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Leaning into the current the angler dares to think about the slippery trek across a river, entranced by the access to a pool below him. His fishing partner, already across, laughs out loud, watching with glee. The angler stands there steadfast, fighting with the current. Carefully looking at the rocks on the bottom he tries to pick a path across the deepest and last few yards of flow. "Commit", he thinks to himself, grasping his rod firmly and setting his weight, he powers into the full force of the river...he should have considered that his fishing partner who had just crossed before him was at least a few inches taller than him, and a few pounds heavier... he may have misjudged the depth. Spinning off balance, he goes for a swim, as cold clear water washes up past his chest...floating towards the shallows helplessly, shocked by the sheer coldness of his new environ, all he got was a soaking, and well deserved I guess, for the idiotic and unnecessary idea of crossing the river. "That was dumb...", he thought to himself...as he crawled onto shore and desperately tried to retrieve some of his gear as it floated downstream. Don't try this at home kids. If you do need to cross a river, which should be quite rare I hope, always do so with a friend, you don't want to get into trouble on your own...

What are your wading stories? :eek:

They don't have to be like what I wrote above.
Just tell us of the situations you've gotten yourself into, wading attempts that you've witnessed, or other related situations on the river...

Would you handle that situation differently now...?
;)
 

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First time of the CAP I was fishing right below the Freeway on the East side (off Cap Rd). It was pretty crowded but the other side was open...
I didn't realize that there was access from Keith Rd. so I figured "well, the waters clear below the pool, I can see bottom, lets check it out..."

The first few steps were cool, but what I didn't realise was that the current distorted my depth perception....I got about half way, took a step further, and went neck deep (with rod in hand, backpack on, etc.)
The current took me about down towards the rapids and I swam to the other side as fast as I could...kinda hard with chest waders on...

Long story short, ruined my cellphone, soaked everything I had, and got yelled (and laughed) at by around 25 people...especially the couple who just came down the path on the west side. Some old guy told me he had never seen anyone try to walk that part before.....lesson learned!
 

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Me and an old buddy (Terry) were fishing the Chehalis and crossed the river and headed down river towards a few nice runs we had fished times before.

The day started out slightly overcast, wind calm, water was just about thigh deep where we crossed ....... but there was something different in the air today.

We walked downstream working pools as we moved down and we noticed that it started to rain lightly as we were about 1 1/2 hours into our day. There were lots of wild animal signs along the river bank. About 10:30 the rain started to come down a little harder so Terry decided to head back upstream. We noticed that the clouds were looking really BLACK.

We decided that it would be a good idea to head back upstream and the rain continued to come down ...... harder and harder as time passed. Turned out to be a downright bucket downpour.

To make a long story short, we were very lucky to get back across the river, it had risen about 2 1/2 feet and running fast. Guess that one of the benefits for us both being over 6 feet tall and 200+ pounds.

We had always heard that the Chehalis can rise in a hurry, specially at the right time of year. Seeing is believing ........ just a caution to beware of next time your out fishing that way.


GOFISH 8)
 

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Heres my story, called "Ribs second Swim"

We spent a good portion of the day hunting for steel, I believe I managed to land one and Rib had missed one. In an attempt to fish new water that looked very promising, we decidided to wade the river. Where we were, at the tailout of a big pool, the water only looked to be waist deep at the deepest point. Now I am going to take a second to mention that never trust what you think the water depth is. Really clear water can be much deeper than you think. USE A WADING STICK! So anyways, we started our trek across the river. We get deeper and deeper until we are up to our waists. The current is running strong and it is even harder to see the bottom now that we are in the middle of the tailout. With Rib leading the charge across the river he takes one more step, in the wrong direction. He plunges up to his neck and before I could say anything he breaks out into a full out swim for shore. After his feet are back on shallow land I started howling, damn that was funny. The look of sheer panick and fear was priceless (luckily it was a low clear day as he was safe, I was only a couple feet from him and was able to grab him if he started to go with the current.) Afterwards we named that run "Ribwarts Swimming Pool"

A couple of things to keep in mind when wading rivers....

1. Never wade alone unless it is shallower than your waist, still not the best idea
2. Always use a wading belt, if your waders fill with water you are pretty much an anchor
3. Never underestimate your opponent! The River! Parts of the river that looks like there is no current can be suprisingly strong.
4. Always use a wading stick, rivers can be suprisingly deeper than you think. Something that looks knee deep can in fact be up to your chest. I have experienced this first hand!
 

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This is actually a funny little story,

After wading back across the river (see ribs initial Story) I was just walking the shorline back to the truck. When all of the sudden there was a big rock, trip, DAMN!!! Face first into the river at knee deep level.....soaking wet on the top half. What a pain in the ass! Making the complete wade across the river just fine then tripping on the shoreline and getting soaked!!
 

