Years back, when distant lightning threatened a golf round with buddies, we debated continuing play until the older one said, "Live to play another day!" Put it all in perspective for us.
While reading a good PFD thread (http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...764#post452764), I thought about stuff that helps us "live to play another day".
4 days ago, I floated the Upper Kenai. A friend joined me, offering to coach some rowing tips if I'd give a few flyfishing tips. Great deal for me! In a late decision, his 16 y/o son joined us.
Well below the Russian R confluence, we pulled up on a small gravel bar island. After working my way down the back/slough side, I put a cast on the main stem side to work my way upstream. Back at the top of the island, 100yds or so away, I saw his son, wading far out into the main stem (we were on a back braid), maybe 30 yds out on a gravel shoal, apparently to retrieve a fly.
In slow motion it seemed, he then stepped into a hole, lost his balance, fell in, got up, lost his balance again, moved into another, bigger hole, began swimming, started to panic... before making it out. In the course of trying to help, a nearby fisherman also stepped into a hole, lost balance and fell in. Both were briefly caught by the current while neck deep, but made it out fine.
Over the years, I've found myself more consistent about wearing a wading belt, but never needed it. The habit though, prompted me to suggest a belt to my raft-guests. When I asked the young man afterwards about his experience, he said the water was cold, but didn't really get down into my legs at first". Eventually it did, maybe that second fall, but it bought him a little more time.
Wading staffs, I use when fishing alone more too... maybe it's age, having a family, or a couple of experiences, but same idea: "live to play another day".
Good luck to all this season!