In the 80's I lived in Anchorage Alaska. You could go anywhere and catch salmon till your arms fell off. I would drive for hours to fish in completely desolate (of people) lakes. There were several lakes that were so clear you could see the trout swimming two hundred feet down (they were 8 to 28 inches long) you could see the bottom of every lake just by peering over the edge of the boat. After several years of catching these trout that were as long as your arm, I checked the map for new and more challenging lakes. I found a lake Southwest of Wasilla that had "fingers" cut into one side of it. Each one was 50 by 2,000 foot long, obviously man made. I didn't bring my boat and planed to fish these "fingers" from the bank.
I had snapped my Fly pole running through the trees and was tired from all the the frantic running. I rigged up my Casting pole and walked out to where the water was just above my knees, between two trees 20 feet apart. 15 min went by and I figured I better change lure. My right foot had sunk past my ankle in the silt and I pulled hard to get unstuck. My left foot sunk deeper. I had been in this situation before and kept working to get at least one foot unstuck.
Almost an hour went by and the water was to my waist, I had mud to my calves and the waders were like a second skin. I couldn't move, I tried everything. By now the water was up to my armpits. I saw my cooler float by and then my tackle box (and needless to say, my life too) That's when I started yelling help. There was no body on these lakes and I knew it. I went under water and tried to dig my legs free, only to run out of air! I came up yelling help. I yelled only to hear my echos of help, I had a wife and two daughters to live for. I was done.
That's when I heard a calm voice say "catch this knife" I looked over and it was an old man in his 80's. I told him I was stuck real bad- he said, "I know, cut em off" and tossed me a knife- It was a perfect ten foot toss and I caught it! I went under water and sliced my waders from the hip to the thigh (240 bucks worth)- when I came up again he was reaching out his walking stick to pull me out. It was 5 feet too short. I yelled at him to come closer, "just grab hold of the tree branch there and I could reach it" He shook his head and said again "cut em off" and then he walked away behind the trees.