I use an old ski pole. I have a large loop at the end that allows me to hang it on my left shoulder. When I stop to fish, I just let it hang in the current.
I won't wade any stream w/o it. It will allow you to reach water that no one else can reach. In a stream, that is often where the fish are. E
It allows me to reach water others can’t, or won’t attempt to fish.
I have an old Collapsible Cabela’s Aluminum wading staff I bought from them about 20 years ago
We fish the quality water just below Navajo Damn on the San Juan River in NM quite a bit.
It’s very swift, sometimes 6000 fps going through there. And gets deep in a hurry.
And It varies, between 750 to 7500 fps, and can get dangerous real quick.
I’ve been there a couple of times when others fly fishing stepped off in a deep hole, went under, and drowned. They usually find them a day or two later, 6 or 7 miles downstream.
You had better be damn sure you’re wearing a wading belt, when fishing there, to keep your waders from filling up if you get dunked.