Understanding how to wade safely in a salmon river should always be the number one priority and secondly how to optimise your salmon catch potential.
Wading too deep is a common fault in salmon fishing as a pool gets easily spooked by an angler moving too close to the the salmon lies. In addition to this the angler is more likely to stumble and get wet if he’s wading through a pool too deeply. Train your feet to become your hands as you feel your way along the riverbed and do not to commit your body weight to the next step until your are certain of a firm footing. Use a wading stick to assist where you cannot see the riverbed clearly. Polaroid glasses will also help you to see through the water's surface glare and protect your eyes from your high speed salmon fly.
In faster streams you can reduce the water pressure on both legs by wading sideways down the pool (facing the far bank) where the water pressure is on one leg instead of both legs (which wouldn't be the case if you were only facing downstream). When you approach any large riverbed stones always navigate through the inside edge of the stone as often there is deeper water directly off (or behind) big stones due to the river's natural scouring effect. Always be aware of this so as to avoid stepping into one of the deep riverbed pockets.
During most salmon fishing conditions shin to knee depth is about the optimal depth for wading while fishing. Also, at this depth you're not reducing your fly rod's line lifting ability too much. Always wear a pre-serviced automatic life preserver for your own personal fishing safety when on or near the river. This is essential as one day you may have to go in to the river and save the life of a drowning non life jacket wearing fisher and from personal experience I can assure you that your life jacket will assist significantly! Our renowned salmon fishing guide service provides a life jacket for every fisher which is mandatory for use by all fishing guests. Automatic life jackets do not interfere with mobility or casting and you'll not even know you're wearing it after a few minutes.
When wading in a salmon river whether you know the riverbed terrain or not should should not only be always be wearing an automatic life jacket but you should also be using a wading stick to give added support and to feel in advance the depth and riverbed structure. Salmon pool riverbeds change in the high water floods each year so what you knew about a particular pool previously could easily have altered the next time you fish through it. Always remain cautious and be aware of the river current pressure as you dont want to get caught in an area of the river where you cannot back up or exit the river due to deep inside water between you and the riverbank. Staying at shin to thigh depth is always a safer & more stealthy tactic to deply.