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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I joined the site a couple months ago and have been lurking. Lots of good info and I've even bought some AWESOME stuff from Allen Flyfishing. :)

Let me start by saying that although I haven't been fishing much recently, I have spent a fair bit of time wading in tidal waters. I used to live in AK and learned to fish for salmon in Ship Creek. The tides there vary by more than 30 FEET! I've actually seen Bore tides come in on the Turnagain Arm just outside of Anchorage. I'm just telling everyone this so that they realize mostly - that I should have known better. :clown:

I finally got a bit of free time and headed out to do some beach fishing for Cohos. I haven't had a fly rod in my hand in way too long (several years!) - and I'm even worse than I used to be...so that's pretty bad. And I've mostly been a river fisherman so distance hasn't been so important. Not so with beach fishing. Trying to punch my 6 wt into a light breeze took me a little while to get the hang of. I'm sure I can do better than the 40' or so (a guess) I was hitting with a bit more practice.

Anyway, I put on the ole waders and headed out to the beach. The fish are close (saw a couple grey hounding right by me!) so no need to wade up to your neck but the waders certainly keep you comfortable for longer than sandals so I had on the waders.

I found a nice spot where I could see a sandbar just a few yards off the beach (15-20 yards?). So, with a nicely timed incoming tide - I wanted some water movement so made sure I had the tide coming in for this my first foray, I waded thru a little deeper water - maybe around waist deep or so, to get so the bar where I was standing in water maybe around my knees.

I had a gay ole time. A couple fish passed by me (flipping me the fin and/or staying just out of my meager cast distance). I even caught a MONSTER 3" trout or salmon (I was laughing so hard I didn't even pay attention - i should have tried to id it). So, no skunk for me!

My cast improved a lot. And I'm sure after a few more times I'll do a bunch better. I do want to find someone to give me some casting pointers soon.

But, back to my story. So, I'm standing in the water, lolly gagging about and not really caring whether there's a fish in the ocean...when I realize - OH SHIT! The tide has been coming in and I'm standing waist deep in water ON A SANDBAR!!!

I turned around to see if I could make my way back to shore via the route I had come......let's just say it wasn't going to happen w/o getting seriously wet. Fortunately the sandbar also extended in to the shore - which I had not noticed when I waded out to it. PRONTO I started heading to shore on a parallel track along the sandbar. There were a few pucker moments when I got to a couple of deeper areas that nearly challenged the height of my waders - but I made it - still dry and with nothing injured other than my pride. I have to say that even though I screwed up and made a really STUPID rookie mistake, my previous experience certainly helped me know what to look for (trace the sandbar back, don't panic, have several options in your head, etc) and get the hell outta deep water (pun intended) fast. It was a good thing to have happen - to refresh my memory to pay attention to the tides. :rofl:

So the moral to the story is pay attention to where you are in the water. I wasn't far from shore and I feel that even with full waders I could have made it to shore. But, it would be really easy to get yourself in a situation that could be very very dangerous. Be careful!

One last thing. I was trying to decide what to do if I did have to wade thru neck deep H2O to get back to shore. I have a belt so that would help delay getting filled but does anyone have experience/words of wisdom for someone who did get into trouble?

I really wasn't relishing the idea of chucking my rod, reel, and vest towards shore to give me less to worry about on my way in - which would have been my first move. If I'm really in trouble, my equipment (no matter how much I love it) is the last thing I want to be worried about. And the water was shallow enough that my head wouldn't have gone under. With the waves pushing me in I would have looked funny bouncing along the bottom towards the beach but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have hurt anything more than my pride and my underwear - from needing a fresh change.

This won't happen to me again - but it might to someone else. Any words of wisdom?

Cheers,
 

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Observed a similar 'gaff' on the lower Chetco River (Brookings, Oregon) several years back. Always stay at th 'AtRiver'sEdge' RV park (which, bye the bye, controls some of the best lower river water going!) and several of us were standing at the edge of the high bank that forms the river side of the park. Great place, at low tide .... and tide water goes another half mile up river ... to observe and see if you can see Steelhead or Salmon moving up into the river.

