Friday, March 16, 2012

Fly Fishing: Fly Friday: Rubber vs. Felt...

About the time Simms announced they would no longer manufacture felt soled wading boots, I took a chance at the Ennis Fly Fishing Festival on the above rubber soled jobs and, wonder of wonders, won the draw.

The next weekend we fished the upper Big Hole for two days and while I liked the hell out of the fit and comfort hiking around on dry land, alas wading the river...well to put it bluntly pretty much sucked.

Okay, the traction was a cut above boot foot rubber soled hip boots but not much. Without the aid of a stick no way would this ol' boy have been able to stay erect unless of course I shuffled around at a snail's pace amid the good graces of the wading gods...No matter how careful each step my foot slipped and, trust me, a bad deal given gimpy geezer knees.

But they were new so I thought just maybe over time would get better...The rest of the fall and winter season I tested them in mountain cricks, the Beav, Poindexter and a couple more Big Hole excursions. Overall traction did not improve.

My ratings: Good to go for Poindexter. Okay, if you're careful and stay out of the real heavy stuff, in the Beav. Not so hot on bouldery mountain cricks; adequate for those lacking algae; and as I said, hands down better than felt for hiking around.

Which brings us to the Big Hole. Where, to my way of thinking, lacking studs the boots are next to useless, if not downright dangerous...So there you have it...

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