Saturday, 21 July 2007

New waders: refer to the quote from Koos Brandt

Garia Bay River -Steve and Gerald
I was recently fishing in Newfoundland on an amazing river that runs through beautiful but difficult terrain. The shore of the river is rocky. When I say rocky I mean a carpet of stones from golf ball sized to watermelon sized stretching for miles.

 There were few big enough to sit on comfortably to rest your feet from the pounding they took walking or standing on this uneven surface all day and comfort became a big factor to being able to fish effectively.

 I mentioned in a previous post that being comfortable is to my mind one of the biggest factors in not just fishing well but to enjoying your day a field. Fly fishing takes concentration and you can’t concentrate if you are distracted by discomfort. It doesn’t take much to turn a trip from a great outing into an endurance contest.

 Knowing from previous experience what this place was like and the challenge of walking and fishing for hours on the stony ground I starting thinking seriously about how to best deal with the challenge presented.

My last trip there I’d worn boot foot waders and boot foot hip boots. By the second day the soles of my feet were so tender that I had to be careful how I placed my feet; by the end of a week – ouch!

The fishing was fantastic and worth every moment but if I could think of a solution to the difficulty it would sure be worth it.

I started looking into stocking foot waders. The logic being that if I was just going to go hiking on that sort of terrain I’d wear the stoutest hiking boots I could find, not a pair of slip on rubber boots.

 That is one of the big advantages to stocking foot waders. The boots are separate. You can find a pair that fits perfectly and are rugged enough for the terrain you’ll be fishing. You also have the option of getting a second pair of wading shoes that are lighter or rubber soled instead of felt soled, for the different locations you’ll be fishing.

In a nutshell you are not confined to a single pair of waders that are designed to be pretty good in most situations. You can instead customize your waders to be perfect for specific locations.

 I remember a guide I met at Grandy’s River who used Wal-Mart sneakers as his wading shoes over a good pair of breathable waders. Grandy’s has beautiful, sandy shores and bottom. Sneakers are the perfect footwear for that location. Instead of spending the money on wading boots, he could buy inexpensive sneakers and get the performance he required for that location. The perfect solution to equipment challenges isn’t always the most expensive.

What I ended up getting was a pair of Cabela’s breathable waders and their branded wading boots with felt soles. The breathable waders were a bit expensive for my budget but after using them on this trip I think it was money well spent. They are so comfortable; it is more like wearing a pair of pants than waders. An added bonus is they are light and roll up into a very small bundle for packing.

The boots are like a good pair of hikers and just as comfortable. They were the right solution for this trip. It was a pleasure from start to finish.
The fishing was great too.

A random thought:
We are always trying to improve our skills when it comes to fishing, especially fly fishing. Luck is certainly a factor in success but what is the old saying, “The harder I work the luckier I get”?

Well that seems to especially apply to fishing. It could be as simple a thing as being willing to walk a mile further than the other fellow to get to places with less angling pressure or as complex as studying the minutia of the insect behaviors in your stretch of the stream.

In fishing, knowledge and effort are both rewarded.

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17 December 2008 at 14:28  

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