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Discussion Starter #1
Just thought I'd post this as a reminder to all to be careful out there! On Saturday, I decided to visit some familiar spots along the Squamish north of Ashlu. The torrential rains of last week sure brought the river up to incredible heights - the brush along the banks was stained with silt at least six feet up from the level of the current flow, which was still a bit high and very cloudy. Anyway, I decided to cross a shallow side channel to one of the islands and visit a quiet pool to see if any coho had come up. It was evident that the whole landscape had changed as a result of the flood, and my spidey sense was tingling a bit - not enough as it would turn out. As I walked along the sandy bank, I saw a big splash and thought this was a good spot to cast. I put my pack and wading staff down, turned toward the water, took one step right at the water's edge, and instantly sank up past my dumb ass into the sand. Quicksand, and I was stuck fast. What a sight that must have been for a moment: beautiful warm sunshine, gently flowing river, and half a dude sticking out of the sandbank, flyrod still in hand, with probably the dumbest look in all humanity frozen on his face!

As comical an image as that might be, I was in big trouble. I was alone, nobody around, and every move I made caused me to sink deeper. Fortunately, I was able to brace my back and arms against the firmer bank, and anchor myself while I collected my thoughts. "Well dummy, now you've done it - stepped into quicksand and nobody around to help" I said to myself. Somehow, with no small effort, I managed to twist around and haul myself belly-down onto the firm riverbank, like some old arthritic seal. I stood up, completely encased in glistening wet sand and wood splinters, looking like a giant caddis pupa, and looked back at the spot that I was floundering in moments before. There was no sign that anything had happened. It looked like a seamless extension of the bank, the liquid sand closing in on itself. Quiet, peaceful, and oh so dangerous. I was done, and carefully retraced my steps back to the crossing and the safety of my vehicle. Of interest, mine were the only tracks in the sand, which is normally full of large animal tracks - moose, bear, wolf. That was a sure sign that the animals who were driven away by the flooding river still did not have the confidence to return, something I'll remember whenever similar conditions occur.

This just serves to emphasize that no matter how familiar you might be with an area, when mother nature decides to re-arrange the landscape, she can leave certain hazards and pitfalls - literally - in her wake. In my neary 60 years on this earth, much of it outdoors, I had never experienced anything like that before and it brought me to a new level of awareness to keep as a reminder that anything can happen out there. Let's have fun and be careful ladies and gents!

I have one question: Should I have pulled the cord on my floatation vest, and would that help in such a situation? I still wonder why I did not do that - didn't even think of it. But I'll tell you, I will NEVER venture out to a river without remembering that I have it on again! And my wading staff will be used for probing the banks before I step to the water's edge as well as in wading murky waters!

With a new outlook,

Frequent Flyer
 

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yeah I've also had trouble in that stuff up that way...can be pretty scary! I managed to find some even in feb...worse cause it was under 1cm of ice that I had to break through to find it! yikes
 

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Good reminder, happened to me on the Skykomish, two guys, a jet boat and half an hour later I got out and I only had one foot stuck.

Good thing I was on a busy river.
 

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You never go fishing on a quiet river by yourself. I learned the hard way as i wasn't as lucky as the OP and barely survived.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You never go fishing on a quiet river by yourself. I learned the hard way as i wasn't as lucky as the OP and barely survived.
Yup, that's my lesson learned as well. From now on, I'm either out there with a buddy or in an area with other folks nearby. Sometimes common sense gets overshadowed by excitement and eagerness to get out and play, and at my age, I should know better!
 

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No doubt a scary event to be sure...I think anyone who has fished our rivers over the yrs has had a few close calls.I know i have.Almost got sucked into Hole in the Wall on the Cowichan rowing my Drift boat down that river for the first time.The flow was on the low side and i didnt stay enough to the left not knowing the pull of the current in that spot as i rowed my guts out barely making it through.The next time i went the river was higher and i knew what was coming and rowed through no problem as there was more water to row left and i thought man that was too easy afterward.Moments before my heart was in my throat as i saw that nasty stretch of water approaching! Thanks for the reminder to take caution.::)
 

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A little not to all the people that are coming out from the city to fish the vedder. Be extremely careful walking the shallows near the locations of this years gravel extractions. If you see some flats where there is only a couple inches flowing over fine gravel use caution as it could be freshly silted in. Learned that lesson last year as one step step solid next step and I was up to my waist,I was able to do the flopping walrus and work out of it after a few minutes but scared the crap out of me none the less.
 

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Lesson well learned for me as well...except I didn't experience sinking into the holes I just read about it!!
Plus, I don't go fishing alone anymore - thanks for the tip!
 

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As a young guy 30 I can't even imagine and I would never have thought of that potential danger. Glad to have you with us, and thanks for the cautionary tale.
 

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Thanks for the story and glad it had the right ending. Invested in an inflatable mustang this year as well. Even in my local spots i still wear it as you never know what may happen...
 
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