The importance of good wading.

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

  1. Panhandle Active Member

    Posts: 4,103
    Selkirk Mountains, Idaho Panhandle
    Ratings: +23 / 0
    Trent, its not a skill? It is very much a skill. In other words, some people are much better and skillful at wading than others. They can push the limits further while remaining perfectly safe, where as a less skilled wader cannot.
  2. Trent Ugly member

    Posts: 734
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    I don't really think it is, I think it is more of understanding your own limitations and using common sense. Essentially, wading is just walking and standing in water, it's true that some things are learned with experience. Some folks might call that a skill, but then some don't. Its just how you choose to interpret it. Let's look at it this way for an example, walking on ice or snow. Not really any skill, can be just as slippery as rocks in a river. Just use common sense and you probably won't find yourself on your ass, walking slow or using something to grab onto while moving (if possible).
  3. Panhandle Active Member

    Posts: 4,103
    Selkirk Mountains, Idaho Panhandle
    Ratings: +23 / 0
    Really? Nevermind
  4. Brett Angel Member

    Posts: 527
    Sammamish, WA
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    Anybody can walk, run, or wade, but some people are better at it then others.
  5. Trent Ugly member

    Posts: 734
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    I just think it is a matter of how you or anybody chooses to view it. I don't view it as a skill, whereas you and some others do. Some of the older fellows have chimed in also, there are things that age has prevented them from doing, are they any less skillful? Also, the idea of balance and wieght distribution has been thrown out there too, again I don't view that as a skill, more along the lines of natural ability and, or proper diet and exercise.
  6. Wayne Kohan fish-ician

    Posts: 989
    TriCities, WA
    Ratings: +72 / 0
    I really agree with Pan. I have done a guided trip on the Ronde with a guide for about 5 years now. We fish the same runs year after year. I almost did not go back for the second year as I spent much of my time worrying about falling. The second year I used a wading staff. The third year and since I have just worn an inflatable life vest. Each year I fish with more confidence and I have performed better. It is much easier to fish when you are not worried about falling. A lot of the confidence has come from knowing the runs better, and where I can comfortably wade, but his point of confidence in wading improving results is a definite correlation. And I don think you get better as you do it more. Think about taking your wife, kids, or friends fly fishing and wading the first time and how often they slipped around. It takes some learning, just like riding a bike. That makes it a skill.

  7. Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Posts: 3,123
    Haus Alpenrosa, Lederhosenland
    Ratings: +770 / 0
    Try thinking of it as a two-phase thing: first, simple, easy wading is only a stroll in the water, say, up to your knees. Once you begin to get into deeper, stronger current, or encounter a less-than-smooth bottom, it does take increased strength and balance skills to negotiate. On the Icicle, I almost always use my staff, but on the Deschutes, for example, I rarely need it (around Mecca, at least). The bottom is vastly different between the two, with the Icicle needing a third "leg" to balance on a pointed, teetering rock while knee deep in current. The skill requirement increases with the difficulty of the wading. Wayne's got it pegged, with the added thought about bikes: doesn't take a ton of skill to simply ride a bike down to the store. Try racing, however, and you'll find the skill level increases dramatically. Just like wading an even gravelly bar up to your knees without a lot of current. Now take that same bar, hit it with waist-deep strong water, and add an unstable boulder field. More difficult, perhaps?
  8. Randall Dee Castaway

    Posts: 371
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    Maybe you should talk to Poppy. Perhaps next year at the Clave, right after the casting competition he could have a wading competition. :rolleyes:
  9. fodf Team Umiak

    Posts: 414
    In my happy place.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Back in the 70's when I worked for WDF as a summer temp I could fly over penisula streams/river in hip boots with no that time we used indoor/outdoor carpeting cut to fit. Now, with trifoculs, its a bitch..depth perception isn't what it was. Gettin old sux..but OMJ is older.
  10. Panhandle Active Member

    Posts: 4,103
    Selkirk Mountains, Idaho Panhandle
    Ratings: +23 / 0
    That's a great idead Randall. We'll see who can wade through "Pine tree" the fastest in tennis shoes.
  11. floatinghat Member

    Posts: 294
    near enough to Seattle
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    "I'd say that strong wading helps, and that smart wading helps even more. Being a strong and smart wader is best."

