Wet Wading Safety

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Supporter
I'm an old guy and wear my regular wading boots when wet wading with a pair of Smartwool hiking socks and 3mm neoprene socks because I want good traction. I also wear a pair of GI ABU trousers because they're durable, and dry fairly fast. Over the trousers I wear shin and knee guards like these that are also awesome over waders. They protect my legs when getting low for stealth or when kneeling on rocks to release a fish. Plus they provide a little warmth. I had these in 5 days from Great Brittan.
 

gt

Active Member
some years ago my wife and i were drifting the Yellowstone river well below the park. the guide running the boat was from Iowa and out for the summer. it was blazing hot so we were in shorts and water shoes. he pulled us into a sand bar, river right, the other side of which was the outflow of Nelson's spring creek. big fence along the bank with no trespassing signs every 10' or so and a guy on a 4 wheeler making sure i was not going to set foot on Nelson property. caught several BIG trout in that outflow along with 3 leeches on my calf. i thought the guide was going to faint. i asked him if the salt packets from the lunch were still in the bag, he said yes and retrieved them. salt on the leeches and they let go. another interesting experience fly fishing. i like wet wading when it is blistering hot and of course someplace like Christmas Island is all wet wading.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
I wet wade every year (seasonally), been doing it since the early 60's. Proper footwear (as noted above) is often critical. Anymore I wear long, quick dry pants, long sleeved shirt, floppy brimmed hat, a Buff and sun block gloves.

I probably wouldn't wet wade a pond like the one in the movie: "Stand By Me", but the Columbia River reservoirs, assorted local lakes and mountain creeks (and McDonald Creek), yes sir.
 

jaredoconnor

WFF Supporter
Curious what youre finding in terms of boots that are suitable for hiking and wet wading.
Last summer I had the grand idea of hiking 5+ miles 2-3k down into a canyon with My Simms and Wading socks so it would make wet wading safer on a backcountry trip. It wasn't bad coming down, but coming back up, they were sopping wet, which made them heavvvvy which was a PIA.

I concluded that there aren't any great options. Various companies make wet wading shoes, but I want ankle support. I will probably just end up buying a pair of normal rubber wading boots that look like they have a more flexible sole.
 

jaredoconnor

WFF Supporter
Regarding my original post, now that I have thought about it some more, I think there is some merit to the concern.

Even as far up as Olallie State Park, the Snoqualmie forks have random pieces of steel sheeting and wire. I imagine getting cut by those would be a good way to get tetanus. With all the historical meth lab activity in the middle fork, wet wading there probably isn't wise either.

As someone mentioned earlier, decaying salmon carcasses are presumably not human friendly. Some rivers I fish can really stink, at certain times of the year.

I shudder to think of the things you could find in the lower section of Cedar River.

I still plan to wet wade alpine lakes, because carrying waders is impractical and those waters are pristine. However, I am going to make sure I wear pants and keep the leeches off.
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
I guess it all depends on where you are. In eastern washington this had been my typical attire for over 20 years in the summer. Some days I may wear long pants just because.
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GOTY

9x Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
No virus' for me, the only thing I catch wet wading are chromers.
 

Squamishpoacher

Active Member
Fishing a beach on north Vancouver Island last July some youngster tried wet wading. He lasted about 15 minutes because the shivering was affecting his ability to cast.
 

wanative

Retired, gone fishin'
WFF Supporter
Regarding my original post, now that I have thought about it some more, I think there is some merit to the concern.

Even as far up as Olallie State Park, the Snoqualmie forks have random pieces of steel sheeting and wire. I imagine getting cut by those would be a good way to get tetanus. With all the historical meth lab activity in the middle fork, wet wading there probably isn't wise either.

As someone mentioned earlier, decaying salmon carcasses are presumably not human friendly. Some rivers I fish can really stink, at certain times of the year.

I shudder to think of the things you could find in the lower section of Cedar River.

I still plan to wet wade alpine lakes, because carrying waders is impractical and those waters are pristine. However, I am going to make sure I wear pants and keep the leeches off.
Salmon spawn in water generally too cold for wet wading.
 

vader

Active Member
In the late 1990s and early 2000s when the n.f stilly had hatchery fish during the summer we would wet wade up river then after finishing a run jump in and swim to the next run downriver.
 

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