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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Man Dies on the Lower Yuba

Story from the Appeal-Democrat - September 20th, 2010

A 71-year-old man fly fishing with his son fell into the water and later died Sunday along the Yuba River in Browns Valley about a quarter-mile downstream from the new Sycamore Ranch county park, the Yuba County Sheriff's Department said today.

An autopsy is planned Tuesday to determine the cause of death of William Frederick Blythe of Penn Valley.His son said Blythe was thrown from the boat after it struck a log. He said he pulled his father back into the boat but that he lost consciousness shortly thereafter.Rescue workers were called about 1:20 p.m. Blythe was pronounced dead at the scene just before 3 p.m., said sheriff's department spokeswoman Melanie Oakes.

An air ambulance paramedic was on scene within about 15 minutes, Oakes said. No one else could reach the area even with all-terrain vehicles or 4x4 vehicles, she said.

I floated the Lower Yuba last week with Blake Larsen and Keith Scott and we saw the tree with the arm sticking out of the water that the boat in question hit, throwing the man out of the boat. It is located in the first riffle/drop after the river joins back together after the island across from Sycamore Ranch. It is in a bad location in the center of a drop with a deeper hole on the river right, lined with willows directly below it. Any one floating this section should take care to avoid the limb by staying river right, getting past the limb and quickly ferrying your boat to the left and staying out of the willows.

As always, scout your route and make a plan in advance to running difficult stretches in any river.

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Have any Questions or Comments? Let me know, Clay.