  12. fredaevans Active Member

    Posts: 3,079
    White City, Oregon, USA.
    Ratings: +106 / 0
    Too true!

    If you really do have a balance problem (can't stand on one foot with your arms at your side, stand with one foot in front of another ..... for any of you that have been pulled over for a DUII stop you'll recognize the above) you may well have an inner ear problem. Contact a Ear/Nose/Throat Doctor and ask about getting a "VNG" test. :ray1:

    My balance is at a point that I actually walk with a bit of 'to the right' tilt early in the day. You'll learn to love hand rails going up/down a set of stairs too :rofl: at any time of the day.
  13. SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

    Posts: 1,818
    Roy, WA
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    I finally drank enough whiskey Sat night to invite my Dad wade fishing for trout.
    He's 77, a little deconditioned, with not-so-hot balance.
    Oh yeah, and he's never waded before. Ever.

    So the next day I geared him up, put some studded felt guide boots on him, wrapped a strong wading belt around him for a handhold, gave him a staff, and in we went. He hung on to me, used the staff well, and managed to stay dry, even when I let go of him once in awhile.
    View attachment 24186

    He caught 3 nice SRC in two hours.
    He was very surprised at how challenging "just walking in a river" can be!
  14. yuhina Tropical member

    Posts: 2,315
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    Good story! SpeySpaz

    This thread really get some opinions out, and that is really the spirit I like about this forum. Some misunderstanding and some sharing...

    Not sure if you guys are familiar with a sport called "creek climbing" it start from some point in the mid river, and go along the river all way up till reach the origin point of the river and summit the peak. It combine wading, rock climbing and swimming sometimes. You probably can not get tougher wading situation than this. If wading is not a skill. There won't be that many classes just for wading training.

    BTW, use stick or good studded shoes are just use another good tool to help you wade safely. It might make you looks old, but for safety's sake, who care. Every hikers know the importance of the hiking sticks. It's for real situation, not for training... wade with bare foot would be a better training. In his steelheading DVD, Lani Waller said " I am not getting up as quick as before, but I am still getting up. that's matters!"
  15. LisaMfly "Swing Flies, Be Happy."- Write 2 Fly-Fish

    Posts: 84
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Thanks for the info Sue! I appreciate that. Very interesting stuff- good to know. Happy fishing! :beer2:
  16. SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

    Posts: 1,818
    Roy, WA
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    a very good argument in favor of breast augmentation. got to get that CG up, for safety reasons, you know.
  17. sourdoughsmitty Member

    Posts: 86
    Ratings: +20 / 0
    In regards to all on this post we all operate in our own comfort zones, I have only the use of one eye(lazy eye) so no real depth or good balance I wear felts studs when i got em and i use a staff , yet the first thing I do on a run is look it over to see if I can fish it w/o wading the one real thing I have noticed since this sport reall took off in the last few years is that most people are in the water! before they even scout out their run or fish it , the lesson I got from the late Enos bradner when i was a kid is that most people wade where they should fish and fish where they should wade:D yesterday on the wenatchee was a clear case of this I watched as 2 guys went into the river and from my vantage point watched as their noisy wading scattered about 6 good fish that were holding by bridge abuttment.:beathead: I only did that once as a boy on the sky ---stepped into the water w/o looking and got knocked on my butt by a scared steelie:rofl:
  18. floatinghat Member

    Posts: 294
    near enough to Seattle
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    "I have noticed since this sport reall took off in the last few years is that most people are in the water! before they even scout out their run or fish it"

    80/20 rule once again :)
  19. Verne Member

    Posts: 76
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    I agree, I believe many people wade where they should be fishing, the fish aren't all over against the far bank in most cases. I have waded out into riffles especially in the Kalama and scared fish that were lying in very shallow water, the same in the Cowlitz. It's a good idea to run your fly through the shallow riffle before you step out into it. Sometimes it is necesaary to wade in deep fast water and the ability to do so is valuable. For years I scoffed at people using wading sticks, but they seem a good thing when you get to a certain age. The biggest steelhead I ever caught on a fly took in water barely over knee deep.
  20. Brett Angel Member

    Posts: 527
    Sammamish, WA
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    Had a guy tell me the same thing last year, but of course I didn't listen. He stepped into the run no more than 5 minutes after me and landed a 35" steelhead about 2' from where I was standing. An eye opener for sure.