Fishing forum > Swimming the Vedder and PFD's

Author Topic: Swimming the Vedder and PFD's
hawg hunter

Thought I'd throw a topic out there after I had the opportunity to "Swim" the Vedder. Does everyone out there where a PFD while river fishing?
I had previously posted some pictures of a fish I caught on the 29th of April but I failed to mention the events that would follow. I was fishing my favorate spot caught the fish in the picture and thought seeing how there was no one on the river that afternoon I would wade my way further up to Peach road area. I crossed the river with some effort, the river was up at least a foot from my last outing. When I finished fishing that side of the river I made my way back to the original side I entered the river on. Well I did make it but not after loosing my footing and flailing down the river. Every time I tried to regain my footing I got knocked off of my feet until I hit a deep fast moving spot. I then was at the mercy of the river. I tried swimming to one side of the river with limited success. As my breatable waders filled with water I swam harder and harder and made every effort to keep my head above the water. After what seemed like hours I was absulutely exhausted. I thought the end may come near when I was finally ably to touch bottom again and pull myself up onto a shallow bar in the middle of the river. In my opinion it was probably as close as I have come to meeting my maker.
The reason I ask about the PFD's is because I have an inflatable mustang fishing vest that I always wear in my belly boat but seldom wear when I am on the river? The point is I feel I am somewhat experienced and have had my best success on the river this past season and only fish the areas that I think I know but look what happened. I ventured to a new area(granted not by the smartest means) and the result was almost fatal. I know this may make me sound like a stupid person but I am very methodical at everything I do. Just one mental lapse and look what can happen. Just some food for thought.
The Yak

We are all glad you are still with us brother Hawg. I dont river fish but even on the lake I dont wear a PFD of any kind when I go out... I think I'm going to get a Mustang Airforce Inflatable after hearing your story.. lately ive heard too many things like this happening so i think its a bit of a warning for me to shape up... My uncle drowned while fishing a few years ago and he wasnt wearing a PFD either...

One reason why neoprenes are so great is that they float somewhat... more food for thought.

Well old Hawg Glad to hear you made it!
First off a wading belt would have helped somewhat to cinch down those bulky waders and stop water from getting in.
Also a wading staff all I've ever used is stick I pick up wherever I am-they are everywhere-has come in very handy sometimes.
I use it like a 'third leg' canted downstream from me and never move one 'leg' until 2 are secure.
I too have an inflatable vest but I don't wade far all that much-I've had a few close calls and now have the grey hairs to prove it.
hawg hunter

Hey Rodbreaker, fitting name. I actually attempted to use my rod to stop me. G Loomis makes a pretty strong stick! It never broke. Also, you have a very good point about the wading belt. I was wearing one. That along with my pack I feel saved me. The belt helped slow the water flowing in and the pack acted as a form of floatation. Silly thing in this whole scenario is I have just about every fishing gadget known to man including a wading staff. This day I had it in my pack instead of on my belt. Overall my excitement to get one last day on the water almost turned out to be last day. Going forward I think if I choose to wade in the River, I will be better prepared and probably use my neoprenes instead.

I too have taken a swim in the vedder...just above the boulder run at the kayak gates. Everything was fine until I got mid river and hit a patch of clay...there was nothing i could do to stay on my feet. Luckily the river wasnt raging so I was able to make it to shore. UNfortunately though, i was on the wrong side of the river and needed to cross back. Sure enough I went down the second time too but being ready for it, I walked upstream to give me extra room and while wet and cold everything was OK.

Things to think about gang:

Now every crossing I plan an escape route and consider whats down stream if I wipe out.

Once the water hits your crotch level, there is a lot more surface area and drag. At the same time with neoprenes bouyant quality, the deeper you go, LESS and LESS weight is transferred to your feet...its a very slippery slope!

As well, daytime heating can cause an increase in run off from morning to afternoon so what was crossable in the AM may not be so easy later on in the day.

Well, Hawg, first - I am happy you are here to tell the story. Second - once fishing by Tamihi Bridge I actually felt in the water from a rock at 6:30 in the morning. There were couple other guys with me, but they could not help me much. I had neoprene waders and was lucky to get out at the end of the pool, but it wasn't an easy journey.

When I go lake fishing on my pontoon boat I always have a PFD now. But for river fishing ... now I'll consider inflatable PFD/vest.

And Hawg, thanks for sharing.
hawg hunter

Thanks for the feedback guys
salmon assasin

to bad ya spooked the runjk glad to see ya made it out alright
bug pumper

Wow, glad you made it hawg. I think at some point some thing like that happens to almost every fisher. In feb I had to wade out and bring back to shore a young guy about 18 yrs old who got stuck in the middle of the river. He couldn't move anymore and his legs were almost at the end of thier strength. The things we'll sometimes do for a fish!

I was in the process of researching floating vest for my DH and came across this forum. My DH was at the Vedder this past Thursday and a young man lost his life. From what I understand, he had on neoprene waders with no floatation vest. The neoprene's do float as someone mentioned earlier, but they don't hold your head up. My DH was also at the Vedder last year when a man floated by him struggling to keep his head afloat but with the cold he just couldn't keep it up. My DH tried so hard to save him but he was always just a few inches too far out.

I am now looking into finding a vest as this is the 2nd time he has been there and I don't want him to be the unlucky 3rd.

My advise is to get out there and buy a floatation vest.
They appear to be expensive but the questions is...

"How much is your life worth?"

It would be nice for those who have vests to post their comments to assist me in finding a good vest.

Thanks in advance

I read in the Province today the man that died Thursday was actually 67 and apparantly his hip waders filled up with water.

Heart felt wishes to his family...

Fishing forum > Swimming the Vedder and PFD's


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