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Ontario Shore Fishing Forum
Wet Wading - Printable Version

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Wet Wading - OldTimer - 03-29-2012 04:37 PM

Here’s a fun tip I would like to pass along for shore anglers: learn when and how to “wet wade”.

Not great for use in most of Lake Ontario – but possibly rewarding in other inland lakes, rivers, ponds and streams.

My lovely lady & I look forward to this doing this several times every summer – it’s really a blast, amusing, and (so far) productive, (never been skunked).

I picked up training doing this from my Dad - while ocean surfcasting with him in much warmer climates - where gaining 20-50 yards could mean the difference between catching fresh fish for dinner, or having a hotdog & MAC for supper instead…

Plus, I never really have been comfortable, or felt safe in waders (I also usually destroyed them quickly).

Sure – in the cooler months hopefully no one is foolish enough to do this (or die from hypothermia). However, in the hotter days of our Canadian summer (July & August), wet wading is not only quite refreshing, but its use can increase your success quite dramatically over those fishermen stuck on the shore or riverbank. Lower summer water levels, and higher water temperatures make the better, deeper, more productive fishing water MUCH farther from shore. An added bonus is that you’ll have lots of room for your back cast, plus you don’t have to fight the vegetation along the shore as you move along.

Your tackle is essentially the same. But carry only what you really believe you need. Put ties or tethers on everything such as your pliers, your line clippers, your wee tackle box (……..guess why?)

Get a cheap light weight short handled medium sized landing net that has an elastic lanyard.

Carry a long cheap plastic twine stringer for the fish you wish to keep. Make sure the end ring and knots/connections are strong and secure – if not replace/redo them.

I would advise getting a cheap fishing vest that is short in the body length (i.e. – it ends well above your waist) to avoid soaking it. Or alternately/or in addition to such – a good comfortable shoulder bag to hold your gear (this is my choice).

Think light……… think water proof. It also makes good sense to get a good small waterproof pouch should you wish to carry your camera or cell with you. Tip – prepare as if you are sure you’ll get dunked & be soaked from head to foot.

Plastic bags that have zip locks or the use of twist ties is a basic waste of time and will leak sooner or later. Good for your lunch only.

Never wade in wild currents alone. Think safety.

Wear a PFD if you are unsure of your abilities.

Avoid getting the current pushing on your back – preferably move in angles across flows or upstream.

Move slowly in unknown waters, as water can get REAL deep instantly.

Get neck tethers for your glasses/sunglasses.

For unfamiliar waters or in faster currents get a wading staff. Mine is an old aluminum ski pole with the basket removed and a lanyard attached to my belt (mine floats, but some add a piece of polyethylene foam to add buoyancy). These are a great “third leg” in a stiff current – but I do note that these are usually unnecessary in low water conditions…….. And they will add complexity to your fish landing procedures…………… Again – be comfortably safe.

Clothes: – whatever turns your crank, but dress light as you can. I wear old jeans or shorts and a tee shirt. Lighter clothes = less water absorption = less weight. Some wear a bathing suit.

Shoes: – NEVER , EVER, WET WADE IN BARE FEET! (broken glass, sharp rocks, metal etc. will cut you up) – you can get wading sandals – but I just use an old pair of deck shoes , or runners that offer protection against stubbed toes on rocks, and that are light weight. I also wear socks to make things a bit more comfortable in the water (your shoes will get sand and gravel in them as you wade).

Some people swear by gluing felt or various carpets to the soles of wading shoes – tried it – hated it - a waste of time and effort in my use & experience – but I mention it in case you find yourself slipping a lot and want to give such a go………...

Carry a dry set of clothes in your vehicle and a bunch of old towels – so you can change – or have the towels to sit on while going home.

Take note of the location of deeper sections of water you find for future reference……………

Lastly……………… Avoid waters with known leech populations …………….(smile)


Old Timer

RE: Wet Wading - bettercallsaul - 03-29-2012 08:41 PM

Good article! Last summer I tried to wade a lake with neoprene waders, but it was brutal in the hot weather. One thing I'd like to mention is that felt is notorious in aiding the spread of invasive species since it can absorb them, so it would be better to avoid using it.

RE: Wet Wading - TheMug - 04-04-2012 02:52 AM

I have some light and breathable waders and I still found them too hot in the heat of the summer. So i got myself a cheap pair of $20 wading sandals, a small shoulder bag, and a pair swim trunks during the hot season last summer and the river water kept me nice and cool.

RE: Wet Wading - googie - 04-04-2012 07:05 AM

wading sandals good idea I should get a pair.

RE: Wet Wading - MichaelAngelo - 04-05-2012 12:20 AM

Right now I'm rocking gum boots. Tongue. Simple, but they work for crossing sections of a river and handing fish.

We're lucky to have summers brutal enough to facilitate getting wet and splashing around LOL

RE: Wet Wading - TheMug - 05-01-2012 05:45 PM

A cheap pair of crocs also work as wading sandals. Two of my fishing buddies use them.

RE: Wet Wading - Fransky - 05-09-2012 07:33 PM

I've been kicking around the idea of waders and/or a belly boat. I guess the belly boat makes more sense if the water/weather is warm. Although, I've never known Lake Ontario to be especially balmy Smile

RE: Wet Wading - MichaelAngelo - 05-09-2012 08:54 PM

(05-09-2012 07:33 PM)Fransky Wrote:  I've been kicking around the idea of waders and/or a belly boat. I guess the belly boat makes more sense if the water/weather is warm. Although, I've never known Lake Ontario to be especially balmy Smile

Wicked belly boat video:

RE: Wet Wading - OldTimer - 09-16-2012 03:33 PM

With the shorter days and cooler night time temperatures it looks like the "Wet Wading" season is just about over, or may be in some places.

Here's the Grand River system temps today:


Much below 21C gets pretty cool and not recommended .......... below 15C is not bearable, and you lose dexterity quickly.

Dig this:


Wader time............



RE: Wet Wading - Tyger - 09-17-2012 12:33 PM

Probaly won't be able to to try this year, but are aqua shoes ok for this. Everyone seemed to mention sandals (or plain ol' running shoes)?