If your fishing alone don't take that next step.......
This will be my first winter where I really plan to get out and fish some rivers hard. I've normally only river fished in summer/late summer conditions where there is less water, warmer temperature and way less danger. Most of those times I've just waded into the water with running shoes.
So, I'm wondering what some of you more experienced guys would suggest for gear when its freezing cold and you're wearing waders. Is wearing a belt on the outside of your waders essential? what about an inflatable pfd? wading staff?
I'm sure common sense and just being a little careful is the most important thing. But, there's often that temptation to just take that extra step to open up an easier cast lol. I often fish alone so I thought I should ask. I've yet to fall in wearing waders so I dont really know what its like
If your fishing alone don't take that next step.......
I think holmes grabbed my junk in the "pile on" though....I found it inappropriate but I was released gently; given what we were piling on about I found it educational as to a good release. ~ PipAnd Lipripper - until you have been there, I would strongly suggest you STFU. ~ bigbruce
Last edited by -steelhead-; 11-30-2011 at 10:15 PM.
well most people who have fished with me on the rivers know im a bit over zealous, so i wipe out from time to time.
I wear a belt when walking the river but thats it. after i had my daughter i feel like i should be wearing a pdf while wading but i havent bought one of those inflatables yet. When pontooning i wore a pdf with my waders though.
A PFD is wonderful but doesn't do much for you when you lose your footing crossing a tail-out and get carried into a logjam around the corner downstream. I do piles of hiking in and out of canyons, lots of crossing rivers where I shouldn't. It's called covering water, and eventually, a keen river fisherman will need to learn how to safely wade rivers.
I'm a stick guy. Always have been. I have a Sheltie dog and if I drown her on a river, my GF and both my daughters will shoot me in the forehead with hollow points filled with rotten garlic. I've almost lost her a couple of times letting her fend for herself so now I wade with her under my right arm, my fist locked to my vest. Having that extra 40 pounds of dog helps me wade fast water (I knew a guy who waded carrying big rocks clutched to his chest to improve his center of gravity but hey kids, don't do this at home). Short answer--- a good wading staff will save your life once you start crossing the flow.
Ski poles work. What you find on the river bank works. But they'll eventually drive you nuts because to free up your hands for fishing you'll want to tie them to your vest or around your neck and then they become both a hazard and a nuisance
So that's why God invented collapsible wading sticks. They are sections, usually aluminum, that are strung together with a bungey cord or a cable and there's a nice handle at the top. I did the $ 35 cheapo and got a few years out of it. Eventually the sections fused together and now it ain't so collapsible any more. So if you're serious about river safety and realize that safety sometimes costs money, this would be a good time to tell your wife or girlfriend that what you REALLY want for Christmas is a Simms collapsible wading staff.
They are bomb proof and once you've gotten your skinny arse safely across the flow, they fold up nice and tidy into a bundle and you stick them into a neoprene sheath hanging from your belt (the second item of safety that Lorne mentioned). The staff attaches with a retractable cable. Down side--you have to drop $ 130 southern pesos to get one.
Good luck fishing and stay safe!
I didnt know what the purpose of the belt was for but once I found out for sure I wear it. Also carry a knife around my neck that could used to slash your pant leg if need be. (knock on wood)
Steelhead, thanks for posting the video! I cant imagine having full waders in the middle of winter I'm thinking the belt is the absolute minimum for safety.
Sharphooks, I couldnt agree more about the collapsible wading staff. I've used them in New Zealand and they are unbelievably handy, especially for crossings. I do remember beating the thing over rocks trying to get the sections to come apart, lol.
Last edited by hambone; 12-01-2011 at 10:24 AM.
Wading belt--critical! I was on a trib in Alaska last April chasing steel. I was standing on a cut-bank getting ready for the evening bite. I was just in the process of unscrewing the top of a bottle of Japanese rice wine to get suitably tuned for the lip-rip fest when the bank collapsed out from under my feet.
I did an absolute 100% face-plant into an 8 feet deep pool, face-plant as in bubbles spewing out of my nose, 100% immersion. It was frog water so it wasn't a go-off downstream and drown scenario, but there was snow on the ground and the rain was coming down in bucket-loads and all I could think was hypo-thermia because I'd been camping on the river for 6 straight days prior to that face-plant and I was already doing the mental calculation that I didn't have one shred of dry clothes left ( because all it did was rain for 6 straight days and everything was soaked). Also, I had a $ 300 digi-cam around my neck with all the fish porn on it from the preceding days and I knew that was a goner ....
Short story---a tightly cinched belt saved my skinny arse. I recreated evolution and slithered back onto the bank, bent over forwards, and most of the water heaped up at my chest came pouring back out because of that wading belt.
I slunk back to my tent, hung the waders in a tree, and while shivering in my sleeping bag, took my digi-cam apart and dried off the SD chip so maybe at least I could save the porn from my trip
The next morning, sunshine (first sun in 6 days) angel wings, hummingbirds, relatively dry waders because of that freaking wading belt---life was marvelous again!!
Then I step back into the flow and FIRST FREAKING CAST I hook into a chrome bullet train and yep, another clue that life wasn't such a bad place to be.
Last part of the story--- I take out the camera and not expecting too much because like I said, I was SURE it was toast, I snapped the last picture of the trip of my slab of gorgeous steel and WTF, the camera made a feeble clicking noise, like it was trying to do what it did before taking that swim. The pic is worth sharing (even though it's got some "mood" going on because of all the river water inside the lens), because it's a great testimony to why you should wear a belt.... if for no other reason then it'll keep you alive so you can fish another day...
Last edited by sharphooks; 12-01-2011 at 11:58 AM.
i have a mustad vest that has a valve to blow into and inflate the vest, also has a pull cord(co2) which i dont think you be thinking of pulling it just trying to get the hell out... its really sweet being able to put a little air in it b4 a crossing and deflate right after. A wading belt is a must< put it in your boot at the end of the day and you will never forget it... there is a newer version that has vip up pockets, dont buy the velcrow one like i did... dropped tons of gear in the river because of those pockets
Learn how to "Buddy Wade" as well.
20ft Alumaweld Intruder