For years both as a guide and a college “fly fishing professor”, I preached the glories of wading abstinence. I equated unnecessary wading to someone tramping over your food on a picnic table just to get to the other seat.
Some folks balk at this but the risks are there. Certainly the risk of a fall and injuring yourself or worse is always there but I’m talking about the potential harm to the stream. Let me preface the rest of this by saying, I am not a tree hugging environmentalist but I do believe in good stewardship.
When we wade, we not only risk introducing foreign micro organisms into the stream but we also dislodge caddis and mayfly nymphs from their holding spots within the stream and disrupt the hatches.
Another risk to consider is the possibility of destroying the redds during the spawn. This is especially true for our eastern anglers because of the ever dwindling numbers of the native brook trout. Because the brook and brown trout spawn in the fall, the rainbow in the spring and the water runs thin in the summer months, the stream is in a constant fragile state.
As fly fishers, we are supposed to use our casting skills and acute situational awareness skills to catch trout. Proper casting and appropriate length rods to match the water should resolve a the need to wade a lot of the time.
Though this is not yet a law in a lot of states, it should be our principle; wade lightly and only when necessary…just a thought.
What do y’all think?