Re: Thinking of giving it a try.
First thing to do is make a stack of rocks right where the water meets the bank. This way you can keep an eye on those rocks and determine if the water is going up or down. I fish the cumberland tailwaters on a regular basis and work out in the middle of the river most of the time.
I have a waders belt!! (Keeps water from filling your waders) I suggest everyone to use one of these. I had a friend step in a hole by accident on a stream and water rushed into his waders causing him to sink. Just so happened I was within a few steps of him and was able to grab him before he went under. I would also look at getting a sospenders life vest especially if going alone.
When you are in fast moving water always face the flow. You never want to turn your back to the flow in fast moving water. Take your time and get your footing when wading deep water.
If you really want to be safe carry a throw bag or take one of the bigger Gatorade bottles. Cut a hole in the bottom to run a rope through and tie a knot. Then stuff a fair amount of rope in the bottle which makes an awesome throw rope. If you fall and someone throws you one of these hold onto it with your back facing up stream and hold the rope in the hand closest to the bank.
Some of this is might seem a little extreme but I have done swift water rescue and serious kayaking so I have seen people get swept away in current that was not that fast moving. If you do fall in rapids and have a life jacket on don't try and stand up. There is a chance your foot could get hung up, wait until you are through the rapids then try to stand up.