Ernest Trim, 73, of Ennis died July 17 after losing his footing while fishing in the Yellowstone River.
Trim was fishing in the river near the Nez Perce picnic ground between Fishing Bridge and Canyon when witnesses say he lost his footing in chest-deep water while attempting to cross the river. The water carried him about 200 yards downstream, according to Yellowstone National Park officials.
“The Yellowstone River in most places remains a fairly quick-moving river in the park year round,” Yellowstone National Park spokesman Dan Hottle said. “It is also among the deepest of the park’s rivers. It can be chest or even head high of a normal man, while other rivers in the park one can walk ankle deep or knee deep from one side to the other later in the summer.”
A park visitor pulled Trim out of the water and started CPR while park rangers and medical staff were notified. They were unable to revive him.
Like most other fly fishermen, Trim was wearing waders. When he fell into deep water, the wader likely filled up with water and they were impossible to remove or swim out of.
Hottle said that the park does not encourage people to get into freezing cold, swift moving water, especially earlier in the year, or near the mouths of falls or other constrictions between canyon walls where the water becomes even more swift and deep. He also said it is not advisable for visitors to recreate anywhere in the park without a friend or family member with them.
“These types of deaths are rare, but they do occur every few years,” Hottle said of Trim’s accident. “Mr. Trim’s accident was very unfortunate.”
The accident remains under investigation.