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Discussing fishing flies, trout flies, salmon flies, fly fishing gear and equipment, Idaho and Montana fishing rivers, NW rivers, fly tying and fly fishing trips. Over 50 years experience in fly fishing, best flies, fly tying, fly fishing techniques, fish stories, directions to rivers and lakes and great fly fishing tall tales with special communications from area guides.

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Good Things Come to Those Who Wade (Not Always)


fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flys


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One of those sayings which applies to easterners who come out west in July, August and September to Idaho fly fish out western waters. However today March, the only thing that would come to "those who wade" would be an early watery grave. I frequently in this blog attempt to discussed water safety tips like the wearing of PFD's (Personal Floatation Devices). Today we will discuss the thing that scares me the most and that is the RIVER STRAINER (submerged strainer pictured above).

fly fish Idaho; flies fishing; fly fishing; fly fishing equipment; fishing flies; fishing gear; trout flies; salmon flies; fly fishing Idaho; flies for sale; Idaho fly fishing; flyfishing flies; fishing flysThe rivers in Idaho are overflowing right now due to heavy snow melt, active rain and warmer (I won't say warm simply warmer) temperatures. Water is pouring off the mountains with no sign of letting up. Wikipedia defines a strainer as a sieve or sifter "a device for separating wanted elements from unwanted material". In the case of a wade fly fisher, a strainer is submerged tree limbs from winter deadfalls which separates you (the wanted element) from the unwanted material (the moving river water) and leaves in the strainer only you. But unfortunately you are frequently in your waders, under the water and unable to get out of the tree limbs in which you are trapped due to the torrential springtime river flow. Therefore, you DROWN. And, as in the photo atop, rescuers must come out and retrieve your DEAD body for your wife and kids, who are usually quite PISSED.

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It makes no difference how good a swimmer you are, you are not strong enough to get out of a strainer when currents are raging. In the next to the last scene in the movie "The Grey" with Liam Neeson, one of the costars Dallas Mark Roberts fell in to a rapidly moving stream and drown. This movie is quite exciting and wade fly fishers should view this scene to understand what can happen.

Lastly, please be careful when wading and Idaho fly fishing this and any time of year--but be particularly careful in the spring. Many die each year due to these. See the PS below for 2 examples.

Get out there and have fun and be careful. Hard takes, tight lines and screaming reel to all.

IdahoAngler@live.com

PS-From Adventure Risk Report January 2012

"Four dead from fly fishing? Not considered a particularly a high risk activity, this past summer rocked the fly fishing world when within one week two accidents killed two people each. All four deaths happened on guided trips. What is interesting is the denial of the elephant in the room.
 
In Whistler, B.C., a client on a guided wading fishing outing slipped while landing a fish in knee deep water. She swept her partner of his feet and both were carried into the deep channel and out of sight. The guide could only watch helplessly. Both bodies were found further downstream, one with a reported obvious head contusion (story here).
 
A second incident in Montana involved a 73 year old well known guide on a float trip. His raft was carried into a sweeper and flipped. The guide and one client drowned, while a second client swam free and survived (story here).
 
The fall out from this has focused on wading belts (and one could easily add PFD's to this list), as of the five people in the water in these stories only the person that survived was wearing one."
 
Wading belts are to be the subject of a future post. (SEE ABOVE 

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