Anyway, some knucklehead drives his small Ford truck over to the low end of the island at the upper end of the park. Water came up the top of his wheels, but he made it. Pulls out his fishing rod ad off he goes. It was about that time someone commented 'Isn't the tide coming in?' Oh Ya Baby! About 30 minutes later the fellow figured out he was in deep do-do. Jumps in truck and try's to drive off the Island to the main beach. Made it about half way before he bogged down.

Tide just kept coming in, and in, and in. Now everyone from the RV park was standing around watching the spectacle unfold below us. Several of us had tow straps in our cars/trucks and ran to get those; another fellow ran for his 3/4 ton 4x4. Turns out all the connected straps were just long enough to reach the front of his truck .... but, if there was one, no towing pin under the front bumper. Guy at this time is going ballistic and he know exactly what's going to happen if ''the collective we" couldn't get him out.

Tow hook gets wrapped around his front bumper ...... 4x4 in low-low range and takes up the slack ....... and the front bumper come ripping off.

Tide continues to come in, truck ends up totally underwater.... hours later, the tide changes, river flow takes over ...... and off goes the Ford truck down stream. Never did hear if 'they' recovered the truck. That said, how would you explain that one to the Insurance Adjuster?
 

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Long Lost Member
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Another thing to consider when wading deep in the sound, big c raft make big waves. Big craft far away make big waves that come all the way from far away to you, sometimes 4-10 minutes after the big craft is gone. I took my father in law out on a sound beach and told him this. He proceeded to wade deeply to reach more water. I watched a huge cargo ship pass way in the distance. I headed toward him and reminded him of the waves. After a few minutes and several casts I told him the waves were building and he stepped back to only mid thigh high. He almost got knocked down still. He wades well for his age, and was impressed at how this happens from ships passing so far away. I've seen guys deeply wading get wave drenched. Was that you Nick?
 

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"Chasing Riseforms"
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Wading on shallows on the incoming tide has almost caught me stranded also once or twice when you are "lost" in the minutes passing casting to coho frantically. I turned around to come in closer to shore, to find only it was getting deeper. I agree, it will give you some "pucker moments" for sure. It actually scared the shit out of me and I did it twice. I am much more careful now. I am considering getting a PFD for those "idiot" moments. Not sure what would happen if I got over my waders, other than drown. What happens is you are not on "flat ground" when you are fishing a flat. The surface usually has it's "high and low" points, but it looks realitively flat. Yeah right........Eeeeek! Play it safe and stay awake while wading the beach on incoming tides. And "no" I didn't find it amusing.....
 

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Go Beavs
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Regarding freighter waves... or in my case cruise ship waves...

I was finished fishing up on Whidbey island Monday and was watching a very peaceful Puget Sound... and then in the course of three minutes, chaos ensued. Four-plus foot waves came crashing ashore. They went all the way past the high tide line and started grabbing driftwood logs and throwing them back to the sea. The tide was about an 8 footer at the moment, and the driftwood doesn't get touched on 10 foot tides. All the way up and down the beach, logs being tossed onto the beach and out to sea. I would have for sure been knocked down by the waves and maybe pounded by these logs. It seemed that two boats worth of waves hit the shore at once, 10-15 minutes after the boats went by.

Fishin' was slow...
 

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In Boy Scouts they showed us a cool trick that might come in handy. This will probably sound easier than it is, but I remember doing it as a kid to get my lifeguard merit badge and it worked! Funny stuff.

If you're really in a dire situation, you can turn your waders (or any pants) into a life jacket. Take off your boots and waders. Toss the boots. Tie the end of the waders by the feet into a simple overhand knot. Put your head between the legs of your waders in the hole that you just tied. The opening of the wader's top section should be opened up to trap air, then held under water.

This actually keeps you afloat and you should be able to make it to shore. There's your McGoober moment of the day - brought to you by the good ol' BS of A.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5464502/no_life_jacket_your_pants_can_save.html?cat=11
 

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dirty dog
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A couple of things to remember is.
As long as your waders are full of water and you are still in the water no real problem, until you try stepping out, then you are very heavy.
Other thing you can do is tuck your knees up to your chest and trap the air in the legs of your waders and back stroke to shore, just put your rod handle in your teeth.
I think a PFD is a damn good idea and when I'm wading big water I will wear mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is pretty sound advice:
Other thing you can do is tuck your knees up to your chest and trap the air in the legs of your waders and back stroke to shore, just put your rod handle in your teeth.

