May is a time to explore the area creeks and streams in search of some off beat fishing holes. With a little planning and careful walking, the fisherman can find water that is his and his alone. It is a wonderful time as the greenery bursts upon the woods.

Stream walking can be as simple as moving up and down the shoreline to find a seemingly better spot, or wading to another location for better placement of bait.

Stream walking is fishing in it most elementary form. It is cheap, simple and safe. Prices for the tackle vary but seldom go over $100 and the equipment is useable for years with little upkeep.

Stream walkers do require some specialized equipment. First among these are waders. The best ones are chest waders. In hot weather, some people prefer hip boots, but to get into deeper water requires higher protection. It is probably a good rule of thumb to stay in water below what would be up to the tops of hip boots.

Another good protection is to wear a belt around the waist of chest waders to slow the flow of water into the waders due to a misstep. Wear the belt outside the waders and with the suspenders that come with them. The sole purpose of the belt is to keep water out of the legs of the waders.

As with all fishing, it is important to wear a good skin blocker to protect the skin from cancer causing rays of the sun. A wide brimmed hat also helps with that protection. Polarized sun glasses help protect the eyes from the glare of the sun off the water and aid the angler in seeing fish.

One carries the rod and reel in one hand and often a wading stick in the other to test the water depth. Any other tackle can be placed in the pockets of a fly fishing vest or in a daypack, like the kids use to carry books to school.

Some of the things that might go in the bag are a pocket knife, hooks, and sinkers, lures, a camera and film, hook removers, and a sandwich or other snack, pop or water.

Taking to the water know where you set foot. Walk slowly. Try to avoid committing yourself to a full step until you have felt the area ahead of you with a probing toe or a walking stick. Walking slowly also keeps one from creating unnecessary wake or disturb fish by making noise.

Stream walking is stalking fish. One tries to find likely looking places for spotting fish and then casting or otherwise presenting bait to the fish in an attempt to entice him.

Travel upstream to avoid disturbing resting fish with silt stirred up when someone walks in the water. It also helps control the amount of sound disbursed from the angler walking over rocks and debris on the bottom.

Never wade in rain swollen water or in open water when there is the possibility of lightning strikes. Know the water in which you step. In river systems the bottom constantly changes. An area that was shallow may now be deep. An area that was once clear may now contain logs and trees.

After a heavy rain, or when backwaters are otherwise flooded, the angler might be able to get back into water rarely fished. There is no telling what one might find in an area previously thought fished out. Flooding restocks some of these areas every time they get flooded.

Fishing takes time, patience, and skill. Wading is a challenging method that sometimes yields great rewards. In any event it can be quality fishing time.



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