After watching an angler fall in the Hoh River, we got to talking about how to handle a River-dunking. The most important thing is not to panic. In most cases, you will be in shallow enough water to regain your footing quickly (if not your dignity). Try not to scramble because if you stand up and fall down again, you may be injured on the rocks. If you are swept away into deeper water, point your body feet-first down the River to protect your head from rocks and gradually paddle yourself toward shore. The most detailed  advice on handling these situations was given by Lee Wulff and Hugh Faulkus in their books. Lee actually dove off a bridge head-first in a pair of waders to illustrate his advice. And remember: It’s more important to save your life than to save your fishing rod!

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