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Thread: To wet wade or not to wet wade...that is the question?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
    39

    Default To wet wade or not to wet wade...that is the question?

    Folks,

    My family and I go to the GSMNP as much as work allows but it seems we typically make it there in the Fall. This year we have planned a trip for the Spring, week of April 22 to be exact. I have always worn waders in the fall because we are normally in the area in November.

    What is the concensus for wet wading in late April? Should I plan to wear waders?
    "Often, I have been exhausted on trout streams, uncomfortable, wet, cold, briar scarred, sunburned, mosquito-bitten, but never, with a fly rod in my hand, have I been in a place that was less than beautiful."

    Charles

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LA MantaRay12 View Post
    Folks,

    My family and I go to the GSMNP as much as work allows but it seems we typically make it there in the Fall. This year we have planned a trip for the Spring, week of April 22 to be exact. I have always worn waders in the fall because we are normally in the area in November.

    What is the concensus for wet wading in late April? Should I plan to wear waders?
    I waded out to my knees on Monday. It was not a good experience. Bring the waders unless the water gets another 20ish degrees warmer by then.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    201

    Default 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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Springboro, OH
    Posts
    316

    Default

    You need something to keep firm footing as others have mentioned. Several years ago while I was wet wading in Teva sandals my feet went out from under me. My leg slammed into a sharp ridge of shale. I let it bleed out for a while, gobbed it up with triple antibiotic and then used three butterfly closures to hold it shut. Fortunately it didn't get infected. I probably should have gone for stitches but I didn't want to hike out.

    I'm a big fan of the Chota Hippies that LRO carries. They are super light, I believe I read 10 ounces each. You can wear them at 3 different heights depending on the temperature and use your wading boots for good footing. There are also the Simms neoprene socks that allow you to wear your regular wading boots and still have the wet wading feeling.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    287

    Default

    I am going out on monday and will be wearing waders.
    But then I like wearing plastic pants in running water

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Mid Tennessee
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    919

    Default

    Bootfoot breathable hip boots. You can get to all your pockets as a plus.
    "Here fishy fishy."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Crossville, TN
    Posts
    2,385

    Default

    Wet wade except perhaps on the largest streams (Little River from Elkmont down would be considered "large). Also depends a lot on water levels...bring the waders so you have options...
    "Then He said to them, 'Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" Matthew 4:19

    Guided Fly Fishing with David Knapp
    The Trout Zone Blog
    contact: TroutZoneAnglers at gmail dot com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Kingston, TN
    Posts
    257

    Default

    It's currently still a little bit too cold for me to wet wade, but we're supposed to be getting up into the 70's this weekend and through next week. If those temps hold, the creeks might be warm enough for wet wading by the time you get here as long as you don't get too deep and don't stay in the water too long.

    Here's a link to the water temps on the Little River just below the park boundary in Townsend (click the box at the top of the page and select TW Temperature, water to show that graph). Keep in mind, this is the temp for a larger river at a lower elevation and the smaller creeks higher up will likely be a bit colder.
    Fly fishing - it's cheaper than a bass boat!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Knoxville, Tn
    Posts
    704

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    If water temp is above 45 and air temp is above 60 I usually wet wade. It also depends on how far back in I am going. Sometimes if I am roadside, I bring the waders just in case the chill in the air/ wind is a little more than I am expecting.

    Wet wading in colder weather- I use neoprene booties, fleece liners and wool/synthetic hiking socks. I'm never uncomfortable like that. As it warms up I Ditch the wool, then replace the fleece with cotton ( more to prevent blisters than anything else)

    That's how I do it. Others will their own opinion but I'm happy with that set up.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
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    All great information.....hate to hear about the staff infections. Thank you very much for the Little River temperature link...i keep up with conditions on the Little River Fishing Report but I like the graph.

    I will have my trusty waders with me...I will also take a look at the Chota Hippies...can't find them in Mobile, AL.

    Thanks to everyone for the great info...hopefully I will get a chance to fish/meet with some of you while I am in town.
    "Often, I have been exhausted on trout streams, uncomfortable, wet, cold, briar scarred, sunburned, mosquito-bitten, but never, with a fly rod in my hand, have I been in a place that was less than beautiful."

    Charles

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