Fly tying savant, fishing extraordinaire, and most importantly, Friend of Deneki, Stuart Foxall drops some knowledge about wading while fishing. Trust us, this is something you’ll want to consider. Enjoy!
There’s one major mistake that I see made while swinging for kings on the mighty Kanektok River time and time again. Over wading……and here’s the reason why? All of the salmon running the river during King season tend to run in “bands”. The first band and closest to the shore are the sockeye and dolly varden, char…..these can sometimes be just knee-deep in water. On the outside of those, the next band of fish running upstream will be the chum salmon which generally like thigh-deep to 6 feet deep water. And on the outside of the chum will be the next band of salmon which will be the Kings. They can also be from thigh deep but will run and hold in much deeper water…..that’s why we use our heavy tips and flies.
If we start to wade out too far you will notice that the sockeye make a big swerve to keep away form us and are forced into the deeper water to continue their journey up river. The problem with this is they then push out the chum salmon…..which in turn push out the king salmon into much deeper and faster water also.
As “Swing Anglers” we need to keep those fish as shallow as possible to give us our best chance of hooking them. So don’t go wading out and pushing them into the deeper stuff!!!!! There will be situations where a deep wade and big cast into a far bucket is needed but your guide will tell you when you need to do this. Most of those long inside bars will be much better fished without wading too far though…..
Another bonus of fishing in this manner is you will find you won’t lose so many fish on the “hang down”. When wading deep you will get quite a few takes from fish as the fly completes it’s swing and is left on the dangle. Any fish taking the fly at this point will usually be hooked in the front of it’s mouth so will be pretty hard to land. But if we take a few steps back toward the bank we will actually give ourselves a few extra yards of swing which means the fish will actually “turn”on our fly resulting in hook ups in the corner of the mouth, which is where we want our hooks to be.
If you are fishing with someone else it’s very much worthwhile taking this advice as your friend behind you will thank you next time you are on the water. Also you will benefit yourself and catch far more fish……I promise you! Not pushing the fish into the deeper water gives you the chance of doubleheaders like this.
Other Tips to Consider: