The importance of good wading.

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Panhandle, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    An often overlooked and rarely mentioned skill in the world of steelheading. Being a good wader is a very important aspect to being a good steelheader, IMO. It is interesting to watch people move through a run and how unconfindent, poor wading individuals swing more ineffectively through a run, where as a solid, powerful wader dominates it.
     
  2. Charlie S

    Charlie S Confrimed Reprobate

    Well, Panhandle. That's kind of a superior attitude. I want to see how you feel when you reach my age in the mid-60's. When I was younger I was a rock skipper, waded all the way to the top of my waders in swift water, and took way too many foolish chances. Then came combat, life experience and travails, and many knocks and bangs. Now, I'm older, wiser through experience, and one of those whom you probably feel are over-cautious, slow, and lacking in confidence. There is a BIG difference between that and knowing our limitations. Hopefully you will make it here one day. By the way, I still catch a large number of steelhead yearly despite my frail appearance.
     
  3. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    Yikes, man! It wasn't a personal attack. You took my post way out of context and applied it to an apparently personal issue. Regardless, I do hope to live to me an old man like you someday.
     
  4. yuhina

    yuhina Tropical member

    Good point! Adam,

    I think based on the rationale "everything else being equal". I do agree with Pan that wading skill is overlooked in fishing. Good wading will get you into good position safely, tirelessly and make fishing more enjoyable. That is the main reason I see my wading boots is a very important fishing secret. I am thinking to get one of those wading stick too...
     
  5. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Pan,

    Wading skill is as critical as fly casting. Not just for steelhead, I think it has an important role in trout fishing as well. Wading into proper position makes for an optimal presentation and drift.

    In deference to Charlie, I'd say that strong wading helps, and that smart wading helps even more. Being a strong and smart wader is best.

    Sg
     
  6. Michael Thompson

    Michael Thompson the flavor of BADFISH

    I agree with panhandle and hopefully I'm not taking him out of context and applying my personal experiences to his post when I say: wading in all fishing situations takes skill just like casting and drifting. I believe it's highly overlooked in many peoples arsenals when they first start out.
    when I take friends fishing I try to keep their personal wading skill level in mind before I even plan what part of a river we are going to hit. that skill level goes from: are they going to be able to handle fishing waist deep cold water for most of the day? all the way down to: can I take so and so here without spooking ever living creature in the run?

    but thats all part of the fun of fishing with my rag tag assortment of beginners.
     
  7. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

    Trust me on this one. I'm 67 (and change) and I have a major "balance problem." Thank God for good medical coverage as this is driving me nuts. Even the (many) Doctors don't know what's going on at this point. 'Tests?' Have the nerve system of a 20 year old; blood, Ooooo, good man, MRI?, You're how old again? Etc. End game appears that my eyes, inner ear, et al, no longer 'coordinate.'

    End game would appear to be knee deep and that's it; topple over and at least you only get your arms wet. (To paraphrase) "Getting old is not for the faint of heart-Gloria Swanson"
     
  8. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    I should state that wading is indeed an important skill in all forms of wade fishing. Steelhead wading and swinging tend to be a bigger, more aggressive water, and you are in the water for hours straight moving through a run concentrating and paying attention to your footing, next step, and where the ledge is. But, ya, its key for trout fishing too.
     
  9. LisaMfly

    LisaMfly "Swing Flies, Be Happy."- Write 2 Fly-Fish

    Yeah I agree with the wading skills. I think I have a fairly graceful cast now, but my wading is another story. I was told to get a wading staff and some studs for my boots, so I think that will help when I go back to Idaho. I admit I fell in the first time I waded in the Ronde. NOT fun. But I had great luck the rest of the trip!
     
  10. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Wading really is a skill. I am always reminded how much of a skill it is when I take a newbie to the river. ;)

    Besides being a skill though, it is a lot more fun. Fishing from a drift boat is very boring indeed.
     
  11. jpugs

    jpugs New Member

    What exactly do you mean by:
    "solid" wading
    "powerful" wading
    confident wading

    Is this just a weight and coordination thing?
     
  12. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    Use your imagination. What do those words conjure up in your mind in regards to wading?
     
  13. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

    I could spend waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time thinking about wading and posting it here. I think I will pass. :clown:
     
  14. Charlie Erdman

    Charlie Erdman In search of steel

    If you want to improve your wading skills I would recommend against the staff.
     
  15. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

    you'll know it when you feel it bro.
    I think having a huge head helps...
    seriously, experienced waders walk with a wider, more stable stance, only commit weight to a solid grippy footplant, keep a bit of flex in their knees, rarely cross their legs, keep sidewise to heavy currents, and know from experience when to get the hell out.
    confidence usually comes after many memorable little swims, usually:D
     
  16. Steelie Mike

    Steelie Mike Active Member

    Yup!
     
  17. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Lisa, I wish when I first started fly fishing that someone had explained to me that it will often be more difficult and dangerous for me to wade the same water as a guy, even one of my size. I never could figure out why as I'm a pretty strong wader. After years of frustration, a female doctor explained it like this: In general, a woman's center of gravity is below the waist while a man's is generally higher than the waist, often chest high. Therefore, if we are both in water to our waist, women generally have a higher percentage of their body mass exposed to the current and so are more affected by the currents. I know I've had my feet lifted off the bottom when a guy next to me that was roughly the same size did not. When I heard this, it all made sence and I stopped trying to wade the exact same water or cross in the same places as the guys if I felt that it wasn't right for me. So wade only where you feel you can do it safely, work up to the harder stuff and know your limits - you'll enjoy it more. And a low center of gravity isn't all bad; put us in a canoe or kayak and we have the advantage as our lower center of gravity gives us much more stability.

    Sue
     
  18. Shotshell

    Shotshell New Member

    I don't think I agree Charlie. I've been wading in rivers & streams since I was 9 years old, but it wasn't until I first fished the Deschutes that I learned what the phrase "slicker than snot" really meant. I can tell you that when I went to a wading staff it seemed like I was admitting I couldn't do it on my own, but it sure helped me & I was about 35 or 36 then. Ever since then (i'm 60 now) I have always tried to take a ski pole with me. Works great & for me, adds confidence.
     
  19. Being a confident wader is important, but knowing one's limits is maybe even more important. I am a lot more conservative as a wader than many, but it is prudent to be safe out there as well. No fish is worth risking my life for.

    Grace and Peace,
    Todd
     
  20. Trent

    Trent Ugly member

    I don't really view it as a skill, as much as learning to use common sense. Don't wade out and stand right were the fish are (in the middle of the run or hole). Don't wade through high and fast currents (learned that one the hard way by getting swept down river quite a ways). Use a staff or a stick if you feel uncomfortable on the terrain, I don't own a staff yet, but I have nothing against using a stick. Don't get over confident in your studs or felt soles, you can still find yourself on your ass or worse. Just because you got waders on doesn't mean you have to be standing in water, goes back to the first point.