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What are you wading for?

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  • What are you wading for?

    Here is the most recent blog from my website:

    What do you think about when you are wading?

    If it is only where your next step will be you are missing a lot of information.

    Positioning - make sure you wade to areas that allow for the best drifts without having to work too hard mending your line. Fish close to far - working away from you both across and up stream. This will keep you from over-lining fish. Always fish a productive area from both sides if possible. Several runs that I fish often produce more bites from one side on one day, the other side on other days.

    Water Reading - pay attention to the way the current feels on your legs. Specifically how much push you feel. If I stand in an area that has swift water pushing my thighs but I feel little resistance from the knees down, I know this is good holding water. If you hang your fly on an obstruction, take note. That same pain in the rear log may be home to a hog.

    Direction - avoid the path of least resistance. I have used this analogy many times but if you watch fisherman wade a stretch of river and plot their path on a map it would look like a hurricane prediction map. Most folks are going to take a similar route. Be aware of this and take the extra steps to get to those productive areas that are less pressured.

    Safety - above all know your limitations. Only take risks if someone else is with you and alert them first that you are working an area that is difficult so they keep an eye out.
    Be super cautious the further you get from a vehicle and medical care and in inclement weather.

    Fish On! - Big T
    http://www.bigtflyfishing.com

    Use Promo Code NGTO for 5% off

  • #2
    This right here is GOOD stuff. Something, to refer back to before stepping in the river/water on just about every trip.

    Thanks T!

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    • #3
      SPOT ON!

      Spot on info here! It's one more way to look at "how to think like a fish". If I may add one footnote (pardon the oncoming pun her) it is to be aware of your feet! Try to move as quietly as possible without rolling rocks or scrunching gravel. Looked but could not find a video shot of someone's feet with a hydrophone attached while they were walking along a stream bed. Just pushing one rock aside sounds like an old truck backfire. Water magnifies the sound.

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      • #4
        T, well said in your post. A few years ago wet wading I hustled out too fast in a stretch of the hooch I've never fished before. Two steps in the river a sharp rock impelled my left shin and flipped me over. I could see half my shine bone. After the ER tried to stitch it up and stop the infection I ended up at the CDC with a picc line inserted in my arm for 3 months.
        I wad slowly now!
        "If you aren`t fishing out West.... well you`re just plain fishing"

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        • #5
          First, most people wade far more than they need to. Try to stay out of the water as much as possible. Before you enter the water, even before you make the first cast, stop and look. You may have fished the same stretch of water a hundred times, but stop, look and listen. Look at insect and bird activity. Listen for the unusual.
          Stay low, move slow. Be the heron.

          Good write up T!
          BE DIFFERENT AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE! <

          Exodus 29:18
          Then burn the entire ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the LORD. God loves BBQ!

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          • #6
            Good read...and some more for consideration

            # Don't assume that you can wade where others go. Foot control and body orientation are subtle things than aren't readily apparent.

            # Be careful when stepping over obstructions. That obstruction can create deep holes and a quick step can result in a dunking.

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            • #7
              As some of you might remember, I was flushed down the Amicalola about 1/2 mile a little over a year ago. The good news is that I remembered to orient myself feet first and on my back so that my head wouldn't hit any boulders on the way downstream. The bad news is that even after two surgeries, my left knee will never be the same again, but at least I'm still mobile. Here's what I learned from that experience:

              (1) If you're going to wade, it's best to be with a buddy (thanks again, Frank)

              (2) When you cinch up a wading belt around your waste, it DOES help to keep the water out, but it also traps air below the belt. What happens when you try to submerge an inflated balloon under water? That's right, it's extremely difficult (if not impossible) to stand back up when your waders are full of air and you're careening downstream.

              (3) Overhanging trees are your friends. Try to steer yourself as close to the shore as possible (if possible).

              (4) Never wade above your knees in fast water. The trapped air in your wader legs will float you faster than you think possible.

              (5) If the current is running higher and faster than normal, go home and have a beer. It's not worth it.

              Thanks to Big T for this post. If I had read it earlier, and listened to him, I could have saved countless hours in surgery and rehab.

              Be careful out there!
              "Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."
              -Henry David Thoreau

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Swimmer View Post
                (5) If the current is running higher and faster than normal, go home and have a beer. It's not worth it.

                Be careful out there!
                Best advise I've seen in a while....^^^^

                Big T said it too
                "Safety - above all know your limitations."

                That's 2 good pieces of info
                BE DIFFERENT AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE! <

                Exodus 29:18
                Then burn the entire ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the LORD. God loves BBQ!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Swimmer View Post
                  (4) Never wade above your knees in fast water. The trapped air in your wader legs will float you faster than you think possible.
                  this part is something I haven't seen put into words before but I think I intuitively agree with based on experience.

                  For the most part, air gets pushed up and out of my waders, so that there doesn't seem to be a a ton of air trapped in the legs (below my waist). At the same time, if I am wearing waders I feel more buoyant and less able to stand in really strong currents..it's like I feel like I'm being picked up ever so slightly off the bottom (compared to say wet wading where I feel more stuck to the bottom).
                  _yero on instagram

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                  • #10
                    I have noticed the same thing. I am much more 'grounded' wet wading than with waders. Maybe loosening the belt until you in the water might let out some of the air that 'lifts' me off the bottom.

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                    • #11
                      One thing nobody has mentioned are flow or Discharge amounts and safe wading. There are sites along the Chattahoochee where the USGS posts discharge rates in Cubic Feet Per Seconds CFS on the web. Right now for example Jones Bridge (site # 0235000) shows the Discharge rate @ 770. I try to stay away when the rates get above 1200-1500 cfs.

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                      • #12
                        A couple more good points...

                        Wade or fish, avoid doing both at the same time. The mistakes I've made usually were a result of concentrating on a drift while taking 'just a small step' for a better position.

                        When in fast water stay sidewise to the current. Rear leg is your anchor while upstream leg probes for clean placement.

                        Don't take steps where one leg crosses the other. Although it is a good way to learn how to do a pirouette.

                        When it gets dicey place your weight over the balls of your feet (not your heels) and clench your toes like your trying to grab the rocks.

                        If water is high and you think it might be alright but not quite sure, use the buddy system. Grab your partner's shoulder and cross together.
                        These brook trout will strike any fly you present, provided you don't get close enough to present it.
                        -- Dick Blalock

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                        • #13
                          I'm thinking:

                          - why are these rocks so dang slippery.
                          - I hope this cheap wading staff doesn't break again
                          - these waders are hotter than hell- I should have brought some water
                          - oh look- there is Big T landing his 50th fish of the day.
                          - oh great- hung again.
                          - oh great dropped ( insert random gear ) in the river

                          OMG OMG OMG I HOOKED ONE! I'm a pro now! I should be a guide.


                          That's pretty much spot on accurate.

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                          • #14
                            Ch035,
                            Thanks for that. I thought I was the only one suffering from those thoughts and delusions. Now I know there's at least one other crazy on the river.

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