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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the title implies, the last two outings to one of my favorite, off the beaten path rivers, resulted in skunks. The only action I had both outings was at a winter holding, plunge pool section. The first trip I was able to set the hook long enough to know it was a big fish for the size of the river, yesterday I was able to catch a glimpse of him when he turned after spitting my nymphs- he validated my suspicions...he was a big boy and I couldn't entice him to hit again. Finally took a sample of what was floating around the river with my paint strainer, tons of tiny (sz 26) bwo nymphs, annelids and stones. This is something I am going to be doing a lot more often, it's pretty cool to get a snapshot of what is going on in the river at that point in time.

This past Christmas I received a pair of White Horse Korkers , they have the boa lace system and interchangeable soles- I have both the normal rubber soles as well as felt. After wearing my old Hodgeman felt-soled boots since I was 13 and they were 2 sizes too big, I was due for an upgrade. I love the boa lacing system, especially when it is cold out, it makes getting the boots on and off a breeze. A downfall is that they don't come in half sizes, I am running a half size large and it rubs on my right heel...to the point where I just rubbed a hole through my neoprene stockings yesterday, I need to figure out a way to shim it out to stop this from happening. As someone who has never owned rubber soled wading boots I was in for a bit of a surprise when I began wading one of our cobble filled rivers..I probably looked like I was hammered drunk, slipping and almost going down on every other step. I immediately saw the allure of a wading staff, or putting the felt soles on and never looking back.

That leads me to my next review, my first trip to this area a few weeks ago yielded my first time going down in a river. I ended up falling forward and dunking both arms to my shoulder and getting some water down my waders. It was a pretty nice day out but taking a mini swim in February river water will cool you down pretty quickly. Luckily I was wearing my synthetic down "puffy" jacket that I picked up earlier this winter. Anyone who owns one knows, they do a great job keeping you warm and, as the hype and marketing suggested, kept me warm enough to fish a couple more hours even though I was wet. They layer well and pack down to nothing, if anyone is on the fence on getting one, I would definitely suggest it.
 

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Nice report!

I almost went for a swim balancing and trying to walk down the trunk of a big downed tree to retrieve my jig that was hung up. After that I went to the car for the hip waders and to my surprise the water was nuts deep but I got my jig!

The paint strainer idea sounds pretty rad. I'll have to try it.
 

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fcollinscatcher,

Consider yourself lucky. Many moons ago, I taught fly fishing at Lowry Air Force Base. I taught my students to be thankful they may have days when there are strikes and no fish in hand. There are a lot of anglers who would love to have your problem of hooking fish and not landing them. For me, there are two levels of skunkdom. Level one is when you have strikes but just can't put one in your hands. Level two is when you have no strikes and no fish in your hands. I have experienced both.

Quando Omni flunkus moritati.
 

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The rubber soles that come on Korkers are absolutely horrible on slick cobbles, I felt the same way you did when I first got mine. I switch the rubber soles for felt when I'm on slippery rivers. The Simms rubber soles are much better.
 

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The rubber soles that come on Korkers are absolutely horrible on slick cobbles, I felt the same way you did when I first got mine. I switch the rubber soles for felt when I'm on slippery rivers. The Simms rubber soles are much better.
What Luke the dog said.

I hate my Korkers. Seems to be no flex in the shoe so I feel I get no grip on the rocks with felt or the rubber bottoms, too rigid of a sole.


Avoid felt in the winter, snow and ice build up on them badly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah- the BOA is a great feature but not having a half size is a bummer. Sad to say I am tempted to throw on the 'ol Hodgemans as my "go to" boots.

As far as felt in the winter...I have learned my lesson in that regard, more than once.
 

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I haven't found any boot that comes in half sizes, have you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I haven't found any boot that comes in half sizes, have you?
No, I haven't. Then again, this being my 2nd pair of boots ever I have not done much shopping for them- more assumed that they came in half sizes.

This weekend I found that cranking down on the boa both when I first put the boots on and than once they got wet worked pretty well and I didn't feel my foot moving after that.
 

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I wear two pairs of socks. Depends on the time of year how thick they are but that may help take up some space in the boot for ya.

I do own two pair of boots, one for summer and one for winter.(obviously the winter one is larger for thicker socks)
 

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Another fit option is a insole. It will take up space and help cup your heel. But pull them out to dry between outings.

Another bug collecting option is a mosquito head net. They will fit over most nets to strain the water column. They cost about 2 bucks and they pack down to nothing. If you happen to find mosquitos you have a head net! which can be the difference between sanity and madness..... or wussing out of course. But that is not an option for real fishermen!
 

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What Bugz said. I also have different weight socks for different shoes/boots seems there is always a formula to snug the fit up with socks.

As far as the Korkers go, I very much dislike the durability of their soles. 1 season and most all of the grip nubs were torn off, and I was wading a dam in racing slicks, not fun.
 

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I've been using Patagonia boots recently. Just picked up a pair of "Patagonia Ultralight Wading Boots - Sticky Bottom" for $80 on sale.

What I've found with patagonia boots (my 2nd pair now) is that they run large. For example a size 11 in their boot is at least a 11.5 in shoe size; if not larger. I wear size 11 street shoe and it fits me like a glove. Patagonia boots in 11 are large enough for 2 pair of socks (one thick and one thin sock) + waders.

I won't buy felt bottom any more. Nor will I ever fish "rubber bottoms" without some studs (I tried it; much like ice skating). If you go ever go this route, don't buy the studs from patagonia; go to your hardware store and pick-up some #12 x 1/2" sheet metal screws -- exact same thing you get from patagonia at a fraction of the cost :)

I've been happy with my patagonia boots, but that's just me.
 

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I swallowed my pride and got a pretty nice pair of Simms boots. They are as comfortable as my hiking boots. Lots of hours stomping mud, rocks, were great for early season duck hunts, and the Vibram soles dont show any wear. Vibram outsoles are pretty much mandatory for me when it comes to any kind of footwear.
 
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