Fly fishing

Anglers work a bend in the Greys River on Saturday in Lincoln County. A Kansas man fishing the river drowned Tuesday after he fell and his waders filled with water.

A 70-year-old man died Tuesday while fly-fishing on the Greys River after he slipped and his waders filled with water.

Mark Osmondson, 70, of Madison, Kansas, was 16 miles upriver from Alpine when he fell, Lincoln County Sheriff Shane Johnson said.

“Osmondson was fishing with his longtime friend’s grandson when he slipped on a rock, causing his fishing waders to fill with water,” Johnson said. “Osmondson was unable to recover his footing and eventually floated nearly 2 miles down the river where his body was recovered.”

Star Valley Search and Rescue recovered Osmondson’s body. He was pronounced dead on the scene and his death was ruled an accidental drowning.

Osmondson’s fishing partner was unable to help him.

“He did try to help and even had his hand at one point,” Johnson said.

The two men were fishing near Porcupine Creek on the Greys River. The incident happened at 12:15 p.m., Johnson said.

“I think age played a role here,” Johnson said. “That affected his ability to recover.”

The Greys River is a popular destination for fishermen. Its depth varies throughout its 55 miles.

“This isn’t the first time we’ve had a drowning like this,” Johnson said. “It can be very dangerous. People underestimate the strength of the water and its ability to pull you under.”

Johnson is unsure how deep the water is where Osmondson was fishing.

“It was deep enough that it pulled him down the river a couple miles,” he said. “It’s a tragic accident.”

Deputies don’t think alcohol played a role in the visitor’s drowning.

“We want people to come, and there is no better place to recreate, but we want people to be careful when they visit,” Johnson said.

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066 or

Emily Mieure covers criminal justice and emergency news. She also leads the News&Guide’s investigative efforts. She has reported for WDRB TV in Louisville, Ky., WFIE TV in Evansville, Ind., and WEIU TV in Charleston, Ill.

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