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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, like several others who are farily new to IFish, I didn't realize the story requirement for newbies. So, I never shared one. So, here's one for y'all:

About four years ago, I and my dad made the long drive from the Gresham area to the North Fork Nehalem right after the new year. We were the first to arrive at our spot about 5:00 AM. This was a little place (one of the few) along the highway where we could access the river. In order to get to the river, we had to walk down a trail and slide down a hill to get to the bank.

As we were wadering up, another vehicle pulled up behind us. So, we shifted our preparations into high gear, as we did not want to lose the spot. so, we grabbed our gear and started hoofin' it. With camera and rod in hand, and wearing all of the required winter SH gear around my chest, I was leading the way down the path, parallel to the river. Thinking I was directly above the spot where we were going to fish, I decided to cut toward the river, off the trail and just "hop" down onto the bank. Keep in mind, it was pitch black outside.

I took two steps into the brush and the world fell out from under me. With my back toward the ground, I felt my self accelerating through the air. As I was watching the stars above, I was wondering what part of my body was going to hit what object to break my fall. Seconds later, which felt like an eternity, I felt the ice cold rush of the NFN engulfing my body.

The hole into which I fell must have been about 7 to 8 feet deep. I bumped the river bottom with my back side, pushed my way up to the surface, only to yell back to my dad, "Don't Come Down That Way!!!!"

At this point two things were happening - one, I was trying to figure out how to get myself out of the river; and, two, my dad was frantically trying to figure out what happened and how to get to where I was - safely. As far as figuring out how to get myself out of the river, it was a difficult task - there was only a sheer rock wall from where I entered the drink to a point downstream a few hundred yards. Going upstream was not an option because the current was prohibitive. I was about 30 yards downstream from where the bank was, but by this time I was too cold to fight the current.

After floundering around in the water for about three minutes, beginning to feel weighted down by my water-logged clothing and with slightly labored breathing, I knew I had to relax and come up with a solution before the effects of hypothermia robbed me of my mental faculties (I know, where were they when I left the trail – ha..ha). I found an outcropping along the wall that was submerged about three feet. I managed to pull myself out of the water to stand on the outcropping.

By this time, the two fisherman that were in the vehicle that pulled in after we did had made it down to the bank where I was supposed to be. My dad was able to follow them, but about 30 steps behind. While clinging to the side of the cliff, I was trying to yell to get those guys’ attention. They did not respond. I learned later that when my dad finally joined them, not knowing he was my dad, they told him “that idiot down there fell into the river and is stranded on the wall – hahahahaha.” Shortly thereafter, these guys disappeared upriver to continue to fish.

At this point, my dad is panicking, wondering what, if anything he can do. He told me that he was going to back up to the truck to get some rope. I asked him to hurry because I was getting a little sleepy and my fingers were getting numb – I wasn’t sure how much longer I could hold on to the cliff and prevent re-entering the drink. So he went back up to the truck. While he was up there, he managed to flag someone for assistance. The kind person he spoke with happened to live close by and told my dad that he would go right home and call the “local” fire department. My dad returned the bank and tried to float the rope to me. No success – the current kept taking the rope out of my reach.

About 20 minutes later, dad heard the rescue truck pull up. Several rescue team members met my dad down on the bank. A couple remained on the trail above me, trying to lower a rope down to me, but could not pinpoint my location. My dad asked one of the rescuers to float a drift sock down to me from above. They tried that, but the current kept carrying the sock toward the center of the river and sinking it. My dad, a brilliant man (seriously) removed his inflatable fishing vest and activated the CO2 cartridge by pulling on the handle that said “Jerk to Inflate,” which should have read “Inflate for Jerk.” He handed it to one of the rescuers who tied it on the rope. They slowly let the current carry the inflated vest down along the wall until I could reach it. I reached down, nearly throwing myself back into the drink, grabbed the vest and, in one motion, put the vest on and fell backward into the river. The rescuer pulled me to the bank – that was the worst part of the whole experience: more water rushing into my waders as I was on step, heading toward the bank.

