Photo from Tillamook PD
On November 3rd, police in Tillamook, OR responded to a call about an angler who fell into the Wilson River after several citizens reported seeing a body floating face-down in the creek.
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From Tillamook PD:
“’A 41-year-old man from Hillsboro was fishing with two friends along the Wilson River, just below Mills Bridge,’ said Deputy Barnett. ‘He decided to cross the river to fish from the other side. As he made his way across, he stumbled and fell but was able to recover and make it to the other side to fish.’
The man fished from the other side for a while and then made his way back across the river toward his friends.
‘He was crossing the river when he reached a deep point, fell over, and got sucked down the river,’ said Deputy Barnett. ‘His friends witnessed the incident and said that he was trying to get back to shore. In that part of the river, the current is actually pushing you away from shore.’
The man was wearing waders, a large backpack, but was not wearing a personal floatation device (PFD).”
The angler’s fishing buddies attempted to rescue the man, but by the time they were able to reach him and pull him from the water, it was clear the angler was dead.
You can learn more about the incident, here.
This unfortunate event is a somber reminder to all anglers who like to fish on rivers and streams during the winter to always have a PFD on, or close at hand in case the worst happens. No one ever intends to fall into freezing water, but when you do, having a PFD on will likely save your life.
PFDs for Winter Fly Fishing
Inflatable Belt PFDs

“Why restrict yourself with an overly bulky, motion-limiting PDF on warmer days and calmer waters? Instead, pick up the Astral Airbelt Personal Floatation Device for low-profile buoyancy and unrestricted paddling on your SUP or canoe. The Airbelt’s sleek design packs 29 pounds of buoyancy, should you take a spill off your board or boat. It quickly inflates by mouth or with the use of a 16g CO2 cartridge. The buckled hip belt securely straps in place, fitting waist sizes between 31 and 50 inches. Additionally, its zippered hip belt pocket handily stores your cash, keys, and snacks.”
Shop here!
Inflatable Vest PFDs

“It’s time to push the limits of performance without compromise. Built on a revolutionary 3D chassis, the Mustang Survival Elite 28 Inflatable Personal Flotation Device stays put at high speeds, lets you move the way you want and need to, and provides automatic inflation powered by Hydrostatic Inflator Technology.
The 3D chassis reduces drag at speed, the wide shoulder system eliminates neck fatigue, a wicking mesh liner improves all-day comfort. Meanwhile, dual-side adjusters make it easy to dial in the perfect fit, and an exclusive sleek inflation handle prevents snags. The bright fluorescent yellow-green inflation cell provides 28lb buoyancy when inflated and improves visibility in a rescue scenario.”
Shop here!
NRS Foam PFDs

“Designed to keep us paddling comfortably, the Ion PFD includes six foam panels to allow increased range of motion for long days on flat to mild water. This low-profile PFD offers a single side buckle for easy entry and features AirMesh inner panels to keep you comfortable all day long. Plus, NRS gave it reflective details to give you more visibility on cloudy days or once the sun’s set already.”
Shop here!