Wear a life vest and neoprene waders which float and more importantly; insulate you even if you get wet. I would not be afraid to get on any local river when conditions are reasonable. Watch the weather report and be prepared to get wet/cold. Prepare for the worst possible scenario and get on the water early in the fall to find out what surprises the river has in store. Learn when its warm on a squirrel float hunt etc prior to duck season.