Wading woes and soggy clothes

Published 11:24 am Tuesday, June 6, 2023

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I always wonder what trait or tendency I’ll pass down unknowingly to my children. I’d like to think they will thank me for their tendency, but last weekend I found out that my children are just like their father when wading. 


My kids, 11 and 9 years old, have the attention span now to go fly fishing for trout in the mountains. The last piece of the puzzle was to buy my youngest some waders to follow mom and dad around the river.  

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On the way to the river, my wife and I explained how to wade safely and emphasized not getting in “over your waders.” When we parked and suited up, I had high hopes. 


Those hopes were dashed in less than five minutes as I looked to see my son squatting down to see how close he could get the water level to the top of his waders. Shortly after my daughter almost got too deep while following my wife. That safety talk in the truck must have blown out the open window. 


I threw my daughter around my shoulder and waded her to shallow water. We were all still dry, but I knew how the trip would end. It wasn’t a question of if one of our party would fill their waders, but how many. 


Those long-time readers of this column may recollect many stories of filling my waders fishing and hunting. My “bull-in-a-China-shop” nature paired with dark beaver swamps and energetic retrievers means that from November through January, I am usually cold and wet. 


One season was so bad my buddies realized it was easier to count how many hunts I stayed dry than how many times I fell in to my neck. 


I had hoped my kids wading ability would be passed down from my wife’s side of the family. I’ve fished countless days with my wife and father-in-law. The only time they get wet is when their waders have a hole.  


Those hopes faded quickly this fishing trip as the writing on the wall increased in size and boldness with each stumble, slip and careless step my kids took.  


The fishing was slow, but one spot showed a lot of promise as my son and I snuck up to it. I was about to make a cast when I heard, “We are headed to the truck to leave.”


I turned around to see my wife holding my daughter’s waders upside down. The water drained out and flowed past a nine-year-old girl who looked like she jumped in the pool wearing clothes. 


On the drive back home with the heat blasting, I got the story on the incident. Hearing the details, I realized that my daughter got my wading abilities. We aren’t clumsy, we just like to push the limit. Sometimes the limit pushes back and you get to drive home in soggy clothes. 


The author and his family enjoyed a fishing trip last weekend, despite their “wading woes.”