Wade fishing in moving water is exhilarating. Wade fishing in mountain rivers filled with rocks and swift currents can be tricky. Safe wade fishing requires a few precautions and attention to detail. Here are some tips to keep you into the fish and out of the water (in a bad way).
1. Mountain streams can present challenges to balance and footing. If your forward foot is shaky while you make your next step, bad things can happen. Stabilize one foot before moving the other. Sure, this sounds simple, but it is not the way we walk on dry land unless we’re walking on marbles.
2. Don’t wade if you cannot see the bottom. Vision is a big part of balance. Just imagine walking a tightrope in the dark. That’s what wading in a river is like if you cannot see the bottom. Always fish from a position of safety.
3. Always have access to three points of stability. Two feet on solid ground is a good feeling. But in the mountain rivers, things are different. Have a wading staff handy as a third balance point.
4. Don’t forget your wading belt! If you do stumble and end up in the water, your waders can fill up rapidly in moving water. Once this happens, your waders become an anchor and it’s extremely difficult to remove them from your body.
5. Have a wading buddy close by. If you do get into trouble, you may be able to literally lean on your friend. At least you will have someone in sight who can see if you get into trouble. If you do go alone, carry a rescue whistle which emits a shrill sound that can be heard above the rushing water.
For more in-depth reading on safe wading, check out this article on the Orvis site: http://howtoflyfish.orvis.com/how-to-articles/trout-fishing-articles/tips-for-safe-wading
About the Author
Dave Pinkerton is a fly fishing guide for Willowfly Anglers at Three Rivers Resort in Almont, Colorado. He guides on all of the local rivers including the Gunnison, Taylor and East Rivers. Three Rivers Resort is the perfect base camp for a variety of fishing adventures. The resort offers cabins, lodge rooms and vacation homes plus a full fly shop and Orvis Endorsed guide service. www.3riversresort.com