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Some years ago I was with a buddy fishing the vedder. It was january 10th , clear sunny skies and damn cold (.-10)with a very cold wind blowing straight out of the valley. Wind chill was probably -20. Classic outflow winds conditions. We started at the gravel pit and began to walk up the river with the intent of going up as far as the train bridge and working our way back down. As we walked up the river we would cross at the best locations where we needed to to keep walking up the gravel. The route was easy and the walking through the water was no problem, but the wind was biting cold on the hands. I had decided to tuck the rod under my arm and tuck my hands into the top of my waders to keep them warm.

My buddy was walking in front and I was behind about 10 yards or so and crossed a section of the river that was only mid thigh deep but a little faster than the previous crossings. I followed but did not remove my hands from my waders and got about half way across and stepped on a rolling rock and went head first into the near zero degree water. I was up and back on my feet almost immediately with no loss of equipment. My buddy looks back to see me getting up and without a hesitation ask "did yah see any?" :D

I am now soaked and feeling the chill -10 temperature and wind chill factor. Within minutes I look like a glazed doughnut with a nice icing coating, on me, my waders, and all my gear.

Not one to want to give up on a good day, I perservere and about a half hour later my buddy gets a nice 10 lb hatchery doe. Good enough for me, I convince him that we should go before I completely sucumb to hypothermia. :eek:

On the way back, we have to stop as he needs to find a tinkling bush. While I am waiting, I decide to toss a line in at the nearest spot. Although almost impossible to cast due to the ice in my reel I think "what the hell" I should give it a try. First cast and I hook into a nice little doe. Just as my buddy is returning, I am dispatching a nice 10lb hatchery doe. The two of us then walk the rest of the way back to the truck at the gravel pit with clone chrome steel. All in all, not a bad day for a swim :thumbup:
 

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Everyones has a few slips in their waders and gotten soaked at one time or another.. :'(..Here is something I recommend you do if you have access to a Pool, lake or river this summer......I am not kidding, this MIGHT SAVE YOUR LIFE!
Put on all you usual winter stuff, underwear, thermals waders,boots, sweater, hoodie, rainjacket, and your fishing vest.
With one hand hanging onto a favourite rod and a few friends, nearby, jump off the dock/patio etc into water that is over your head and stay in the water til you are fully soaked and the waders are full.....now try and move towards the shallow end or the shore....You now weigh around 300lbs and cannot move or lift yourself out of the pool. :eek:
If you relate this to very cold , moving water, you can be sure it is very foolish to wade alone and in areas where there is deep, fast water below you. If you have canyons and pools etc downstream with nothing to stop your drift.....you WILL be a statistic!.......Be careful out there!.........Small, careful steps are best....Ortho 8)
 

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im pretty sure most of you remember this story

on the day of one of our January steely fishouts my dad and I were off on our own unting some steel. which we found "hiding under a tree!!!" :happy: i managed to get one of them out with a perfectly placed presentation little did i know it was the hugest chromer i have ever seen. as im playing the beauty she is co-operative coming to shore very fast so Im ready to land her my dad reaches down to grab her and BOOM an explosion of power she takes off back into the water and into the full on rapids down river and under an over hanging tree. so here i am slowly following this fish out in the middle of the river trying to duck under this log to hand the rod to my dad and SNAP! SPLOOSH!!!!! thats right fish off and me going down river.

i got up quickly even in the waist deep rushing Vedder of Feb 2nd but we couldnt find that fish again

surprisingly the river wasnt as cold as the air and i managed to fish for awhile longer. everyone there at the fishout that time should remember as i didnt show up at Millers for some beers after as i was soaked everywhere

tight lines

HOOK
 

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It was in the winter. We were first time fishing for Steelhead ( I never got one in my life by the way :-[ ). It was Vedder somewhere above Allison Pools.
After early morning breakfast on river with Vodka :drunk: ( Russian tradition ), we were fishing and casting for Steelhead. There were bunch of other guys fishing around. After some time of standing at one spot I usualy get bored and go explore the river. Me and my buddy look at excellent spot across the river, so we decided to cross it. We did cross the river one time in the past, right in the same spot, but water was much lover. This time water was high, and we decided that if we hold each other side by side with rods in other hands we can cross it.

So slowly we started to cross the river. Current was very strong but we were slowly moving forward. Water was already around belly, we were moving forward vert slow, small step at a time :) Guess what. My buddy probably got more Vodka than me, he slipped, and since I was holding him on a side, and didn't let him go. He was not standing, he was already swimming and water was close to the chin. I don't know how but I manage to stand without move and hold him. He was heavier than me ... I don't know how, but he managed to put his foot on the bottom. and I said NO WAY we will cross it today :confused:

Same way very slow small step by step holding each other we moved back. He was MUCH heavier this time, because he could water in his waders, etc.

