Touches Low-Hanging Power Line in Montana

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Fisherman electrocuted when his fly rod hits low-hanging line. 

An Idaho man has died in a freak accident in Montana after he accidentally touched a power line with his fishing pole.

The Associated Press reports 64-year-old Leonard Henry Kolbet was fly fishing and camping on Dry Fork Creek near Great Falls, Montana with another person last Sunday. The accident happened not while Kolbet was casting, but while he was walking up the creek bank.

An unnamed companion with Kolbet at the time told authorities Kolbet had his rod above his head when it suddenly touched a power line. She saw a spark and heard a pop. The last thing Kolbet did was grab his right arm.

Kolbet was immediately unresponsive and officials later confirmed injuries on his hands wrists and feet were consistent with electrocution.

Unfortunately, this incident should serve as a reminder to all anglers and outdoorsmen and women to be aware of your surroundings and potential dangers. All of us likely know of a popular fishing spot in close proximity to low-hanging lines. There are several close to my home. They often have broken off lines and lures hanging from them.

Remember electricity and power lines are not things to mess around with. We see them every day and sometimes the dangers are lost on us until it's already too late.


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Fly Fisherman Dies After Rod Touches Low-Hanging Power Line in Montana