How I damned near drowned

Maybe there is a lesson in this, maybe not. While fishing in B.C. from my boat, I fell overboard and was nearly killed.
I had built this seat from a petestal from an old boat and I pop-rivited a subdeck to the seats in order not to compromise the hull. I was leaning hard into an effort to make the longest cast possible when the seat tore loose. I was now plunging down through icy water, lots of bubbles etc.
I still had my rod in my hand (I never let go of my rod no matter what) and I tried to re-enter the boat. That proved to be impossible. You must have a place to drive with your legs. I slipped off the motor's lower unit until I realized it was to no avail. I looked at the rocks on the beach and I thought it was too far away to swim.
Now I had to make a choice: stay with the boat (advised procedure by nearly everyone) or strike out for the shore. It was just after dawn and no one was on the lake. It was bitter cold and the water would kill me in about 30 minutes. I would be found on the bottom in about 20ft. of water.
I never panicked and I took a moment to reflect. There was no safety hanging on to a boat in the middle of the lake at this hour, and there was practically no one fishing except nuts like me.
So I struck out for the bank and, of course, I made it. The rocks on the bank were large and it was a bitch climbing up onto them. Also I had to hike about four blocks to reach my cabin. When I opened the door, I collapsed and my wife went to work on me.
It was a close call and I guess I made the right decision :DUNNO
Glad you survived to post again. Makes you glad to have a PFD on. (Hopefully you did!?)

Good luck getting out again. I'd probably be a little nervous to head it alone for a while.

- Tom


Active Member
Amazing story Bob, glad you were able to keep your wits about you and make a tough decision that saved your life.

Tom's comment should be heeded by all of us. They don't call them Life jackets for nothing. Cold water is where we all should have them on all the time.



AKA: Gregory Mine
Thank you for reminding us all that we are not 10 foot tall and bullet proof. I'm sure we all have had close calls on a lake or in a river. Sometimes it never really hits home until you read it how it almost happened to someone else and are able to reflect upon our own experiences. We all have way to much to live for, and safety is a big factor when fishing alone. I'm glad your safe and back to fishing...

There are old fishermen, and bold fishermen, but no old bold fishermen
For sometime now I have been thinking of investing in a self inflating collar to wear under my vest--your story just helped me make up my mind. I'm glad you survived to tell it.

For when sleeping I dream of big fish and strong fights.


Rob Blomquist

Formerly Tight Loops
Glad to hear you are OK. Yikes!

As far as floatation goes, I highly recommend Mustang Integrity suits. The jacket is a type 3 PFD, and warm as you can imagine. I have just started wearing mine as at 30 mph, the air is a bit nippy. I have been out in mine in December and January, and have been quite warm.

And yes, fishing out of them would be no problem.

As to climbing into a boat, it is best done from the transom, a the length of the boat will make it easier to get in and more stable.

Genetic pollution damages wild
stocks, bonk those Hatchery Zombies!
good job

I am glad you are ok.

Many times, all alone, northern lights burning above in the sky, something would happen to me to put me in a life or death situation.

Once you come through it you are always gratefull of the little things in life.

I suspect you really apprecated your wife at the cabin, and reflected about yoru experience over and over again in your head.

I imagine you will be out there all alone again soon.


Phillip Fischer :THUMBSUP
Thanks for the concern about my safety and the safety of others when fishing. As to remounting the boat from the transom, believe me , it is impossible. You just can't lift your body from the water by using your arms and hands; you must use your legs also, and there is no place to put them.
I had no PFD. I have never seen another fisherman with one so I am not alone here. They are too bulky, don't fit right and look stupid.
What I had on when I fell in was this big down coat because of the cold. It saved my life, although I would never recommend this to another fisher.
The feathers in the coat floated like thousands of dry flys. I was truly a cork. I had hip boots on and I should have sunk like a rock.
But the coat saved me.
I immediately ran out and bought a CO2 inflatable vest from Orvis.
It cost a bundle but what is the price of your life? I will never be in or even around water without this vest.
P.S. There are lot of cheaper self-inflating vest on the market other than Orvis. But, of course, I have to style! :DEVIL
The vest was about $150.00 but there are other good ones for about $100.00 or so people at my fly club report. I don't remember where they said they got them. Probably at some discount house in Seattle. :HMMM