Oooops! Angler On Bighorn River Forgets To Detach Pickup From Boat

It was a great day for fishing on the Bighorn River in Thermopolis on Thursday. One angler found a perfect location but, sadly, forgot one detail: detaching his pickup from the boat.

Andrew Rossi

October 05, 20232 min read

Floyd Tillery was surprised to see this pickup submerged in the Bighorn River on Thursday still connected to a trailer and boat.
Floyd Tillery was surprised to see this pickup submerged in the Bighorn River on Thursday still connected to a trailer and boat. (Photo Courtesy Floyd Tiller)

Apparently, there's some Wyoming terrain even the most hardy four-wheel-drive truck can't navigate.

Floyd Tillery was driving through Thermopolis on Thursday afternoon when he noticed a small fishing boat on the Bighorn River. There was nothing unusual about that — except the boat was still on a trailer attached to the truck that had been towing it.

Unfortunately for whoever owns them, the Toyota Tundra doesn’t float.

“I saw this vehicle in the river, so I drove down to see it from the bridge on 8th Street,” Tillery told Cowboy State Daily. “Not sure how it got in or how long it had been there, but probably not too long before I got there.”

The Blue Toyota Tundra and its attached trailer were close to a boat ramp onshore near the McDonald’s on the Bighorn River in Thermopolis. Presumably, someone was attempting to load or unload the boat when things somehow went awry.

The truck is up to the top of its wheel well with nobody inside, while the boat behind it appears to be floating fine. It gives the appearance the small boat is somehow towing the truck through the river.

“I’m guessing it just got away from them,” Tillery said.

Tillery considered going down to help bring the truck and trailer ashore with his truck winch, but realized he left the control cable at home. He stayed long enough to get a few photos of the bizarre sight and left while they were still in the water.

Truck and boat in river 2 10 5 23
(Photo Courtesy Thermopolis Police Department)


The Thermopolis Police Department said it was aware of the incident, that “nobody was in danger” and arrangements were being made to get the Tundra and trailer towed out of the river.

The good news is the truck’s windows were rolled up, and it seemed to settle in an area that kept the engine from being completely submerged. That should mitigate some of the potential water damage.

The Tundra’s four-wheel drive and 5.7-liter engine may be useful, too, but probably not without some onshore assistance.

“You have to feel a little bit of compassion, but I’m glad it wasn’t me,” Tillery said.

Truck and boat in river 3 10 5 23
(Photo Courtesy Thermopolis Police Department)

Andrew Rossi can be reached at:

Share this article



Andrew Rossi

Features Reporter

Andrew Rossi is a features reporter for Cowboy State Daily based in northwest Wyoming. He covers everything from horrible weather and giant pumpkins to dinosaurs, astronomy, and the eccentricities of Yellowstone National Park.