Monday, January 13, 2014

How to Wade Safely when Fly Fishing.

Two fly fishers wading across a river arm in arm.
Two Fly Fishers wading across
a river using the Buddy System.
Safe wading requires good balance, common sense and the knowledge of a river’s depth, current flows and bottom structure, but even with this information fly fishers can put themselves in peril if good judgment is not used. Once these principles are mastered you’ll be able to wade with confidence.

Before you begin to wade make sure that you are equipped with proper safety gear. You should have a good pair of wading shoes, a wading belt, wading staff and polarized sun glasses to see the bottom better. Also, if you are a non-swimmer an inflatable vest might come in handy. If you plan to wade in deep or turbulent water, it’s a good idea to use the buddy system. Four legs stabilize you better than two legs.

To help maintain your balance when you wade, you should keep your legs spread apart, your center of gravity low and your body at a 45˚ angle to the current. This reduces the amount of current flowing against your body. Also, slide your feet around the rocks instead of trying to step over them because rocks may look smaller than they actually are due to water refraction.

When you are playing a fish, good judgment can sometimes be overlooked in the heat of the battle. In this situation, be sure to focus on your wading first and then landing the fish. Finally, you should be aware of a river’s fluctuation rate, particularly if you cross over to the other side. If the water suddenly rises, swimming or dangerous wading back are not good options.

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