Steelhead on the Oregon Coast
Christian Miner takes us on an incredible and scary journey off the Oregon coast. After being taken downstream in a river current, he was able to get back on the bank dry out his Filson waders and stay warm to fish a couple hours longer.
During a steelhead fishing expedition at the Oregon coast in the late winter of 2010 I found myself crossing a rather angry river bend. The late winter/early spring snow melt was sending water down the river with a constant roar. The water and air temperatures matched at a few degrees above freezing, after all it was early march in the Cascade Mountains a few miles from the coast. With each step I took to get closer to the bank, the river current got faster and faster until it began to carry me away. Before falling under and launched downstream, I lunged forward at the last moment and grabbed the root of a tree on the opposite bank. I lost my grip. I grabbed another, and yet another as the river carried me away. Suddenly my Filson Waders began to fill with water, and I knew I was in trouble. With my hand firmly grasping the final root of the tree, exposed by an eroding bank, and laying almost perfectly horizontal from the force of the river pulling me downstream, waders completely filled, I managed one last burst of energy to pull me onto the bank. At last, I felt safe as I managed to trade my last burst of energy for a safe seat on the bank, out of the roaring river flow just below me. But now my worst fear set in, it was near freezing, I was completely soaked, and my truck was miles away. I took my Filson waders off, emptied them and put them back on, and prepared for the chill…the chill that never came. Throughout the entire event my Filson Waders kept me comfortably warm, even completely drenched with near freezing river water. I was able to continue fishing and after a few hours, I was dry….never cold! I’d wear them to work if I could!