I understand that your waders can be a PFD. My question is - how the hell are you going to take them off when you're in chest deep water? (
If you're really in a dire situation, you can turn your waders (or any pants) into a life jacket. Take off your boots and waders. Toss the boots. Tie the end of the waders by the feet into a simple overhand knot. Put your head between the legs of your waders in the hole that you just tied. The opening of the wader's top section should be opened up to trap air, then held under water. )

And last but not least, this is great (As long as your waders are full of water and you are still in the water no real problem, until you try stepping out, then you are very heavy.) until you're in over your head. :)

I like the idea of backstroking in. With the waist belt it would take quite a bit to actually fill the waders.

Cheers,
 

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As much as I detest admitting it, yes, I’ve been in similar situations more than once and each time I tell myself, “geeez, that was stupid, I won’t make that mistake again!” And then sometime later, I’ll do it again and I say to myself, “Yep, dad was right, some people learn, some never learn and some just take a little longer…..” Just been damn lucky!

I hate that overwhelming rush of panic-adrenaline when you realize you’re in trouble because you haven’t been paying attention to the tide or the ship wakes….AND getting out of trouble requires the strength and agility you no longer possess! But worse yet is when you realize you must now rely on your wits to get you out of trouble and then find out you ain’t got much of them left either…..so you just go with the “luck” part of the equation – which doesn’t have a particularly long history of success either, sighhh! :clown:
 

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A deflated inner tube and a bicycle pump pack into a backpack fairly well. Put it on uninflated and then fill it with air. I will admit, I've never tried using this method on "Myself" but it works great for getting a cooler full of Ice and beer off of a sandbar.
 

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I myself have been in similiar experiences.
That's why I put my backpack a certain distance from the water, which forces me to keep an eye on it and hi tail it out of the water which keeps me from being absent minded of my surroundings and getting the backpack wet!

Great posts guys!
 

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"Chasing Riseforms"
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I myself have been in similiar experiences.
That's why I put my backpack a certain distance from the water, which forces me to keep an eye on it and hi tail it out of the water which keeps me from being absent minded of my surroundings and getting the backpack wet!

Great posts guys!
That's great Richard. I have done that too!
 

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As long as you haven't drilled holes in your hard sided stripping tub, if you stay calm and use it for buoyancy, it will work to get you paddling for a few yards. Just have to watch that water doesn't enter into the belt loop areas. I have a waist belt inflatable PFD, if Im going to be doing any deep wading, might be a good idea to have it click on and ready to pull in case you need it.
 

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I've almost been snookered a couple of times by the incoming tide, but lucked out just in time. I took on some water into my hip boots once at the mouth of the Quilcene, after attempting that notorious exercise in tight-lipped coho futility. Now I wear waders.
When I'm fishing alone and get out of my boat or yak or canoe to wade fish, I don't remove my pfd. Mainly because it has pockets with some of my stuff in it, like a small fly box, knife, nippers, hemostats, and some tippet, etc.

What I hate, is to get trapped upstream behind some barrier log or whatever due to a falling tide, and then have to work hard portaging back over it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think the wisest thing is to get the belt PFD and keep it with your waders. I don't usually wade deep but for 50 bucks or so that's great insurance - and easy enough to use every time you go out if you keep it with the waders. A shoulder PFD is just too much more stuff in my opinion - unless you know you're going to be in a dangerous area.

I'm busy today but I'll tell ya'll the funny story of stumbling in the shallow creek - being a smart ass w/ my buddies. Not a story of danger like getting stuck on a sandbar with an incoming tide but an amusing story to tell over beers....
 

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If you find yourself if a situation where your waders could possibly start to take on water, then your first step should simply be to tighten your belt. If your belt is truly tight then you should be able to make it off a beach.
 
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