How to Walk in Fishing Waders

How to Walk in Fishing Waders
Fishing waders are used to access areas of streams and rivers that are otherwise inaccessible to fishing. Various styles of waders are available but typically fall into a few basic categories including hip, waist and chest. The footwear associated with waders will either be designed as part of the wader or as a boot or as a shoe to be worn with stocking foot waders. Waders or shoes will feature hard rubber soles, felt soles or soles with metal studs. Walking in waders can take some getting use to, both on dry land as well as in the water.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Wading staff
  • Wading staff
Step 1
Put on the waders in accordance with the manufacturer's directions. This will typically involve stepping into the waders and pulling them up to the hip, waist or chest. If the waders are stocking foot, a wading shoe will also need to be worn. Make sure the boot is strapped or laced securely.
Step 2
Walk to the stream or river taking care to avoid stepping on larger sharp rocks. Take care to avoid snagging or puncturing the waders with sticks, large briers or other sharp obstacles.
Step 3
Enter the water using the aid of a wading staff or by holding onto a tree, branch or other sturdy object. Entering a swift stream can catch a wader off guard and cause a fall. Enter the water without disturbing as much of the ecosystem as possible.
Step 4
Begin walking in the water with the feet shoulder width apart at all times while wading. Take one step at a time, testing the bed of the river or stream. Bring the other foot even with the first and then repeat. Use the wading staff to help with balance, especially in swift or deeper water.
Step 5
Monitor the depth of the water while wading to avoid stepping into deep holes or drop-offs. This may not only cause a fall but will also allow the waders to fill with water, which may cause drowning in deeper waters.

Tips & Warnings

Make sure that waders are in good condition prior to fishing and make any repairs as needed. Practice wading in shallow slower waters at first before taking on swifter and deeper waters.
Use caution and take time when wading. Avoid letting the waders fill with water as the additional weight may cause the wader to be pulled down and possibly drown.

Article Written By Tara Dooley

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.

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