There are a few basic rules
for ensuring your personal safety when fishing. When
wading most hazards are usually created by over-reaching
yourself and taking unnecessary risks. here we present
for you a detailed breakdown of how to avoid the dangers
associated with wading.
allows you to get access to places that are denied the
less adventurous but beware of getting into trouble
by being too ambitious.
Fishing on your own is
good fun but in an emergency you may need help so it
is always safer to fish with a friend. Both of you benefit
from the added security of someone to help if things
get out of hand. - never fish alone on remote
- can include a PFD (Personal Flotation
Device). The very latest in PFD's are comfortable and
camouflaged to to make sure they can be worn all day,
even through the heat of summer. A whistle hanging from
your vest on a zinger (retractable cord) is a great
back up in case you go in or roll an ankle. They are
also good for communicating with friends or other fly
These have recently undergone a revolution with good
quality felt soled wading boots with in reach of most
anglers. Some have cleats or spikes or screw in studs.
The way in which felt sole boots grip to slippery rocks
could be likened to the way in which a fly walks up
a window! The felt soles are replaceable meaning they
can last you for ten years or more of fishing. They
also provide great ankle support.
Use a stick, ski pole or a commercially designed wading
staff when wading. Ski poles are lightweight, strong
and make a great staff. You can make your own on the
stream bank with a piece of hardwood from one of the
many gum trees that line our rivers. Don't use softer
woods like willow as they will flex and/or snap making
them useless for this purpose.
Use the staff upstream
as a third leg to steady yourself and prop off while
you move one foot forward. Shuffle your feet so that
they bury into the slippery stones, before shifting
you weight onto it and moving the back foot up. Get
each step secure before moving the next foot.
Collapsible wading staffs
are terrific, they come in a packed holster and when
the staff is extracted it locks together like a tent
pole, it having an internal spring through the middle
When wading make careful note of how you track your
way out to your spot as you will also need to make your
way back. Never venture too deep into fast flowing water.
Remembering it is easy to wade downstream into a good
spot in fast/deep water but getting back up can cause
all sorts of problems. If in doubt, don't do it.
Also be aware that river
levels can change quickly at times. Be aware of sticks,
logs and other debris drifting on the water's surface.
A sure sign that the water is on its way up. Notorious
rivers like the Tumut can rise rapidly and dangerously.
if you are within earshot of the power station you may
hear a siren warning of a rapid rise in levels. Even
the Goulburn can rise rapidly while you are wading.
Always have an exit strategy.
Lightweight chest waders
such as the modern breathables are safer than thigh
boots only if you don't wade in too far. The deeper
you wade the more buoyant you become, loosening the
grip of your boots on the bottom. Chest waders don't
"Pull you down" as previously thought. If
you do go over in these waders bending your knees will
trap air in the legs that will help to support your
If you do lose your footing,
stay on your back, bend your knees out in front of you
and drift with the current. You should stay afloat.
If you cannot swim or are not confident then you do
need a PFD. Email us for more details.
Angle yourself slowly to
the shore - do not try to swim against the current as
you will quickly exhaust yourself. Stay away from strainers
of branches, snags and trees, they are very serious
hazards as the weight of the flowing water can easily
push you under such obtrusions leaving you trapped and
unable to escape. Also in mountain streams be careful
of searching the bottom out with your feet. Foot entrapment
is the way most people drown in this type of water.
This occurs when the victim gets a foot caught in between
rocks and the weight/force of the current pushes them
over and they are unable to get out. It is better to
remain on you back and drift to safer water where possible.
Don't let any of this deter
you from wading, just be aware that there are risks
and dangers involved that can be avoided with a bit
of forethought. Understanding, and more importantly
respecting water, is the most fundamental thing that
we as anglers must come to appreciate.
-Antony, David and Geoff.