Let's Play WFF Survivor!!

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by chadk, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Part 1: The Incident

    Fred and George are on a 3 day float trip down a remote river.
    To get to their ‘put in’ spot, they drive 10 miles in George’s car down old dirt forest service roads. Since this is the ‘off season’, they do not see anyone else on the drive in. Fred’s rig has been left at the ‘take out’ spot 20 miles below. They each left a note with their wives letting them know their agenda and when they should be expected home.

    They packed heavily. Plenty of fishing gear and necessary camping gear. Each has a sturdy personal pontoon boat.

    This is an annual trip for them. They are very familiar with the area and the details of the float.

    It is October, and the days are in the 40s to 50s and the nights get just below freezing.

    Once they put in, the river quickly separates from the road. In fact, the road is seldom closer than a mile from to the river up very steep rugged terrain, and at times it is as much as 4-5 miles away. There are no bridges until you reach the one at the take-out spot. They like it that way, because it means less fishing pressure…

    They take their time fishing and floating on the first day. With about 1.5 hours of light left, they decide they’ll set up camp just past the next set of rapids.

    Like all the rapids before, this one looks pretty tame and they let their guard down a little (they are also getting pretty mentally and physically tired at this point). They end up hitting the first small drop about the same time, and about 30 feet apart. About the same time, they both get that “oh crap!” look. A small log is lying across this section of river, just below the surface, but between drops, so it was not seen from above. Next thing they both know, they are flipped into the icy water.

    George is wearing his PFD. He points his feet downstream and gets ready to deflect himself away from any boulders with his feet. He catches a glimpse of Fred who seems to be OK about 40 feet away from him. George manages to finally make his way to the shore and pull himself up on dry land.

    Fred was not wearing PFD. He took it off in the previous run because it interfered with his casting and never put it back on again. Fortunately this time, he was able to swim, but he took a beating on the rocks. By the time he reached shore, he had a sprained ankle and lots of bruises. But he was OK. As he laid there on the bank, he looked across the water and spotted George sitting there looking back at him.

    Fred is on the same side of the river as the road. But he has no idea if it is 1 mile from this spot or 4. He has a ‘pocket survival kit’ in his fishing vest (along with a knife, and basic fly fishing gear such as flies, tippet, floatant, etc). His kit includes water proof matches, small compass, needle and thread, small candle, tinder, whistle, and one of those ‘space blanket’ things that look like folded up tinfoil.

    George on the other hand has nothing but his PFD and the clothes on his back (breathable waders, now filled with water... and cotton pants and a light cotton shirt - both soaked). He has no injuries, but he’s very cold and a little shaken up.

    The river is much too wide and fast flowing to for either to cross. And they know from previous trips that it is about a mile up or down river before the first even reasonably safe crossing spot can be found.
    They can holler to each other, but have a hard time due to the loud river. Their pontoon boats and gear cannot be seen anywhere. They are probably quite a ways down river.
    The sun is quickly disappearing below the trees and surrounding mountains. They have less than 1 hr of daylight and the temperature will be down to freezing not long after that.


    OK, that is the scenario. Put yourself in their shoes and tell us how they get out of this mess….. What should Fred do? How about George?

    Feel free to pick this apart from beginning to end. Tell us why this would never happen to you and so forth. But also consider that it could possibly happen to someone, so the challenge here is to help Fred and George survive, given what you know about their situation.
     
  2. jessejames

    jessejames Flyslinger

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    Great idea chad this ought to be fun. I think that you picked a real life situation that is something that could have surely happened to me on a few trips.
    I think that right now the thing that is the most important is making it through the first night. If Fred can get some dry wood gathered, enough for the whole night and yell to George to do the same. It will be difficult for George with his injuries so he should tell him to get started now to gather some wood and get to a place to build a fire. After Fred gets a fire going he needs to get all the line/tippet/flyline whatever he has and see if he has enough to reach across to George. When he has a long enough piece of line tie it on a throwable rock and get it across the river. If it too far to throw find a flat piece of branch or wood to make a catapult arm to lever the rock further so it can reach to George. After george has the end of the line in hand attach the waterproof box, with some matches and tinder, to it and get George to pull it across. George is going to have to get a fire going. Fred needs to encourage George to get it done or he won't last the night. Get dry try to stay warm. Keep awake to encourage one another and wait until morning. If they can do that tomorrow will be the next challange.
    Blessings
    jesse clark
     
  3. CovingtonFly

    CovingtonFly B.O.H.I.C.A. bend over here it comes again

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    Frist, Fred needs to build a fire. George on the other hand, needs to dry off and make some shelter and bust a fire if he can and stay as warm as possible. In the morning I guess George needs to cross the river to get back to Fred. He's gonna want to go downstream to where he can cross, as opposed to upstream because he might find some of their gear that washed downstream. Once he gets to George he needs to assess Georges injuries and if possilble the can both walk out, if not he needs to stock up ole George the best he can and hightail it to the truck, probably the truck at the put in spot depending on how far they floated that first day. When he gets to the truck he will have to run back to George and get the keys that he forgot in his haste.
     
