If you are fishing streams or creeks, most likely you will be wading into and sometimes across the water. Water that is moving is very powerful and a person who is not careful can easily get themselves into a very dangerous situation when wading. There are some key points you should always remember when wading. Always wear a wading belt, look for the easiest place to wade, have a plan, and when necessary, use a wading staff.
Wading Belt – Waders are wonderful in keeping you dry and warm, but they can be very dangerous if they fill with water. This is why a wading belt is so important. A wading belt is a belt that fastens either around your waist for shallow water wading or up higher around your chest when wading deeper water. The belt slows the water from entering inside your waders in case you fall. I can’t stress this enough; Always wear your wading belt.
Where to wade – This may seem like a little simplistic, but find the easiest place to wade when crossing a river. My point is that do not cross a difficult or unknown stretch of stream when an easier route may be just above or below you. Take the time to find a safe place to wade. Many times the faster, shallower water in riffles is the much easier to wade than the deeper pools. Also, slow moving water may contain a lot of silt which can cause troubles when crossing.
Have a plan – Before wading or crossing a stretch of water, have a plan before stepping in. If you are crossing at a riffle, start at the top of the riffle in case you need to walk downstream while wading to keep your balance. Don’t start at the bottom of the riffle above a deep pool where you could get in trouble. Also, don’t cross above a log jam where you could get caught in undercurrents if you fell. Always assess the situations before you enter.