I do recall that you could walk a long way on the margins till you hit a dead end and it's not passable. contemplate a spiderman rock wall climbing maneuver... then you see someone else cross the stream 50 yards back, so you back track a minute, and cross at the wide (and low water) spot.
Also, I learned this the hard and fun way.
There is a high trail and a low trail.
When going upstream, all you see is the trail on inside of the stream, beach sand etc.
but those coming downhill, have the advantage of line of sight from elevation, looking down, can spot the high trail. the benefits here is less stream crossing, because you can stay dry on the high trail. Granted the low trail by the creek is more fun, but slows you down significantly, because you careful plant your footing and don't want to split your noggin. I remember not having trekking poles, but back then (it's ok to laugh at me) I carried a huge knife, so I grabbed a fallen branch and wacked it with the knife repeatedly to fashion a walking stick to anchor me while stream crossing. No BPL then, although I only had clothes on, no pack, no food or water. I drank straight from the creek at the fast spots, only got cramps, no long term damage.
The first trail crossing, everyone is careful taking off their shoes, keeping socks dry, etc. After the 4th crossing, the same people come to the same conclusion to F* it, and just go with shoes on. Shoes on/off routine gets old very quick.