How to wade and fish the Wye effectively


Active member
Had a go recently wading with thigh waders on the Wye taking barbel and chub on the centrepin and float. Unfortunately not having chest waders meant that a good day on the float wasn't quite a red letter day as it should have been if I'd been closer and more in contact with my tackle and quarry. I'm about to buy some chest waders and thought I'd start with a relatively cheap pair and replace at a later date should I find myself using them a lot.

What I'm stuck for knowledge on however is how to go about the practical side of doing this. I'm referring to what kind of landing net to use as I've seen countless TV episodes where the angler uncouples a short almost trout like net to land fish so they can be unhooked safely and revived - and also whether chest waders have a bait pockets like a bait apron does to allow easy baiting etc.

Might be obvious to most but I'm in the dark, don't want to waste money buying ineffective gear etc and I'd really appreciate any advise proffered.


Well-known member
There's no guarantee getting out further will get you more fish and you could get in trouble so i'd invest in a lightweight life jacket too, I say this as I tend to float a bit with chesties so prefer using thigh highs now and work at getting the fish to come to me by feeding.

I did a review of a handy net(link below) although not sure where the picture of someones shoe came from, there's also the fold up game type of nets but being undergunned in the net department if you hook something massive is not fun or if you are upstream of some rushing water through rocks, or have to reach over weed beds. The flip side is the Diawa net handle is a bit heavy and with any fold up/roving net you don't get the walking stick over the rocks factor that a long handle offers.

I'm currently working on a long metal handle idea where the point is in the river behind and the net is clipped through the mesh to the back of the waistcoat and unclipped when a fish is ready. It's working except after the first fish the net is wet and smelly on the back of your jacket, in this weather mind the former is quite cooling, plus it helps you wade out safer

Diawa Iso 5.9m Mobile Landing net review


Well-known member
I usually wear thigh waders and cast to the desired spot.
My prefered nets for wading are the folding ones with short teley handles. I clip them on my waistband when in the river. For the biggest part I just get hold of the fish with my hand or simply slide my disgorger down the line and unhook the fish without even touching it.
I have used the longer metal/ alloy bankstick as a net staff ( as theartist says) and wading staff combined but I just never feel the need for a wading staff now and I prefer the compact folding nets, or better still my hand.


Well-known member
If I was to wade the Wye I would want mirrors fixed to me so that I could see any flotilla's of canoes coming from behind me.


Well-known member

That is indeed my boot but what it's doing there I have absolutely no idea! :laugh:
Haha It was originally a picture of the net handle, if you are to hijack other posts with your used footwear business I suggest you put a sock in it :D


I am thinking of investing in chest waders but whats the point in this hot weather ;)


Content Editor
I wade the Wye a lot since I moved to Hay about 7 years ago and spent my life savings on a fishery there. It's called Llanthomas and it's a paradise, apart from the unlawful canoes (no PRN here) which are a stress and a problem between 10am and 4pm.

I tried breathable waders with separate boots first. On a hot day they are best - but for most of the year, the water is cold and a pair of cheaper boot-foot regular waders are much more practical for me. These are a doddle to slip in and out of whereas the stocking-foot ones are a major faff, taking a lot of time to put on and off. Something like this should suit you and are much tougher than breathables:
Snowbee Granite PVC Chest Waders | Snowbee Waders | Sportfish

Most chesties have a pocket but it's no good for a bait apron. Wear a belt with the waders, it can save your life - and I usually wear a waistcoat with an integral life-jacket built in to it. Not cheap but neither is my life. I usually have a gye net clipped to the back of it which sorts that problem out. Have a look at this video clip. FF to about 3.20 mins and you'll see how easy it is to employ without taking your eyes off the fish. YouTube

And yes we do sell day tickets :)