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Noisy wading


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18 replies to this topic

#1 Hardyrod1974

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 03:08 PM

I hope to do a lot more fishing this year and some of it will be in streams wearing waders.

I'm pondering the use of cleats or studs or chains in some instances.

And I got to thinking about how well sound travels underwater, I remember as a kid banging some rocks around while swimming under water and how loud the sound was.

If my waders have some sort of metal attachment on the soles, should I be concerned about the noise spooking the fish while I'm walking around???



#2 mikechell

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 03:25 PM

I always refer to my days of spinning reels and bait casting reels and using conventional lures.  Pulling a "Ratt'l Trap" right through a school of fish without them even noticing.  They didn't turn towards it, they didn't run from it ... they showed no notice at all.

I know fish in lakes get so used to boat motors that they ignore those, too.  I also know that dropping something in the bottom of my aluminum boat (accident, not on purpose) doesn't seem to cause any effect on the fish. (Contrary to popular opinion)

 

That said, any "new" noise, can cause reactions in the fish.  Sometimes it spooks them, sometimes it draws their curiosity.

 

I suppose the argument could be made, if everyone is wearing cleats, then the fish will become used to the sound.  Either they'll learn to avoid eating anything when they hear that sound, or they'll ignore it, like the fish with the "Ratt'l Trap".


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#3 utyer

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 07:04 PM

If your in rock bottom streams, the water itself will be moving gravel and rocks and creating sounds that way.  Your cleats would be a similar sound.  I have never had a problem wearing cleats.  My cleats are simply 1/2" self-tapping hex head screws.  About 16 per boot.  


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#4 Poopdeck

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 07:15 PM

I worry about the noise of me slipping, screaming, falling, and slapping around in the water more than the noise my waders are making.

#5 DrLogik

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 10:54 PM

I wear felts with studs.  I'm not sure studs or cleats are bad but I think the way one wades is most critical.

 

Wade slowly, then slower than that, then slow it down even more.  My goal is to make no ripples.  A friend of mine, and instructor at well known fly fishing/casting school, is the finest fly fisherman I ever fished with and looks like a Blue Heron on the water. 

 

He waits for over an hour on the bank watching the fish until the right moment just before sunset.  The "Magical Minute".  He would then wade into the water.  S  l  o  w  l  y...no ripples, no sound, no motion, would catch a 20"+ fish with one cast and then go home.  A dry fly, one cast, perfect presentation, perfect drift then BAM!  That was his goal.  And, those fish are not stockers, they are serious PhD trout on a famous river in the Catskills.  They are notoriously difficult to catch.  I've seen him do this on more than one occasion too.

 

Try as I may I can't equal his skill, but I keep trying.



#6 Lesg

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 09:24 AM

I worry about the noise of me slipping, screaming, falling, and slapping around in the water more than the noise my waders are making.

+1 on that !! LOL



#7 Philly

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 08:08 PM

I can be fairly quiet when wading on sand or gravel.   Toss some rocks and current into the mix and it gets a bit dicey.  The composition of the rocks can be a factor.  I found that walking on granite shelves in the water can be a bit like ice skating if you're wearing cleats.  Even if you're wading on sand or gravel, pay attention.   I'd been fishing Corson's Inlet in South Jersey for a couple of hours, and was making my way back to shore.  Nice sandy bottom, no problem.  Wasn't paying attention and stepped on the only rock in the area.  Did my best Poopdeck imitation, fortunately in water a couple of feet deep.  Another time, this is more situational awareness.  I was fishing the Ottauquechee River in Vermont in the summer.  Where I entered was a dry gravel bar in the summer.  to get out to what I thought would be better fishing water I had to walk through shallow riffles.  No sooner had I stepped into the water, three trout took off upstream leaving wakes behind them.  After that I always made it a point to stand back a few feet from the water's edge and make several casts into the shallow riffles.  It's paid off more than once.


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#8 tjm

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 02:43 AM

 

If my waders have some sort of metal attachment on the soles, should I be concerned about the noise spooking the fish while I'm walking around???

