Summertime Wet Wading

I’ve fished from 70 mph Ranger bass boats, 5 mph johnboats, pontoons, kayaks, canoes and yachts. I’ve fished from shore, from docks, and from dams, bridges and piers. But my love of fishing grew from wading streams. 

I grew up on a Midwest farm in a house without air conditioning, so heading to the river to fish accomplished my three main goals for summer vacation: catching fish, keeping cool and, if I’m completely honest, avoiding work, which was the most important goal.

The river flowing through my family’s farm was shallow and rocky with the occasional bend with slow, deep pools. It was ideal habitat for current-loving smallmouth bass. 

On cooler days, I’d stick to very shallow water, trying to position for the best casts to current-breaking rocks and eddies. When the dog days of summer set in, wading out chest deep was refreshing, if not necessarily conducive to easy casting. 

Wading allowed me to sense the strength of the current and feel if the bottom was muddy or rocky. Being able to feel the stream helped me locate the best areas. 

Nowadays, anytime travels take me to mountainous regions, I’m on the lookout for wadable streams where I can catch bass or trout, especially when I’m with my son, Nathan. 

When Nathan was small, chasing crawdads and frogs and splashing in the shallows was as much fun as fishing. Now that he’s nearly a teenager, we enjoy the simple pleasure of the coolness of a stream on a hot day, plus the never-ending draw of finding the perfect spot around the next bend. I imagine the sense of exploration of fishing a new stream to be what kept early explorers like Lewis and Clark constantly on the move. 

And the lazy kid who was trying to get out of work? Well, I learned the value of hard work while stream fishing, too. You see, most people are lazy and fish close to access points on streams. The farther I walked, the better the fishing. As in all things in life, the harder you work, the better your luck becomes. 

This summer, if you’re hot and bored, or just don’t feel like working, try wade fishing a stream. Maybe I’ll see you around the bend. 


Tags: kids-club  -article  -wading  -fishing-tips  fishing-tips-beginner  tom-redington 


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