- Field Skills
- Always wear a wading belt with waist or chest waders. Without a wading belt, one accidental slip is all it takes to get into a dangerous "fill-up" situation.
- In fast or unfamiliar water, always carry a wading staff. It will help you find the best footing and gives additional stability.
- Wear wading shoes or boot-foot waders with soles that grip the type of bottom you're on. Rubber cleat soles are best for sand, fine gravel, soft silt or mud. Felt soles are best for bottoms made up of irregular-size rocks and algae-covered bedrock. Cleated or studded felt soles work well in swift water with a slick rock bottom.
- Always dress for the worst weather you might chance upon.
- Make sure to load up on sunscreen and bug spray. But read the labels: some of these have harmful chemicals that will damage your lines (or the plastic on sunglasses), so look for fishing-friendly sunscreens and bug sprays.
- If you're fishing dam-controlled waters, be sure to check with the folks who run the dam. Make sure you know what whistles or horns indicate an impending water release.
- Wear polarized fishing glasses – you'll see everything under the water much better, including fish. A hat also helps reduce glare.
- Stock up on liquids and food – tuck some power bars into your waders and attach a water bottle to your belt.
- Pinch the barbs on your hooks. In case you catch yourself or a partner, a barbless hook is easier and less painful to remove.
* From the L.L.Bean® Fly-Fishing Handbook, written and illustrated by Dave Whitlock.
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