Quick Tip: Walk Softly and Carry a Fairly Big Stick

Wading is simply easier with a third leg.

Last Sunday my friend and I bushwhacked to the upper reaches of the Big Thompson River headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a very remote canyon with no trail whatsoever with choking dead-fall, massive plunge pools and loose rocks. Needless to say it’s not the most easily accessed water to fish. Getting around is tough, but the reward is worth it.

On the way out of the canyon I did something I very rarely do. I grabbed a big long branch with a diameter about the size of my arm and maybe six feet long and used it as a wading staff. While I have long been told about the merits of wading staffs like the one from Pit River Company,l I personally just never really needed one. Perhaps it’s because I’m aging or simply out of shape, but I found having that stick really helped with overall fatigue in the river and even while navigating the scree while out of the water.

So next time you’re a bit gassed on a back-country fishing excursion and need a little help look around for a solid wading staff. I swear it’ll help.

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  • Dixiejack

    I swear by a wading staff. One of the worse wading I ever had was in about a 1′ of water and I stepped on a rock buried up in the sand. Twisted my ankle and landed on some rocks I was circumventing. I now use a camera monopod I that I put a “V’ mount for shooting. I drilled holes in all 3 sections, going from 3/4″ holes in the larger to section to 1/2″ middle section to 3/8” for bottom section. I mounted a rubber tip with a steel spike for rocky areas. It’s extended and used even on trails to the creeks. That spike has accounted for 2 dead diamondbacks and a moccasin.

  • erparf

    71 now, and for the last 12 years I have never been without my wading stick. My Folstaff stick has served me well all these years and their customer support/warranty service is fabulous.

  • Dale

    Only the fool hardy will refuse to use one. At 76 I would not be without mine. Orvis makes a sturdy one but a stout branch would work as well. Hard to tether it to you though, especially fly fishing. Has saved me from many a wetting over te years, I didn’t just start to use one–have for years.