"It's not if you fall in, it's when!" Slickest river bottoms.

Dave Hartman

Strip'n Flywear
Hey guys.
As I'm drilling my third pair of cleats into my boots this year, it got me to wondering what's the most treacherous river bottom there is to fish. In my travels, I've had lots of people tell me such-and-such river is "slicker'n'snot", "the slipperiest river there ever was", etc.

Here's my five picks, from worst to deadliest:

5) Middle Big Hole
4) Salmon River, New York
3) Clearwater River, ID (the ledges above Lenore!)
2) Any jetty on the Maine coast (ok, not a river. . .)
And hands down:
1) The lower Deschutes. So ridiculously slick with coffin-deep, no-see-um channels.

What'd I miss?
Don't forget about the Stilly right off of I-5. Fell in there twice with no change of clothes. Boy that was a miserable day on the water.
Not a "slippery situation" but entertaining...

Day 2 of a Silver trip @ Cordova Alaska. The river was blown out from all nite rains. That morning we were walking through braided channels looking for a way upstream. I was walking at a brisk pace with rod in hand and stepped halfway across a 3 foot wide 'trickle' expecting it to be 2 inches deep. That trickle was chest deep (soft sandy bottom dug out)! I lunged forward...throwing the rod and managed to keep the water out...barely.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
It's a toss up between the Sky, the Stilly(S/F) or the Tolt. I've done a couple of fast river shuffles on all three of these rivers.

the spokane river has a few sections that are rediculas. round slime covered rocks under 3-4 feet of water that range in size from a baseball up to the size of a beachball. just not a solid place to put a foot and many rocks are loose.


Active Member
I agree with the middle Big Hole. The lower Shoshone in Cody WY in July can be slicker than the back side of a Reno hooker on payday!

Jason Wood

You guys must be quite graceful, 'cause I could fall into a mud puddle! Anyway, can't say the Yak or any water I fish is slick at all...