Thursday, April 19, 2007

4 Rods w/Reels, 1 Camera w/waterproof case and 1 Landing Net....

4 Rods w/Reels, 1 Camera w/waterproof case and 1 Landing Net:
~2.3 Sport Units ($2,300)
Recovering your boat, intact and with oars:
2 Sport Units
You and your pal crawling out of the river, living and breathing:

Not much to say really. Me and Chet spent three days on the Clark Fork River last week. The fishing was slow for the first two days, a smattering of Gray Drakes and March Browns, one or two skwalas. Very few fish to the surface. Flows @ St. Regis ~ 8,500 cfs.
On Day three we decided to float from Tarkio down to Forest Grove, having floated from Forest Grove to Big Eddy the first two days. Found a couple of fish in the canyon throwing a big streamer.
Then we hit the rapids. I should mention that these rapids were avoidable but we zigged when we should have zagged and the current sucked the boat into some very large standing waves. My 11ft drifter didn't have a chance, those waves might have been four feet tall and they were shaped like pyramids. Like they say, it happened fast.
Thankfully the tumble cycle was short. I surfaced, figured out which way was up and located Chet.
We made for the nearest shore but quickly realized that we would never cross the current to get to it so we headed downstream, towards the next bend.
The current was fast and the water was still very choppy. I consider myself a strong swimmer but the water was cold and I didn't know how long I would be able to kick for. Thankfully there weren't any wierd hydraulics. Lifejackets you ask? In the boat last I saw them, bungied under the seats.
I was never so scared in my life. I kept swimming, closer and closer to the far bank. I hauled myselft out and saw that Chet had done the same. We were at least 500ft downstream of the rapid that flipped us.
Chet somehow managed to grab the boat's anchor line during his swim. He and the boat made the bank about 100 ft below me. The boat was upside down and pinned against a large rock.
Somehow we recovered the boat. All three oars, and the life jackets were still in it We donned our PFD's and dumped the water out of the boat. We had lost one of the oar locks. so we had to row canoe style. There were a couple of rapids that we had to line the boat around.
We left a lot of gear somewhere in that river and nearly drowned. But it was a good day and we both knew it. We caught some lucky breaks and were thankful for them. Yeah, things got bad in a hurry but it could have been a lot worse.
We both learned a lot that day. Most of it we should have already known and the rest of it, well some things you only get one chance to learn.


Ed. said...

Holy Crap! Very glad you're okay. That's terrifying.

john montana said...

glad you are okay wt! i've been in similar situations, and know how frightening that can really be.

glad you are home safe...

Tom Chandler said...

Add in an attack from a rabid trout, and you've got yourself a Reader's Digest "Drama in Real Life."

My advice is to try and avoid those situations from now on...

Colin Rich said...

Holy Shit Wyatt. Glad you're still here.

I got an old Plfueger 6/7 weight I can borrow you. It's missing a couple guides though.

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to by the local a round I'd say.

Uncle tim said...

Glad you are both safe. Tough way to learn a lesson but I spect you did.

Smithhammer said...

Gottdam, WT. Ditto everything above and thank Sweet Little Baby Jeebus.

bacon_to_fry said...

fuck guy, don't even attempt to attempt that again, eh?