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dave5977 11-07-2011 12:24 PM

To wade or not to wade?
I read the book "The Art and Science of Fly Fishing" by Lennox Dick. In the book, he talked about wading and how 80% of the time that people wade, shouldn't...

His reason is because, as he puts it, of the incredible amount of noise wading makes. He also talks about the reasons to wade as well. Mainly to be able to present your fly in just the right place and to cast without getting your line snagged in brush or over hangs etc.

He gives many reasons why we should wade and only few on why we should not. But, he starts off my saying we should stay on the bank most of the time... Huh?? What's he trying to say?

Anyway, it got me thinking about wading... Why do we wade? I think it's a more personal thing than a technical thing. it's the fun thing to do (if done safely)... Isn't it?

mikel 11-07-2011 12:36 PM

Re: To wade or not to wade?
Not only do we wade when unnecessary, we often wade right into the lanes we should be fishing and walk all over our prey. I'm certainly guilty, athough trying to get better. There's definitely an appeal to being in the water, especially if you already have those darned waders on.

Since now I generally carry a net, wear a pfd and wade with a staff, it's like you need a frigging moving van to get on the water. How come 40 years ago we just needed a couple of flies, a spool of tippet and some felt glued to the bottom of our Chuck Taylors?

In the past couple of years I seek out more water that doesn't require wading. Too lazy to wader up. :)


williamhj 11-07-2011 12:49 PM

Re: To wade or not to wade?
I usually wade for two reasons: to be able to get my fly in the right current lane and to have room to cast. When I shore fish I'm amazed how often I hang-up even roll casting. If I can fish from the shore, I do, but usually can't. Besides, I love being in the river.

BigCliff 11-07-2011 02:56 PM

Re: To wade or not to wade?
Wading is cooler. (can be bad if its cold out, but it makes our summers bearable down here)

Often the middle of the river is most free of casting obstacles.

Landing fish is generally easier as well.

All that said, if you've ever seen how you can sneak up on fish in a canoe, you realize there might be something to the noise he's talking about.

Liphookedau 11-07-2011 03:25 PM

Re: To wade or not to wade?
We all have done our share of wading,not only is it heaps cooler sometimes it's the only way to fish a certain stretch of water as the good places always seem to be on the wrong side however the downturn is how many of us whilst wading shallow waters have disturbed fish,so really it's better to do an observation before starting to fish,it's also a good idea to check if anything or anyone's behind.

Rip Tide 11-07-2011 03:35 PM

Re: To wade or not to wade?
Wading does make a lot of noise, especially if your boots have cleats. But think back to times when you been swimming. There's lots of noise underwater, especially in a moving river. Fish in all but the quietest environments are used to it. A little doesn't usually hurt.
Pushing water as you wade up stream is a different story. That's not natural

swampdonkey 11-07-2011 04:27 PM

Re: To wade or not to wade?
I thought about this a lot today as 1) it was cold and 2) it's a small river I was fishing. I'm certain I scared some fish that had potential to be caught but I sometimes look past this as I just enjoy being in the river as opposed to on the bank.

Ard 11-07-2011 04:57 PM

Re: To wade or not to wade?
Now this is an interesting subject!

I fished for many years on one stretch of water where wading was prohibited and several other spring creeks where it was frowned upon greatly. In these locations there were many factors at play that made learning how to fly fish from shore the practical thing to do. All of the creeks had wild trout and therefore active spawning going on in the gravel beds the year out. Browns and brook in the fall and rainbow in the spring. The gravel was always hosting a new generation of alevins or eggs so staying clear of it was imperative. Since all were springs wading would also stir up silt and that posed its own sort of threat to the developing nest beds.

Fishing from shore led to some of my more useful developments as a fisherman. Rather than plowing into the flow the rules of some and the etiquette of other streams kept me on the shore and I became more observant. I learned how to use every tree and even the high grass in the famous 'Meadows' stretch to mask my presence. I believe the most important skill I gained in those years was to perfect what I now know is called the Snap T single hand Spey cast. Being confined to shore with limited areas for any back cast at all led to learning how to send a mini lead head 8' of leader and a size 4 feather wing streamer sometimes as far as 50 feet across the creek to hit a seam with no back cast.

Even now as I fish for salmon and all other species I wade only as needed. I watch and I plan the easiest way to reach the fish without rushing into the river like a bull moose during the rut.

cpiercem 11-07-2011 08:43 PM

Re: To wade or not to wade?
I wade when I have to, which is quite a bit if I am on small brushy creeks. In some areas there is no way to get through the brush on the shore. You have to walk up the stream. I am not a graceful or quiet wader no matter how hard I try. I am either looking at the stream and where the fish are, or I am watching where I put my feet. I can't seem to manage to do both at the same time.

So I prefer to move on the shore and to fish from the bank if I can. I can sneak up and move quieter if I am out of the water. Sometimes quieter isn't good either.....there are moose in the bushes too! I have had more than my share of close encounters.

Vans 11-07-2011 08:57 PM

Re: To wade or not to wade?
If i dont have to, i wont wade. It is pretty hard to fish the Deschutes without getting in the water though. Lots and lots of bank vegetation.

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