Finding firm feeling river bottoms...

Vladimir Steblina

Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working
About 20 years of so ago I pretty much gave up fishing rivers for lakes. Walking around on rounded rocks, getting wet and cold felt to much like work. Since I no longer had to do that working doing the same on my "off" days was no longer attractive.

I just returned from a month long trip into the Rockies for the total eclipse, review of some old projects from my working days and a couple of days of fishing.

I camped at the southern end of Harriman State Park in Idaho. I stalled fishing the Henry's Fork, but finally went down and asked a fly fisher "how was the wading"? She told me it was great, no rounded rocks or mud. Just perfect.

The next morning when I fished it....it was perfect. Almost enough to get me back to fishing rivers. I got to thinking that I could fish rivers like this all the time.

Then I got to thinking that maybe I should limit my river fishing to rivers with firm feeling river bottoms.

So what other rivers have those characteristics? Don't care about the quality of the fishery, just the quality of the wading. I would think the Firehole, might be similar or parts of the Madison.

Anyway, any other rivers besides the Henry's Fork with firm bottoms?
 

Klickrolf

Active Member
I think most rivers have firm bottoms. High water moves stuff but once it's settled down the cobble/gravel/sand should be reasonably firm. Rivers are most fun because they tend to change, that means finding the sweetwater is sweet head stuff. Guess I can't provide any knowledge about firm river bottoms.
 

Vladimir Steblina

Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working
What I mean by "firm feeling river bottoms" is that is was like walking on road. No slipping or sliding. Most rivers I have fished have rounded rocks with algae and slippery stuff. Wading was not fun.

That stretch of the Henry's Fork was fun "wading".
 

MileHighFlyGuy

Active Member
In Yellowstone, pretty much any meadow section, e.g. Much of the Firehole, upper Gibbon, Slough, the Lamar, Soda Butte, etc. That said, if you got a wading staff and different boots (like Patagonia Foot Tractors) it might change your view of wading.
 

Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
I got to not trusting small gravel bottoms. I was fishing below Blue Stilly Park, down below the big rock one time, a long time ago, I was heading back to my vehicle and walking along the shore. I stepped to my right to get away from the water and went to gravel up to my knees Had a hell of a time getting out of it. You could say I had that sinking feeling.
 

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
rocky ford :D
It's a good thing I didn't have a mouthfull of coffee!

You're not permitted to wade for fishing, but you CAN wade for duck hunting. I tried it once in order to set my decoys....NEVER AGAIN!! That is the nastiest, stickiest, most evil-smelling shit on the bottom of any watercourse I've ever encountered. Add to that the underwater muskrat holes and you've got a recipe for disaster!
 

Gary Thompson

dirty dog
On my resent trip to ID and MT every river or creek I waded was slippery, loose rock. It was hard work to stay on my feet.
I can tell ya this I do like firm bottoms:)
 

stilly stalker

Switch Rod Samurai
At the other end of the scale I would put the Lochsa and the North Umpqua as the streams most likely to get you upside down. I too prefer smooth bottoms to the gnarly ones with warts.

The N. Umpqua is one of the most murderously slick rivers Ive ever waded. No gravel, just exposed bedrock covered with algae. Theres some nice gravel at camp water, but if you wade out just a bit it is back to that exposed bedrock
 

zen leecher aka bill w

born to work, forced to fish
It's a good thing I didn't have a mouthfull of coffee!

You're not permitted to wade for fishing, but you CAN wade for duck hunting. I tried it once in order to set my decoys....NEVER AGAIN!! That is the nastiest, stickiest, most evil-smelling shit on the bottom of any watercourse I've ever encountered. Add to that the underwater muskrat holes and you've got a recipe for disaster!

throw the dekes out and retrieve them with an extended painting pole and a bent up roller frame.
 

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