Wet Wading Perils
For years we wet waded year round, but then moved to wet wading if we could stand the cold and the water, as moving upstream and casting while jogging is tough in waders. That was a long time ago...
Last year I fell on my left knee wet wading the Hiwassee. I wound up with a staff infection, and did three trips to the hospital for a total of 20 days and two surgeries. Mrs. Kirk says that I am no longer allowed to wet wade anywhere except in the hot tub on the back where I still have skinny dipping privileges when the kids are gone.
Year before last Kevin Howell over at Davidson River Outfitters had the same thing happen to him in the Tusk. He also had a friend who got infected from a puncture. They no longer wet wade. None of these incidents occurred in the GSMNP where one would presume there is less danger from things like fecal bacteria. I never liked wearing waders if they could be avoided, but when the doctors tell you that you may loose your leg, waders are a reasonable compromise. Thatís my two cents worth on wet wading.