As felt soles fall out of favor because of invasive species concern, more thought is necessary to wade safely, especially in our local rivers. The round basalt of the Ronde, Clearwater, and the low sand sediments of the Spokane are especially challenging.
A few tips that’ll keep you upright:
Wading Staff– This third point of support will make all wading easier by letting you maintain two points of contact while one foot is making a stride. A wading staff may make the difference between staying dry and falling in, and lowers your anxiety level during difficult wading.
Go slow. Obviously, be careful while wading, but also take time to evaluate current conditions, particularly in unfamiliar places.
Go with the flow. It’s easier and safer to move at a slight downstream angle with the current than move directly across or against the current.
Have the right stuff-Polarized lenses so you can see, felt or studded boots with good support so you can stand are essential. Take a look at your tackle system: do you need to pack all 45 boxes of flies, or will 40 do? If you leave some of it at home, you won’t have to find it after you go swimming.