The Three Unforgivable Sins of Safe Wading

Stay safe when wading by avoiding these unforgivable sins.

fly fishing the Logan River, Utah
Wading the Logan River, Utah

February 2023

You’re primed for a stellar day of wade fishing, but with one slip your waders are full of freezing cold water, your clothes are soaked, and your heart's pumping from a near disaster. Stay safe when wading by avoiding these unforgivable sins.

  1. Not wearing a wading belt. Always keep that belt on. It prevents water from rushing into your waders and pooling at your boots. Not only will the wading belt keep you dry in case of an unforeseen banana peel mishap on the riverbed, but it could help you from taking on water and weight in swift current when slipping can be more dangerous.
  2. Going against the grooves. Wading in some rivers is similar to improvising. You might slide around, and your best grip might not be the step you expect. So the best thing to do is keep your legs slightly bent, and feet staggered, go with what the river gives you and always find the grooves in between rocks to plant your feet. Never rely on the top of a rock to be secure because most times that's the slickest rock out there.
  3. Facing downstream when moving. If you do fall in the river you want to fall forward. So always face upstream. Use your hands and arms to catch you and prevent more water from tipping into your waders. Sure, a sleeve might get wet, but that’s the lesser of these two evils. If the you're not in very deep water, you can fall to your knees to stop the full face plant, but be weary, (speaking from experience) that can be a painful strategy. No matter what you do, avoid falling backwards or you'll go bobbing down the river with all of your gear.