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The swift current carries you downstream and your waders begin to fill with water rather rapidly. It feels like you have a ton of rocks in your boots. What a predicament!
How could this scenario have been avoided?
There are some very specific things wading safety rules that every fly fisherman should follow:
Always use a wading staff.
Your wading staff doesn’t have to be elaborate. Whether it is as fancy as a telescoping wading staff or as simple as a piece of good, sturdy tree branch… a wading staff allows you to find holes, rocks and other obstacles that obstruct your path beneath the water.
Always wear a wading belt.
Never step on obstacles in the water.
It’s best to either step over rocks and branches or detour around them.
Don’t get too deep.
Do not wade into water that is deep enough to cause you to become buoyant. It’s important that you always have at least one foot on the river bottom.
Don’t lose your grip.
Your wading staff should either be equipped with a lanyard or connected to your fly fishing vest. This ensures that it won’t float downstream if you drop it. However, it should also have a safety release in case you fall and become anchored by the wading staff.
If you fall…
If you should happen to fall into the river and the current begins to carry you away, point your legs downstream so you are able to push off of debris and rocks. Keep your arms spread out in order to keep your head above the water’s surface.
Above all, use common sense when wading and follow these wading safety tips in order that your fly fishing adventure will end on a positive note.
I enjoy writing about my life experiences — including the fun times I've had while fishing and enjoying nature. In my fly fishing articles I like to share helpful how-tos to help newbies grasp the most basic concepts of fly fishing.