bird wade Rusty One Robinson reserveIf  you are an infrequent fisher or an older more sedentary fly fisher, a self assessment is in order. A few short years ago, a few years short of 60…I recall playing fishing while moving downstream over irregular surfaces and in strong currents at mid thigh. After releasing the fish, I would wade back upstream against the current feeling the force but moving with a strong glide against the flow. 

This past March, I was out with Matt McCrary on a late Spring drift on the Clackamas R. A long Winter of slogging around in the cold waving the two hander should have maintained some degree of fitness, but alas, I found myself stumbling about while wading in water that a few short years ago would not have challenged me. Stumbling about, as if drunk, I realized that in the water or on shore, I was tired and my feet did not seem in sync with my mind. I vowed to improve my hip and leg strength and cursed the sedentary life I have slipped into (behind a desk and/or driving up and down the freeway to one problem or another). 

So, get or stay strong for the currents. Pick your route. Stay high and dry in sub temps…a long slog back to the rig in hypothermic delirium is dangerous. As you fumble to find your keys and manipulate them into the ignition….you are at risk.

WADING SAFELY