Stillwater Anglers Wading Safety

7 Important Wading Safety Tips That Will Help You This Season

This fly fishing season is here and people are anxious to get out on the water. Make sure you stay up to date on river and wading safety to make sure you get home to your loved ones in one piece at the end of the day. Sometimes fast water or high rivers can get into you a bad situation quickly. Here we talk about a few wading safety tips that will help keep you out of danger and keep you having fun on the river.

Wading Safety Tips To Help Your Success This Season

You’ve heard the horror stories about people falling or getting swept up by the current and getting injured while rafting or kayaking. Believe it or not, it happens to fly fishermen who wade too. Avoid the dangers that come with wading by following some our wading safety tips.

Don’t Forget Your Belt And Staff

Your waders typically come with a belt, and for good reason. Use them and tighten them as much as you can without being uncomfortable. Your belt helps slow water from coming in if you fall, and also trap air inside your waders which creates a little buoyancy. Non-negotiable, you need your wading belt!

Additionally, a wading staff is immensely helpful for stability, especially when conditions are more difficult. The best fly fishing wading staffs are also equipped with a sheath to attach to your wading belt until you need it. Wading staffs are great for checking the depth of water as well as helping you keep your balance when crossing.

Take Your Time

Obviously, you should be careful while wading, but also we mean you should take your time to evaluate the river conditions. Especially if you are visiting a river you are not familiar with, it is important to use caution when entering the river and moving through the water. Slow, controlled movements will help minimize the risk of falling in.

Take your time wading through and carefully choosing each new spot to step, because it could take just one slippery rock to cause you to lose your balance and get caught up in the current.

Avoid Deep Waters

Our tip for wading safety is to avoid wading in waters deeper than your needs if possible. Too much deeper and even a slow-moving current can be difficult to navigate safely. Here’s the clue – if you can see your feet, then you’re good to go. Plus, there’s a good chance you’re scaring the fish if you go too much deeper than that anyways.

Consider Studded Soled Boots

Maybe this is obvious but wading boots with studded soles have better traction so that you can gain better stability while wading. You want to have a good grip on the rocks at the bottom of the river, especially when the water is pushing hard against you.

Stay Sideways

Literally, we mean wade in sideways. Standing sideways in the river will help you maintain more control and stability. Avoid facing straight up or straight down the river, because even in low current flows, your leg can be swept out of the current. Better to be safe than sorry, right?

Use The Buddy System

This is pretty important when it comes to wading safety. Whenever possible, use the buddy system while crossing a river. If you’re crossing the river, and not just wading in, wade side by side or link around each other for added support. More feet on the bottom of the river means more stability, and the chances of slipping or getting caught up are not so high.

Plus, it’s always good practice to bring friends and family with you, so that should something happen, you have someone to help you or call for more assistance.

Respect The River

Our last tip for wading safety is to respect the river. Basically, this means using common sense. Does it feel safe or are you feeling nervous about wading in? Use your gut and only go in if you’re confident that the river is safe.

If you’re not sure, bringing all an experienced guide is a good idea. When it comes to fly fishing wading safety, don’t cut any corners or take unnecessary risks. Especially if you’re just beginning, bringing along someone who knows the rivers well can make your awesome trip go from good to great! At Stillwater Anglers, safety and fun are our biggest priorities. Any safe day wading is a good day. Give us a call and let us set you up with the ultimate fly fishing experience with a guided trip!

By Stillwater Anglers General Fly Fishing Articles