  4. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Thanks for that - I just about spit my coffee on my screen and there are people standing nearby...:rofl:
     
  5. The river is much too wide and fast flowing to for either to cross. And they know from previous trips that it is about a mile up or down river before the first even reasonably safe crossing spot can be found. Quoted


    OK,
    I think it's possible for George to run down to a safe place to cross and then either run back to Fred or walk. He has an hour of daylight and it's only a mile or so. I think it could be done in that time. Fred, if he can can get wood to start the fire. This will help them stay warm for the night.
    I agree tomorrow is totally another day with sunlight and such, all they have to do is make it through tonight. Based off the injuries to Fred, George will have to get help, and that will mean getting back to the truck and then back to Fred.
    Frank.
    Awsome story
     
  6. Tim Lockhart

    Tim Lockhart Working late at The Office

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    Nice job setting up the scenario. I just hope one of them brought a cell phone in a waterproof container kept on their person (since they packed heavily). If that's the case, get dry/warm, stay put and dial up kodiaksalmon for one of those heli-rescues.
    If not, see frank's post.
    If that fails, both Fred and George should follow this simple two-step process:
    1. Place head firmly between legs.
    2. ...(you know the rest)
     
  7. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Good thoughts so far. Thanks.

    I'll update this for Part 2 tonight or tomorrow. I'm not sure yet how this will all play out, but i'm leaning toward... well... let's just say I wouldn't get too attached to any of the main characters just yet...
     
  8. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    BTW, if this kind of topic interests you, check out the "I shouldn't be alive" series on the Disco channel...
     
  9. johnmetcalfe

    johnmetcalfe New Member

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    I personally like Man vs. Wild starring Bear Gyrills, yes Bear Gryills.

    If I were George I would get the off the Cotton and do some pushups or run a lttle bit. But the clothes on a rock that has maybe in the sun. Maybe run up river and try and cross it to the side with the fire. If it is that cold, he will freeze. If he cannot cross I could make a bed out of branches and leaves. Very bad to sleep directly on the ground.

    If I were the guy with the tools I would spend a lot of time getting some fire wood. I think the general rule of thumb is get what you think yoiu need, then get 4 times that. Then start the fire and get WARM.

    Jm

    I cannot wait for tomorrow
     
  10. tythetier

    tythetier Fish Slayer

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    GEORGE NEEDS TO CROSS THE RIVER ( RUN DOWN STREAM IF NEED BE), AND BUILD A FIRE WITH FRED. THEY NEED TO DRY OUT, USE THE WHISTLE A FEW TIMES AND THEN WAIT FOR FIRST LIGHT.

    THE NEXT DAY, THEY SHOULD WALK DOWN STREAM A BIT, STAY WITHIN SIGHT OF THE CAMP AND SEE IF THEY COULD FIND ANYTHING. THEN STAY PUT. THEIR WIVES KNOW WHERE THEY ARE, THEY (MIGHT) SEND SOMONE TO FIND THEM.

    TY
     
  11. o mykiss

    o mykiss Active Member

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    When you say that the river is too wide and swift to cross and that the nearest safe crossing spots are a mile up or downstream, does that mean that the river in those two miles is basically whitewater? And how wide are we talking?
     
  12. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    I'd call it fast pocket water. Think canyon type area. It is defainately too deep to wade. And it is full of huge boulders that are hard to see - combined with a strong fast current makes it dangers to try and swim. Fred barely made it out alive. It is a large river - about the size of the lower sky. Perhaps a little bigger. You'd need your throwing arm in shape to reach the other side. And as you know, Fred's pretty banged up...
     
  13. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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  14. Man that is horrible news. I have never fished a river in a boat, but this sure makes you think twice about it.
    Frank.
     
  15. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    :confused: Chad....were you really working today...?? :beer2: interesting q.
     
  16. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Good thoughts Jesse. First thing is to assess your situation. Don't panic. Come up with a plan. First on the agenda (as everyone pointed out) is to get warm and dry.
    The temp is probably about 40 and dropping. Hypothermia will be chipping away at both of them before they know it.

    Interesting idea with the rocks and getting the matches accross. :beer2:

    But too bad for our friend George, but Fred only has the small tippet spools - and the 2 or 3 he has are running low on line. Not that it matters... His arm just doesn't have what it takes to get anything accross. He just barely survived the cold water and a solid beating. Now he's cold, shivering, and needs to get a fire going ASAP.

    But you are right - what happens that first night will surely make all the difference.
     
  17. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Cov - yes, a fire needs to be made. I don't know what chance George has to dry off his cotton clothes before he get's hypothermia. He has no way to start a firel, the sun is dissapearing behind the trees, and the temp is dropping fast.

    Good point about heading downstream in hopes of finding the gear.
     
  18. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    I'm leaning in this direction too. George won't survive the night without finding a way to get to Fred's fire.
     
  19. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Well, I don't think George has time and sun is pretty much gone. Drying out those cloths just isn't going to happen in time. I agree with running up or down to find a crossing point. I think if he stays, he dies.

    Good point aout the shelter and bed. You need shelter from the wind and rain - but also insultation from the cold earth below you...
     
  20. SuperDave

    SuperDave New Member

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    A testimonial for "The Seven Cardinal P's": Proper Prior Planning Prevents Pee Poor Performance.

    It is IMPARATIVE that they stay put for the first night and get as dry as possible by a fire. Only after first light should they attempt to walk out, either up or downstream; not up/down the streambed but higher to avoid the rocks and debris. They should STAY together at all times!

    I've been in a similar situation TWICE in my years and I'm alive because I/we stayed calm and thought out our predicament. :thumb:

    SuperDave
     

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