Too wade or float? Many streams are small and floating is not an option. On these streams wading or fishing from shore are the only way to access the river for fishing. But on larger streams, where floating is an option, that is always my preferred method of fishing. Floating the stream is lots less physically demanding and the possibility of stumbling and falling are all but eliminated. I can count on all my fingers and toes how many times fly fishing guests have ended up filling their waders up and having to call it a day early.
The most important advantage to floating the river verses wading is the amount of water covered in a typical trip.. On an average day floating the Nantahala River, we cover 8 miles of river. If we were wading you would be lucky to cover a quarter of that distance. Not only do you cover more water, it is far easier for the guide to manage two anglers. They are always within easy reach to help clean up any line issues and or fly replacement issues. Even on a float if an angler wants to do a little wade fishing, it is something easily accommodated. On a float trip a good guide can control the boat to help anglers get longer and deeper fly drifts resulting in more fish hook ups. It is also easier to chase that fish of a lifetime if it decides to relocate itself hundreds of yards downstream. All in all floating the river is far more fun and productive.