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Thread: Be careful wading---disaster today

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Southeast Pennsylvania

    Default Be careful wading---disaster today

    Yvonne and I were fishing our local stream, and having a great time. Yvonne's casts were spectacular, and we were catching panfish and smallmouth on Madame X flies. We moved downstream, and I got a little further away from Yvonne than usual (about 40 feet downstream of her). I looked upstream, and as I said, "Don't wade there!", her feet slid out from under her. The stream bottom is largely one sheet of smooth rock, and warm water temps have left a nice coating of slime on the biggest sheets. She couldn't move, and I had to call 911. The fire department and EMT's eventually found us, and had to carry Yvonne a few hundred yards upstream, and then up a couple of steep and muddy hills. She broke two bones in her ankle, and is done for a couple months! We have to wait until Monday to see if the breaks will require surgery, so.....

    I've been thinking about the wisdom of having Yvonne wade these slippery sections lately, but she's always eager to dive in. She have a wading staff, but it seldom gets used. I've fallen in this stream a few times in the past couple months, but have avoided injury. I'll be 50 in a month, and while my physical conditioning is back to where it was 10 years ago (gained and lost
    90 pounds after a bicycle crash), it's time to start avoiding injury. Don't get me wrong. I won't be sitting on the sofa watching Bill Dance fish for bass on TV, but wading slick streams will be re-evaluated. I wore 80% of the felt off the bottom of my Simms boots in the past two years, and the next pair will have metal studs of some sort. Beginning a year ago, I began fishing without getting in the water as much as possible. That was mostly due to fishing a no-wading stretch of a great trout stream. I liked that idea so much, I decided to try it on my regular streams. It works fine.

    Yvonne will walk again, and we'll be fishing together soon enough. I'll wheel her onto a fishing pier if that's what it takes, but we'll be fishing. There are a lot of forum members that aren't as indestructible as they once were, and I just wanted to pass along today's disaster as a warning to others. My one and only serious physical injury happened when I threw my arms up after winning a bicycle race. I hit a little bump in the road at full speed, and did unknown damage to my shoulder (I don't like doctors). I assumed that the shoulder would heal itself, and continued eating the same huge quantity of food I ate when riding 150-200 miles each week. It was 5 years before I could ride again, and I had gained an enormous amount of weight. Getting that weight off was TOUGH, but I'm nearly done. My wife is now going to have to be monitored closely for weight, and getting back on her bike is something I wouldn't want to speculate about. So be careful, and warn the ones you're fishing with that everyone is breakable. Even the firemen were having a tough time wading in 12 inches of water today.......

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Be careful wading---disaster today


    Please relay to Yvonne my condolences regarding her injury. I am sorry to hear that you guys had a bad day like this.


    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  3. #3

    Default Re: Be careful wading---disaster today

    I am glad Yvonne will be alright in time, having broken an ankle myself it took almost a year for the limp to go away. But don't think she will be deprived of fishing for very long.

    Working in a dangerous field, safety is always on my mind, we discuss safety everyday and empower anyone working on location to shut down the job if they suspect something or someone of being unsafe. Every now and then this forum will have a discussion about survival gear but "every now and then" is not enough. We should question, advise and tutor fellow members more often and not be bashful about doing so.

    I was going fly fishing until my wife suggested it, now I can't tell who is outsmarting who!

    Being "one with nature" requires a knowledge of what animals are living nearby and a weapon of sufficient magnitude to give you at minimum an equal chance of survival. No one has an invisible aura that animals can detect and sense your good intentions.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Be careful wading---disaster today

    Frank, I am really sorry to hear the ordeal that you went through, and I am thankful that you shared this story to give us warning. I hope and pray for your wife's quick recovery so that both of you can enjoy fishing again.
    The other day I had a bear plunge and left several scratches on my wrist, which makes me think that I should bring a whistle or fish with buddies. I am also around your age and last year gave up fishing at a river where I have caught large hybrids because slippery conditions of the river have caused several unfortunate events.
    Again I pray that your wife will feel better. And although I never met your wife, please give my best regard to her.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Be careful wading---disaster today

    Sorry to hear about this, please give Yvonne my best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Languedoc/near montpellier
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Be careful wading---disaster today

    Hey Frank,that's really bad luck! Give Yvonne all my best wishes for a quick recovery...I know her dear husband will do his best for that

  7. #7

    Default Re: Be careful wading---disaster today

    First off I hope your wife recovers quickly and with no serious after effects. Secondly just this year I have noticed that I too was having a heck of a time keeping my balance walking on the river rocks, I never used a wading stick before, one day I slipped with my foot jammed in a crevice and nearly broke my leg, I the got a branch from the shore to give it a shot and was surprised at how much it helped me. I now get a branch every time and am much safer in that regard but I prop the stick up into my belt while not in use an will be looking for a proper wading stick with a stowable feature now.
    You've mentioned getting studded wading shoes, forgive me if I'm mistaken but aren't they generally for icy conditions, I would think metal on bare rock wouldn't be a great grip, not sure.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Jackson Hole, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Be careful wading---disaster today


    Very sorry to hear of your mishap!! Best wishes to Yvonne for a speedy recovery!!
    My worst day on the water beats my best day anywhere else hands down!!

    Upstream Anglers and Outdoor Adventures

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    southern Ohio

    Default Re: Be careful wading---disaster today

    Hope Yvonne's recovery is speedy and complete.

    I took a dip in the Ohio river last winter and decided to update the safety rules for my wading since I qualify for the "Golden Buckeye" senior discounts now.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Western Maryland

    Default Re: Be careful wading---disaster today

    I'm really sorry to hear of what happened to Yvonne. Glad she is okay and on the mend. Thanks for the reminder on wading. I am 57 and took a nasty fall this year. (almost passed out from the pain!) You are right, our minds think we are still 20 years younger but we are not indestructible!
    "I fish because I love to; because I love the environs where trout are found; because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience...because only in the woods can I find solitude without lonliness..." Robert Traver 1964 (Judge John Voelker)

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