Once on the bank, I could hardly pull myself up, so four guys carried me up the hill to the road where they deposited me in a rescue truck. While in the rescue truck, I was instructed to remove my waders and wet clothing. They wrapped warm blankets around me and checked my temperature – 93.4 deg. F! Not surprising. They kept me in there for what seemed to be an eternity, until my temp was back up to 97 and I was more coherent.

Once they released me, and while I was still wrapped in a blanket, I got into dad’s truck. We drove into Seaside where we found a Laundromat and tossed my clothes in a drier. While clothes were drying, we went to the outlet mall where my dad bought me some new, warm dry digs. An hour later, my clothes were dry and we were fishing the Necanacum, where we each hooked a couple fish. Nothing to take home for our troubles except a story and a greater appreciation for life.

By the way – if I would have fallen 6 feet up or downstream from where I did, I probably would have been claimed by the rocks and would not be here telling this story.

Oh, and if you happened to have found a Lamiglas G1000 with a Left Hand Shimano Curado in the last couple years on the NFN – please remember me next time you use it. Not that I'm asking for it back, but it would be interesting to know if someone found it.

ORS

[ 10-22-2003, 10:52 PM: Message edited by: OregonRedside ]
 

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WOW! :shocked: That's one heck of a story man! Here's to you making it out alright! :cheers:

-jokester

[ 10-21-2003, 09:14 AM: Message edited by: jokester ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ska,

Yeah....ummmm....it went in the drink with my rod, reel, hat and $250 camera.

ORS
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ska - when you goin to SRD again? I've also got another option for you a little later in the season. I'll send you PM tomorrow and we'll chat.

ORS
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
one bump - just in case someone else wants to read it before if falls into the abyss.

ORS
 

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"Don't' come down that way!!!" :rolleyes:

You're stealing my line! :grin:

Fortunately, most of mine weren't that serious. I do remember one Olympic-caliber Flying Butt-drop when I tried walking down a long, sloping, bark-free, wet and smooth log to a river bank.

I couldn't believe that the infernal, tule-smoking, motherless, bait-stealing sculpin of a log was so disrespectful as to drop me on my tailbone and then let me slide off one side to the ground several feet below! :mad:

So, I picked myself up, climbed back up the bank, and proceeded to give the log a second chance.


Two important factoids:

1) I was about 20 years old.

2) Video cameras and the concept of "America's Funniest Home Idiots" hadn't been invented yet.

Most likely, my fishing buddy should have received credit for the phrase "instant replay." :rolleyes:

Glad your "adventure" came out relatively well, but how come you didn't make a few casts while you were under water?. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Paddlefish, I would have, had the impact of the water not separated me from my fsihing rod :hoboy:

ORS
 

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Great Story, and thanks for being willing to tell it.

I bought my inflatable PFD the day after the TakiToo rolled on the Tillamook bar with the loss of 11 lives. I thought they were all so foolish to not have had life preservers on. Then I thought about how I go fishing all the time by myself in strong currents on slippery rocks.

It sounds like your dad's inflatable saved your life. You just never know when or how it will make a difference. I won't feel too silly when I'm wearing mine now.
 

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I do remember one Olympic-caliber Flying Butt-drop when I tried walking down a long, sloping, bark-free, wet and smooth log to a river bank.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Olympic-caliber Flying Butt-drop :laugh: :laugh:

Cracking me up!! I'm gonna have to remember that one!!!!

- :dance: jokester
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
TC - kinda funny, but not really - my dad bougth both of us inflatable fishing vests after slipping into the drink and making a couple laps around the big eddie on the Deschutes accross from Trout Creek. I probably have enough true fish tales about my dad and me that could fill a book. Might be an idea. Bottom ine - my inflatable is always on now whenever I'm in/on a river. Also, I always have a couple extra CO2 cartridges with me at all times. :shocked: :grin:

ORS
 
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