Good thing! Go for Nokia. His Nokia phone got all wet and stopped working. I told him to pull the battery out right away, still in the river. After three days of leaving phone intact, he put battery back and phone worked just fine, he is still using it . GO GO Nokia :thumbup:

Other guys were just watching us and probably were having fun :peace:

Phew I thought we will be swimming till Tamahi that day :happy:
 

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ok how about two stories, first one was on the chehalis, we were fishing coho and the water in our pool was mysteriously disappearing so i walked out into what a couple of hours ago was the middle of the river and was contentedly fishing new pools when we heard this THUNDERING noise from up river. we all turned and realized the water was going because the river had dammed up and had now broken free, hook and his roommate were able to run back to the shore line where we started fishing from in the morning, but i had a fish on and couldn't get the damn line to break and couldn't get to the far shore so i hopped up on a huge stump and hoped she'd hold her ground. well she did as i'm still here but the trees and crap down was incredible and now i'm stuck on a stump surrounded by more water than we had in the morning. we were mulling over a 911 for s/r help but after 15 min or so the river went down to normal levels and i was able to get off my stump and start a LOOONG upriver walk looking for a way to the shore. it took 45 min to find a way out and i had to keep a sharp eye out as logs and trees were still coming down and a few times they would just have enough room to float past after a lot sidestepping.
#2 this time on the vedder, we were fishing springs at the run just below the campground a few years back, again i have a fish on when it gets under a log near the bottom of the run so i wander out to try and persuade it to come around the end of it. after about twenty min of standing waist deep i am not winning so i decide to just break it off and get out of the current. well the breaking part goes off without a hitch but i now realize i am very tired from fighting the current for so long and there is no way i'm getting back on my own. so i give a yell to hook who has to wade his arse out there and break the current so i can back my way out. the water wasn't bad but one must remember we do get older every day, not necessarily wiser.
 

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The only GOOD Wading story that I have took place on the Cowichan River, several years ago. It was late March and the river was running high due to snow melt. I stopped into the Bible Camp and ran into a pack of guys that had camped there overnight. It was 7:00 AM, but they all had the beer flowing and had obviously spent the better part of the night partying.

I decided quickly that I didn't need a gong show, so I went 1/4 mile down river to Sandy Pool. The pool was high but in gorgeous shape . I started at the top end and waded out to just below my chest to fish the far side seam. On my second drift through, I hit a large chromer and it started to smoke down stream. I had been having a tough time just standing and the fish literally towed me about 100 feet until I hit shallower water that only came up to my butt.

I finally got control of the fish but there was no where good to beach it. Still in hip deep water, I tailed the fish and popped the hook out. It revieved quickly and swam away. Feeling pleased with myself, I started to wade back up stream. I saw something white floating down towards me . I figured that it was some garbage from the crew above me. I waded farther out to snag it and discovered that it wasn't garbage: it was a six pack of Molson's Canadian beer floating just at surface level.

I retreived the beer, sat on the bank and drank one. After all even fishermen need to revive themselves after a good scrap.
 

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curmudgeon said:
The only GOOD Wading story that I have took place on the Cowichan River, several years ago. It was late March and the river was running high due to snow melt. I stopped into the Bible Camp and ran into a pack of guys that had camped there overnight. It was 7:00 AM, but they all had the beer flowing and had obviously spent the better part of the night partying.

I decided quickly that I didn't need a gong show, so I went 1/4 mile down river to Sandy Pool. The pool was high but in gorgeous shape . I started at the top end and waded out to just below my chest to fish the far side seam. On my second drift through, I hit a large chromer and it started to smoke down stream. I had been having a tough time just standing and the fish literally towed me about 100 feet until I hit shallower water that only came up to my butt.

I finally got control of the fish but there was no where good to beach it. Still in hip deep water, I tailed the fish and popped the hook out. It revieved quickly and swam away. Feeling pleased with myself, I started to wade back up stream. I saw something white floating down towards me . I figured that it was some garbage from the crew above me. I waded farther out to snag it and discovered that it wasn't garbage: it was a six pack of Molson's Canadian beer floating just at surface level.

I retreived the beer, sat on the bank and drank one. After all even fishermen need to revive themselves after a good scrap.
that's an awesome story! When you talk of being towed by the fish reminds me of two summers ago fishing at herrling island, out quite deep, with no waders, because it was so damn hot. So I was up to my armpits in water, when I get in to what only could have been a nice spring. Sure enough, she shot off down stream, ripping off line, with me in tow, bounding in the chest deep water like Neil Armstrong on the moon. She spat the hook pretty soon after that, & I turned around to be very surprised how far i'd carried down river.
 