No.

you will make noise with both legs moving against the water and wave motion with each foot movement and even bare foot the sand or gravel will move under your weight creating more noise. But you can reduce the effect it all has on the fish by pre-studying the stream from the bank and mapping out routes that let you fish from down stream which lets the current carry some of the noise away and from positions across from the suspected lies, so that the current and distance deaden the sound. I find rubber lugs give me the most confidence and comfort in all but moss slick solid stone bottoms, and those I avoid wading. I too have stepped on fish when entering right away in a hurry and since then to do a lot of my fishing before rigging up.



#9 Piker20

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 10:18 AM

Isn't there a thing of deliberately roughing the river bed with boots to attract fish? Since I read about that I've been a lot less concerned by any noise I might make carefully wading. I'm not saying you should just blunder into a river but I think we worry about it far more than the fish.
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#10 steeldrifter

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 12:18 PM

A lot of it has to do with how much traffic the river sees more than anything. If you fish a river that doesn't get much pressure, doesn't get many canoers / tubers, then the fish aren't use to noise in the water and they tend to be a bit more skittish to abrupt wading. On the other hand if you fish a river that has a lot of traffic, then the fish tend to get use to it and it doesn't seem to affect them as much. I've actually caught some really good sized trout with in minutes of a group of drunken canoers banging their way down the river. So it just really depends on the stream/river that you are fishing more than anything else IMO.


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#11 Fisherboy0301

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 01:42 PM

Isn't there a thing of deliberately roughing the river bed with boots to attract fish? Since I read about that I've been a lot less concerned by any noise I might make carefully wading. I'm not saying you should just blunder into a river but I think we worry about it far more than the fish.



Taking about the San Juan shuffle? I think thats where you shuffle your feet a ways upstream to dislodge nymphs and the likes to trigger fish to begin feeding.
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#12 tjm

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 05:02 PM

Those noisy canoeist and kayakers are doing the San Juan shuffle for you with their paddles, swirling the water and disturbing the prey species. I used to have that experience in RI fish for hours and catch a couple, then 3-6 canoes bang and shout their way through and the trout would hit every cast for next 30-40 minutes, especially below a longish shallow run.   

I worry way more about my shadow than about noise.



#13 Lesg

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 05:58 PM

Several canoe trips down a fairly remote river taught me a little. Normally we would run the canoe through the rapids/riffle, catch an eddy and start casting. We caught lots of fish. One trip I had a brainwave and said "why don't we land the canoe above the rapids and walk down to the pool before it's been disturbed?". The result was that we still caught lots of brookies but they were a lot bigger. I can only guess that the dominant fish hit the deeps when the canoe floated over leaving the smaller fish a window to feed. I Know this is not about wading but I think the results are similar. I am agreeing with Steve that the traffic on the river whether it be wading or canoe is a big factor in how the fish react.

 

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#14 NohackleHS

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Posted 22 February 2019 - 10:44 PM

To confirm what Piker and Steeldrifter have said, this is a true story.  There used to be a private spring creek near Fort Klamath, Oregon at the Take It Easy Ranch.  While fishing the stream both I and my brother had the experience of a 22 inch rainbow that would follow us around.  You'd move and the fish would move with you, staying a few feet downsream.  Evidently, moving around would kick up bugs that it would pick off.  The creek was crystal clear and shallow so it was very easy to estimate its size.  



#15 redietz

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 02:55 AM

 On the other hand if you fish a river that has a lot of traffic, then the fish tend to get use to it and it doesn't seem to affect them as much. I've actually caught some really good sized trout with in minutes of a group of drunken canoers banging their way down the river. So it just really depends on the stream/river that you are fishing more than anything else IMO.

I go one further.  I (and the trout) have learned to position myself in a run immediately below a riffle too shallow for canoes or float tubes, and the floater need to get out and wade for a bit.  Since they're often drunk, they do a really good job of scuffling up the bottom and dislodging food.  They make quite a racket, but fishing always picks ups when the flotilla passes. The only downsides are that I have to pull my line out of the water for a minute or two while they pass, and I sometimes have to rescue float tubers who have capsized.


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