If you should fall into deep, slow water, crawl or sidestroke at a downstream angle towards the shore. In fast, boulder-stewn runs, float on your back with your legs pointed toward obstructions to cushion the blow while backstroking at an up-stream angle. If you cannot steer around a long jam, turn onto your stomach and vault on top of it to avoid being swept underneath. (Field & Stream, May, 2005)
With all the new people on here now maybe this thread will take off, besides with a new season upon us a refresher never hurts.
If floating a river and hitting an object sideways with the boat, "NEVER" go to the "low"(upstream) side of the boat, this can/will force the side down in the current and can potentially swamp the boat.
Instead go to the "high side"(downstream) and push the boat away from the obstacle.
Here's one that happened on the Henrys' Fork a few years ago.
A couple fellas were floating with a guide and decided it was time for a lunch break, they had lunch and one of the guys decided to lite up a cigar afterwords for desert, while the other two went looking for bank feeders, After he was done with it, he ground out the cigar on the stump he was sittin on, and went looking for fish up the river bank.
A little while later they noticed that the old stump was smoking and starting to flame up, luckily the guide was quick enough to grab his baling bucket from the boat and extinguish the fire before it ignited anything else.
It could have had truly tragic results, as Island Park has been lucky enough not to have any big fires in several years. Knock on wood...
So if you smoke, make sure and put it out in such a way as to not have something like this happen. And please take your butts with you.
Wear a PFD of some sort when boating. I managed to flip my canoe last
summer. I was trying to pick a fly off a tree branch, and the water depth
dropped to 15 feet at this spot. My wife was hit on the head by the canoe's
gunwale, and while not injured, she was dazed and confused long enough
to have gone under . Instead of getting my fly out of the tree, I managed to loose my wife's rod, reel and line. While we sat on a nearby rock
drying off, it took me nearly 45 minutes to convince her that the whole thing
was her fault !