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A few year ago my buddy took me fishing up at the Stave. I got my Canadian Tire ruber wader I could just get in with short on and some lures. It was my first time there and the water was pretty. We fished for most of the day with some good success for chums. I was get sure I knew how far I could wade out with out going over the top of the waders. My buddy left and I was alone except for a guy a few hundred feet away. I'm in water up to my chest but thought with one more step I'll be in the best spot possible. I took one step. Woosh, I went into water well above my head, like I did not feel the bottom. I got turned around and with my rod found the edge swam back on to it. I was lucky, there is very little room from water in my waders.
The worse one up by Burns Lake on Pinket Creek. Again I just got a pair of new custom neoprem wader and wanted to try em' out but had no-one to go with me. So I went on my own to this creek which would be like the size of the Norrish. There was not good water to fish right by the trail I came down on so I dedcided to cross the stream. I cavilarely waded in, know I was strong swim. In the middle lost my footing getting push down the river. I went down the river helpless to control my direction for 100 feet than got dumped in a pool. Luckly I had my blet on. I took a breather and decided not to cross this stream again and to take more care. Turned out the pool had some nice small trout in it.
Have fun, Jason
 

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last august i was working a piece of water on the lower skagit. as i began to pick up my fly at the end of an uneventful drift, something floating in the river caught my attention - mostly because it was floating upstream. i turned to see a big brown squirrel paddling toward me. he was chilling out in my wake i suppose. then he turned downstream and paddled to shore. there werent any overhanging trees nearby that he might've fallen out of. so i dont know where he came from or where he was going, but he sure looked relieved to have a break from the current. are squirrels known for their swimming habits?

first thing that morning i had been getting ready to cross that same point that ribwart wrote of - the point of no return - when something decided to take the nymph i had left out on about 20 yards of line. something big. well , at least bigger than my #2 was designed to target. i lost my footing as i turned to fight and went for a good long float - bounding myself toward shore. it got pretty deep but managed to keep my drift slow enough to keep tension on the line. i managed to get settled in slow water and the fish kept running - deep into backing. i capitulated and grabbed the reel. he was gone.

that also taught me to put my license in a zip-loc bag.

the dry fly action was killer later that afternoon, btw.
 

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A few years back I was out on Norrish with a good buddy hunting for the late run cohos. We were up near the tunnel end, Jim was on the far bank (he had crossed a few hundred yards downstream from where we were. The flow between us didn't look too deep and there was a really nice run on the otgher side of the gravel bar Jim was on, so joining him was a no brainer. I started across and I was right, the water wasn't terribly deep. In fact about 1/2 way across, it was just over my waist. However the current was stronger than I expected. I realized that I was not going to be able to cross and decided to turn around and go downstream about 100 yards to the tail out and cross there. As soon as i turned and presented my full body to the current (as opposed to the profile) the water took my legs out from under me and I was rapidly washed downstream to the tailout I was intending to reach anyway. Jim complimented me on my floating technique as I had immediately got myself onto my back with my feet pointed down stream, rod held up and out of danger. All I knew was I was wet, cold and quite winded from the whole ordeal. From that day on, I have always used a wading staff. And that is the key. If you have a wading staff, use it and use it every time you wade. Not only can the depth be deceptive, but the current strength also can. And a staff provides a third leg that has kept me upright on more than one occasion when I have slipped on a turning boulder, etc. Let me add to the chorus as well on this other point. Don't attempt wading solo. The risks aren't worth the reward.
 

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A simple mistake you make only once. I was standing in the Squamish River near the mouth of the Mamquam on a cold day and did not pay attention to the tides. About an hour into my day, I got quite a shock when a lot of water spilled into my hip waders. My feet were pretty cold the rest of the day. When the tides are coming in, you can't stand in the same spot all day.
 

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My story is wading the Vedder one fall for coho. Saw fish rolling on the opposite bank, which was too far for me to cast too.
So, being public school educated and all, I figured to wade across. Well, I got about half way across and I was waist deep and being pushed down stream (not good), with the added bonus of a big rock here and there to try and trip me up. :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
Well, I made it across safely, and caught some fish. But the whole time, I kept thinking how am I going to make it back. :eek:
It was getting dark, and I had no other ptions, so I started a little higher this time and went for it.

It was a valuable learning experience for me, and I will never be sooooo stupid again. Now I never wade without a PFD.

WEAR A PFD Your friends and family will thank you. :peace:
 

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A couple of pink seasons ago, I was with a buddy at Cate's Park, standing just past waist deep, working along the shore. A passing tug layed out a pretty good wave that came my direction. I did not notice that I had worked myself in front of a large boulder (about the size of a person crouching down). So the wave gives me a nice push from the front, and I stumble over backwards into the salt. I popped right back up and continued fishing, and my buddy (thanks for looking out for your bud) says a little while later "Hey, how come you're all wet?"

Now, I have tried swimming in my neoprenes, and while they are fairly bouyant, I always wear a pfd. I recently picked up an inflatable pfd, and you don't even notice it after a while.
 
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