The first trip there was uneventful since most of us didn’t have fishing licenses yet. But we knew we wanted to come back.
So, we got our licenses and went back. The second time at Placer River ended pretty crazy.
We were hanging out fly fishing and chatting. The deepest part of the river was maybe up to my mid-thigh. I’m 6’4″, so that means it was about 3 feet deep. No big deal, right.
Well it was low tide and we knew that in a few hours the tide would start coming in. Turned out things happened a bit quicker than expected.
After a while we saw a little tiny wave come up river. All of us are like, “Oh, cool! Look the tide’s coming in!” Little did we know that little tiny wave (more like a ripple really) was the prelude to the river gaining feet of water in minutes.
Of course, we were on the wrong side of the river when this happened. So, everyone started crossing the river – my roommate, two other guy friends, and two ladies.
I don’t know why since I hadn’t been carrying it, but I had to run back and grab our backpack which had a gun, tackle, etc. In hip waders, I race over to grab the pack and speed back to the river.
At this point, everyone else was getting out on the other side.
As I’m crossing I can see and feel the water rising – quick. I’m getting a little nervous because my hip waders are now full of water, nearly all my clothing is submerged and I’m carrying a fishing pole in one hand and I’m holding the backpack over my head with the other.
The river bottom is sticky mud. Recipe for drowning accident, anyone?
I near the other bank which is a 3-4 foot tall, very steep, mud slope up to a trail that will lead us out. The water had risen up to the top of my chest. I threw the backpack onto the bank and tossed the fishing pole to my roommate.
It was all rater nerve-wracking because I could have easily fallen over, been pulled under and drowned. It’s happened to others.
One friend, holding onto a tree branch, reached out for my hand and helped pull me and my water-filled waders up the slick, muddy slope. Whew!
Luckily, I didn’t end up being the Alaska-noob that drowned. No one wants to be that guy.
On the bright side, we saw a magnificent sunset on the way back to my friend’s truck. Breathtaking!
Moral of the story? Pay attention to friendly advice from locals and keep an eye on the tide charts.
Overall, we had a lot of fun at Placer River and it’s a great place to fish.
Placer River Map
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Placer River Parking
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