Wet wading

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Wet wading

Post by Templar » Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:57 am


I'm from Lowland Scotland and I've just joined the New Zealand Fly Fishing Forum. As a first contribution, can I ask you Kiwis about something that has always puzzled me - wet wading. Over the years since 2004 when I retired as an ecologist, I've spent five campervan holidays in NZ, amounting to about 6 months in total. I'm ashamed to say that due to having a non-fishing wife, I've never seriously fished in your fair land but I have watched other brothers of the angle. Although, in my experience, your Summers tend to be a little warmer than ours in Scotland the water in your rivers still seems to me to be fairly 'cool' and yet you guys splash about in your trousers with never a sign of a pair of waders. In Scotland, in the 56 years that I have been fishing, I have never seen an angler, intentionally, wade without wearing some sort of waterproof wader. Are we just a lot of 'softies' or is it because you often walk long distances over difficult ground whilst fishing or have I missed something. I'm intrigued to know. By the way, I love your country and dream of returning but continental drift or increasing age seem to be taking you further from us and 35 hours (ish) from Edinburgh to Christchurch (we like South Island) is a very long time for an old couple to spend en route. However, once this coronavirus thing is over, assuming we survive, you never know ................

Keep six feet apart on the river bank and wash your hands and, above all, stay well!

Tom (Templar) :geek: :D

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Re: Wet wading

Post by Maniototoflyfisher » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:45 am

Hi Tom - At the moment, even staying 6 feet apart where're not allowed to go fishing! I think you hit the nail on the head with your thoughts - in summer it can get hot and we often walk long distances, only wading occasionally - in waders it's easy to overheat. However on cold days or standing in water for long periods I'm the first to don waders!
It might be a while before international air travel gets going again but stay safe in the meantime.

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Re: Wet wading

Post by fraser hocks » Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:18 am

Yea Tom, I think you hit the nail on the head. Also we always wear wadding socks that are neoprene. I usually wear thin businesses socks under these as well to help combat stinky feet when we have to walk a long way to fish on a warmer day. Keeps your feet warm when in the water. Its amazing how cold a water you can tolerate when your feet are kept warm.


I realized how much of a difference this makes one year when my wife first got into fly fishing. I took her to a river early season that is quite cool. As she didn't own any wading boots, socks or waders, I just wore my boots and normal socks as she did. Within an hour my feet where so cold id lost feeling in them and we made a hasty retreat.

With warm feet its amazing how you can be quite comfortable in cold water, that is until it gets a few inches above your knee. We rarely spend an extended period in the water deeper than your knee. Its amazing how as soon as your thighs are in the water it sucks all your internal heat away and you soon feel pretty cold.

Oh yea and as Dave said, we are purely dreaming of fishing at the moment. I want to pop over to the park to cast a rod this afternoon, but I'm not sure even that is allowed at the moment. :cry:

Bucking trends in fly fishing since 1970!

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Re: Wet wading

Post by pomscott » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:55 pm

G'day Templar, from here in the Scottish Highlands to your Lowlands.
I fish here and in New Zealand and keep waders in both places to avoid any risk of transferring unwelcome stuff in either direction.
Waders are definitely needed in our spate rivers even in what passes for summer. There's generally not a long walk in so that's not a problem. Our river season is dependent on conditions but runs from sometime in July to October, In waders it's cool, but not uncomfortably so.
Our Hill Lochs are a bit of a rough hike away but wading is mostly too risky, so hiking gear is fine for that.
My New Zealand experience is of very varied conditions in February / March. Some long tramps in to more isolated rivers, mostly no wading but some wet and cool, OK even for we of advanced years. Then there are lakes such as Rotorua where spring creeks flowing in at 10C meet lake temperatures getting up to around 20C. That variation over just a metre or two means definitely waders for me but, I see hardier (younger) folk seemingly fine in shorts.
You are right about the travel, Scotland and New Zealand seem to get further apart every year, can distance increase with age? Unfortunately it looks like we won't be facing that again for quite a while. Stay safe all.

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Re: Wet wading

Post by Templar » Tue Apr 07, 2020 8:03 am

G'day and how aaarrre ya guys,

When I subscribed to a Kiwi forum I never thought I'd get a reply from just up the road in the hills! Thanks for answering my question on wet wading but I doubt it will ever catch on in Scotland. The water's too cold and a wet hem on your kilt rubbing against bare legs could cause some nasty irritation, not to mention the effects of inboard splashes. Most of my fishing these days is on still water fisheries, mainly for a couple of reasons. My normal fishing mate is a lazy, fat sod who will not/can't walk and it is much easier here to get a permit for an organised fishery. It is great in NZ to buy a single permit which covers you for most rivers/lakes. Here in Scotland, you have to find out who owns the water, often not easy, and then find out how or where to buy your permit. It is far less trouble just to go to the little hut at the side of the loch/pond/lake, pay your money and off you go. Yes, it isn't anything like being out there on your own watching the wildlife and listening to the birds, but if you choose your fishery carefully, it's not too bad. In my life I've made three big mistakes. I should have bought that piece of derelict land next to my house when it was cheap and before the present owner started dumping junk on it, I should have married a fly-fisher (there are compensations tho') and I should have emigrated to New Zealand when I was 40 (I'm now 76). We did intend to emigrate but the NZ government at the time, thought that joiners and electricians were more desirable than ecologists (with hind sight, I can see where they were coming from!) and ageing parents etc. got in the way. Never mind tho', I've had great times in NZ and maybe will have more and I've now got good Kiwi friends. Also, when I watch all these You-tube videos about fly-fishing in New Zealand I can almost feel that I'm there and I now know why they're not wearing waders!

Hope it's not too long till you can get back on the water,


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