Episode 231: The Wading Risk of Soft River Bottoms

Soft river bottoms pose a unique risk to wade fishers.

In this episode, Dave recounts a winter fly fishing experience in which he got stuck in the mud while trying to wade to a run. It was 31 degrees. Dave had no cell coverage. He had gotten wet. And his fly fishing partner was about an hour away. Dave lived to survive the ordeal, but the story serves as a reminder about the risks of soft river bottoms and the importance of thinking more critically about our approach to wading.

There are many ways to die in the outdoors. We all know not to wade into water that is moving too fast, but what about stagnant water with a soft bottom?


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2 Replies to “Episode 231: The Wading Risk of Soft River Bottoms”

  1. Holy moly Dave thats some scary stuff. Glad your ok . Its amazing how fast things can turn from good to ugly . We put ourselves into predicaments without thinking about it. I remember one hot summer day my fishing partner and myself decided to take what we thought was a simple shortcut up over a hill along the stream we were fishing. I went first followed closely by my partner. As i hit the peak of the hill i had to maneuver around a couple bolders . All of a sudden i started to slide towards the edge of the cliff about 30 feet above the stream. I came across some loose sand and gravel. I yelled to my partner not to follow. I froze in my tracks but every time i tried to move i started slipping closer and closer to the edge. I started to panic. I was trying to figure out how I was going to get out of this situation and there didn’t seem to be many options. I looked around i saw a little root sticking out of the soil . I mean little. So i laid down on my belly and started to slide again. I reached for the root and I grabbed ahold. Not wanting to put much pressure on the root fearing it would snap and id be over the edge landing on who knows what. But thankfully it held enough that i got some footing and was able to climb out of trouble. I sat there for a bit gaining my composure. Thought to myself how stupid I was. What the heck was i thinking or not thinking.

    On the subject of a staff. I definitely use one every time I go . I was thinking after your last podcast. Your guest mentioned how he was able to get to places he normally couldn’t. I think thats a great advantage but then my self preservation kicked in . Is my staff gonna give me a false sense of security and get me into a situation i might later regret. Probably lol

  2. I agree with the dangers of wading on a soft bottom. I was fishing for redfish near Corpus Christi, TX, and thought the tide was coming in a bit fast. Then I tried to move, and realized I was more than ankle deep in mud! Quite a challenge to get unstuck.

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