I enjoy the challenge of fly fishing for smallmouth bass at night because I often catch some large bass. Choosing sections of the river I know well allows me to get in and out of the stream safely. This helps me to avoid old barbed wire fence and itch weed. I use a Folstaf Wading Staff to probe the streambottom. I do this so I do not trip over a ledge or wade into a deep pool.
Wading safely is an important part of fly fishing. I use a Folstaff Wading Staff (3/4″ X 50″) in all of my fly fishing in freshwater, even on small mountain streams. If you fall when wading a smallmouth stream in waist deep water you get wet. If you fall when wading a mountain trout stream in foot-deep water you break bones. I keep mine in its holster on a belt on my right hip so if I slip I can quickly grab it for help. When wading in fast water I am careful to plant it securely on the stream bottom before picking up my feet.
When the smallmouth rivers are full early in the season and any time they become slightly discolored I use my Folstaff Wading Staff to prob the stream bottom ahead of me. I am trying to avoid steep down-sloping ledges and water which is too deep to wade.
Folstaff Wading Staff $132.00
A good wading stick is a great aid when wading fast streams and I don’t mean just large rivers. If you accidently fall down in water waist deep you get wet, if you fall down in water ankle deep you can break bones. I use a Folstaff Wading Staff in all streams I fly fish. If, however, you need to wade across a waist deep fast river and don’t have a wading stick here is a method which has helped me in the the large rivers we fish in the Rockies. Point your fly rod downstream with your downstream arm extended full length so the tip and six inches of the rod tip rest on the surface of the river. Maintain this contact point, just brushing the surface of the stream, as you wade slowly across the fast water. This simple method improves your balance greatly and helps you keep from falling. Watch Harry’s Video on the Folstaff Wading Staff and the benefits of using a wading staff while fishing on the river.