What happens if you get hurt while out on the water? Before you head out on your steelhead fishing trip in Idaho, make sure you take preventative measures and know some basic first aid. Be ready for every scenario and prepare for any kind of injury so you know what to do if you’re injured during a fishing trip.


Your tackle box contains dozens of small, pointy objects; handle them with care. If you slice your hand with your bait knife, quickly rinse it and wrap it up in a clean towel or cloth. Apply pressure for several minutes as you wait for a clot to form. Keeping your wound clean is crucial—have you got a first aid kit on board? (Hint: you should.) Rinse the wound with warm water and apply antibiotic ointment. If the cut refuses to clot, you’ll need stitches. Be sure to get them within 12 hours of the injury.


Puncture wounds, usually from fishhooks, are slightly different than cuts. Let them bleed a little bit to flush any foreign material out of the wound. Then, wash with soap and warm water, cover the wound, and apply that antibiotic ointment.

If your wound won’t stop bleeding, or if it spurts blood, get to shore right away and call a doctor. No matter what kind of wound you’ve sustained, get a tetanus shot.


Boat decks can get slippery! When you’re out steelhead fishing in Idaho, for example, the deck can get wet from water sloshing in and slimy from the fish you catch. If you’re not wearing shoes with extra traction in the soles, you run the extra risk of slipping and hurting yourself.

Should you fall, take a quick inventory of your body as you sit up. Can you move? Is any part of your body in extra pain? You may have sprained your wrist or twisted your ankle. When you get to shore and see a doctor, you’ll want to identify those pain points. In the meantime, take an over-the-counter pain medication and apply ice to any injured areas. OTC pain meds and ice packs are an invaluable part of your first aid kit.

When you take your boating excursion with River Adventures, be prepared for any scenario. Check with your captain to confirm that their first aid kit is fully stocked. When you know what to do if injured on a fishing trip, you won’t panic if you slip or poke yourself. Keep calm and enjoy the ride!