illustration by Dave Hall

Runoff is right around the corner though for those of us that live in mountain or snow prone states., one of the web’s best resource for all things fly fishing has a great excerpt today from a book by Dave Galland (Excerpted from 1001 Fly-fishing Tips: Expert Advice, Hints, and Shortcuts from the World’s Leading Fly-fishersDon’t Die For Your Tackle, Headwater Books (January 2008), 219 pages, soft cover) on wading safely.

Here are some pointers to consider when trying to get to that slab on the other side of the river.

Don’t wade unnecessarily. Wading is not appropriate in all waters. The fish are much less likely to be alerted to your presence if you stay out of the water. The pressure wave you create as you wade spooks fish, especially in slower pools.

Wade with respect for the fish and other anglers. Every step you take disturbs the aquatic ecosystem. Avoid weedbeds; they are the condos for the bugs. Avoid wading through spawning redds. Be mindful of how your wading affects nearby anglers. Your wading can stir up the bottom and impact the fishing downstream.

Take appropriate safety precautions. A wader belt is as important as a seatbelt. Buckle up every time you go out and cinch it high on your chest in deeper water to trap as much air as possible and prevent water from coming in. Wear footwear that increases traction.

Use a wading staff. In rocky freestone water, with varying depths and current velocity, the angler with a staff will outfish the wader without a staff every time and will swim less.

Lean into the current. Always plant your staff upstream of your body, leaning into the current. Should you begin to lose your balance, the current will push you upright rather than downstream.

Click here to read the rest of, and most important tips from

Let us know if there’s anything they missed or if you have a trick or two up your sleeve when wading.