|about as deep as you want to wade|
I just want to share an observation regarding line management and wading depth in high water flows. There are a few occasions when wading deep is necessary, like when using long lines. You may have to wade away from the bank unless you want to single spey all day long. I see more and more anglers wading out into the river at least knee to mid thigh immediately upon entering the river! This can not only spook those early fish sitting close to the bank (the easy ones), but also can cause problems with casting. As you wade deeper, you need to adjust some things in the casting stroke because the path of your rod tip is now a little closer to the water. No biggie but needs to be addressed for sure.
With Skagit lines, we obviously have to strip in line and this results in loops of line dangling in the water. Loops of running line in the water mean more resistance on the flight of my skagit head, which in the end equals a sacrifice in distance. So I have discovered that by wading calf deep to just above my knees, far less of my running line sits in the swirly currents below me. I figure this allows me to have an extra loop and a half of running line to shoot. For me this is about 6 strips, or somewhere around 20ft. Yes, I have measure how much line I pull in on each strip! This allows me to judge my casting distance with very good accuracy. SO, I ask you, is wading out an extra 3 feet towards the middle of the river worth 20ft less distance?? Not to me. Now don't get me wrong, there are times when I am belly deep into the river. However this is more for presentation and angles than trying to cast across the river.
So try to stay shallow when you can, I promise you will gain more distance on your cast no matter what type of line system you fish and you may even pick up an extra fish or two.