Spey Caster Saves Three Lives With Perfect Aim

May 30, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

The next time someone tells you “It’s only fly fishing,” remember Don Elder of Gresham, Oregon. He pulled three people from the ice-chilled water of the Sandy River as they were being swept toward rapids Sunday afternoon, using the extra strength of his spey line to “strip” them to safety. “The only safe way was to bite off the fly, so I (bit off the leader), and before I realized what I was doing, I started casting to them. Elder’s first cast was to the woman between him and the man. She grabbed the line and he lowered his rod, ‘stripping’ her in a bit — making short tugs on the line — as she held on and the current drew her toward the shoreline.” Read the full, fascinating story by Bill Monroe in the Oregonian.
By the way, Don Elder works for the Western Rivers Conservancy. Make a donation today — now that you’re sure your money is being put in the hands of the right people. (Thanks to reader Jenny Andrews for this story.)