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What Should You Do if You Fall in Waders?

What Should You Do if You Fall in Waders

The life experiences of an angler are almost similar to those of a driver – you are in your lane this minute, and the other you are veering off the road for whichever reason.

Or, your breaks work well until not enough friction is put on the wheels, then you experience failure.

You see, as an angler, you are either on your feet casting or drifting from a boat, and falls are expected.

Dunking in waders isn’t a hilarious thing, and there are a few things you can do to get back on your feet safely.

What should you do if you fall in waders?

When you fall in waders the first thing to do is remain calm. The worst most anglers would want to do is hurry when in full panic mode.

Once you are calm, focus on getting your footing back on track – this will mean trying to figure out in your head what type of ground you have fallen on even when you can’t see it.

Is it muddy and sinking? Could it be a slippery area with slimy tree barks? Or is it a rocky bottom?

Maybe with sand and gravel? These are the crucial steps to follow to rescue yourself, but we share the rest in the article and some tips to ensure you wade out safely.

What Should You Do if You Fall in Waders?

Don’t try to stand up too fast if you fall in waders, there are high chances you will slip back into the water which can be very dangerous.

Going slow is the safest way in most scenarios, as it keeps your balance longer and aids you to keep your feet together to achieve one pressure region.

Here’s how to salvage yourself if you ever get in this situation while fly fishing.

Calm Down Buddy!

It is easy to say this than do it, but your life and safety might highly depend on your initial response.

The first thing that comes to mind for most anglers is the fear of drowning, but this isn’t always the case when fishermen fall in water.

Gather yourself together – if possible speak loudly and reassure yourself that you can do it.

Once you are calm, your mind can quickly think about the next thing to do, which is feeling the ground.

Try Feeling the Ground Slightly

Another weirdly-sounding fact, but this is something you want to do next to know the kind of surface you are on and how safe it could be.

Some rivers and streams have deep muddy holes that can be treacherous if you fall in them.

Try feeling if it is rocky, muddy, slippery, or gravelly by shallowly stepping an inch ahead.

If it is slippery, or seems like deep mud, stand slowly and don’t move ahead.

Here, the only option would be carefully feeling the ground on your side to determine if it is safe to go that route.

For moving water, you want to go with its flow and avoid fighting against currents.

Your head and feet should be up and use them to bounce off possible rocks while floating downstream.

The secret is testing spots before fully stepping on them!

A Shouting Man Can Be Better Than a Silently Dying One

What should you do if you fall in waders, have panicked, can’t figure out what the bottom is like, and you can see humans from afar?

Shout for help! It could be closer even if you aren’t seeing it.

The option works pretty fast if you are fishing with other anglers.

We are an empathetic lot, and many will rush to lend you a hand, help you to the shore, bead your position and track you to avoid a reoccurrence.

Safety Tips in Case You Fall in Waders

Never go wading without a wading belt, as it helps keep water from rapidly entering your waders, which increases your weight and can make it difficult standing up and getting to the shores.

Smith Creek Wading Belt, Universal Size
  • Sturdy, 2"/50mm wide web belt that stops you from getting into real trouble, real fast. Heavy gauge strap is perfect for hanging gear off of too
  • High quality, rugged nylon buckle that won't go soft out on the flats, crack in winter or pop open when you don't want it to
  • Pairs perfectly with optional Smith Creek Net Holster and Net Leash
  • Made from UV resistant materials that will last for years
  • Don't ever fish in waders without wearing a wading belt, and never ever let your family or friends do it either

Avoid grabbing onto tree branches and logs since they can be strainers below the water surface.

Match your wading boots to the area you are fishing in – some locations require felt-soled boots (though very few), while others need rubber, or studded sole boots.

You want to ask from the locals and fly store attendants of the best sole and how the river or stream bottoms are like.

Swimming isn’t a mandatory skill for anglers, but is a bonus for situations like these, but whether you can swim or not, have a PFD if you will be wading or fishing in deeper waters.

Some currents can drift you into deep waters and you might struggle to find momentum to rescue yourself – PFDs make for excellent safeguards.

FAQS on Falling in Waders

Here are direct answers to questions related to falling in waders that might come in handy for you or a fellow angler during a rescue mission.

Q) How Do You Swim if You Fall in Waders?

A) You want to stay very low with your hands under the water since slight buoyancy in the arm can be the life-saving thing.

Concentrate more on breathing consciously to calm yourself and avoid gasping big gulps.

Also, your knees should be tucked to prevent foot entrapment, which is one of the primary causes of drowning.

Q) Can a PFD Prevent You From Falling in Waders?

A) PFD might not prevent you from falling in waders, but it will help to keep you afloat.

These are safety gear anglers need if boat fishing, wading in deep waters, or whose depths are unknown.

Q) Is It Possible To Drown if You Fall in Waders?

A) There are many causes of drowning in the angling sector and ‘waders as one of them’ is a controversial topic.

Waders might fill up with water if you don’t have a well cinched wading belt, and the weight might make movement difficult, which could expose you to other causes of drowning.


What should you do if you fall in waders?

Adrenaline levels will skyrocket, but it is crucial to calm down and test the circumference of where you are standing to weigh if the area feels safe.

You want to flow with the current and avoid fighting it, as you can hardly beat it to go back to where you came from.

Ensure your feet are up to prevent being swept off, and when you are out, get into dry fishing gear to prevent hypothermia and cold-related illnesses.

Last update on 2023-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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