Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fall Float & Gear Review

October is the LONGEST month of the year for me. It's been so through my life. This year was no exception. I started with, well, catching the worst cold in a decade!! Rest is filled with fishing!! Today it's a bit too windy here in Livingston for me to work on Baetis hatch at DePuy's ( I'm glad I'm finishing this month with a normal body condition and bunch of BIIIIG Brown trout!! I want to review several things which also occurred this month but haven't reported yet (as I've been super busy at DePuy's!!).

I'm still taking guided trips. I conducted couple of float trips for Montana Troutfitters. Pete is a great guy as well as a fine fisherman!!

Whitie on streamers!!
Here is the serious gear review I've ever done as I'm discussing gears related to our safety.
First of all, the more I guide, the more strongly I feel "fishing gears" are actually "work tools" for us guides. Just like saddles for cowboys and miscellaneous building tools for carpenters. Certain amount I hope my tools look cool but most importantly for me, I expect them to comfortable, durable, and reasonable. Waders and wading boots would be prime examples of how quick worn out/used up by guides. Most guides would stay more amount on waters than general anglers, yet we still live on lands most times. In other words, that's how hard-working it is to walk along the river, harder than we would imagine. My last pair of wading shoes was getting to a point of retirement this fall with less than 20 months of service. It's a nice brand so construction and other qualities were not a problem at all. Furthermore, I didn't use for trails at all!! Then again I wasn't along the water every day of 20 months!! Again, that's how hard the pair was used by me. Would be great if I could enter the new season with the new pair, but I'll be fishing all through winter anyway so I decided to get one.

I had been hearing about this: Patagonia Rock Grip Boots or Aluminum Bar Boots. Most of everyone I talked to told me this is an amazing product. Price is moderate. Yes, it's on heavier side than regular pairs = in other words durable. So I decided to give a shot.  
This is unbelievable & amazing!! Remember that I fish along our Mighty Yellowstone. Current is strong and fast and moss can develop on rocks during warm months. And I don't consider myself a strong wader (smart enough to know my limit!!). If you are looking for ultimate safety and "grip", try this innovative product. You can't go wrong!, period.

That said, Aluminum bar boots may not be compatible on my drift-boat (yes, guides are touchy about their "rigs"!! Sometimes more sentimental about boats than about cars!!). And there are times that I need felt-soles and a lighter pair. I walked in Dan Bailey's Fly Shop in downtown Livingston. I was recommended this newer model: Riffle FS Shoe, which is built for comfort and lightness. WOW!! Indeed this is comfortable and light on my feet!! This is as light as sandals/flip-flops products with full advantage of wading shoes. I personally like the thickness of felt soles.  This is very ECONOMICALLY priced as well. Of course, it's good at rivers, as BEST as felt-soles can be!! And smooth on my boat too!!

Even when you wet-wade without wader on during summer months, you still need "good footing". If you are looking for new wading boots or considering replacement soon, I can give you my words to try these (depending on your needs and fishing situations). Or write down on Christmas or Birthday Wish List to your significant others..........

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