A while back a debate raged on email, social media and in chat rooms about the best wading boots. There was a wide variety of views expressed with Simms, Korkers, Patagonia and a couple of others being the front runners. I don’t recall that a conclusion was ever reached and the debate faded from the digital world by a kind of consensus that it was a case of horses for courses.
I have been through a few pairs of wading boots, veldt soled and rubber, cheap and expensive and yet I still can’t make up my mind what suits my kind of fishing in the rugged terrain of mountain streams. At present I have a pair of Patagonia Stickys, and must say that to date they have done the job reasonably well, but even with the double stitching the uppers are starting to pull away.
However, all the wading boots I have owned had their merits and demerits. Most have been okay fishing rivers and streams at lower altitudes. But, when it comes to hiking into the headwaters of our mountain streams, the overall strength of the boot comes into play and none that I have had to date have lived up to expectation.
It brings me back to my vote for good old fashioned leather boots with stitched, and (not glued) soles. I originally used T3s and more recently Jim Greens. My last pair of T3s hung on for nearly 7 years before the leather rotted. The stitching and soles were still intact. My latest pair of Jim Greens has had 4 years hard labour and is only now just showing the first signs of asking for retirement, again the leather. The downside is that they are not quite as good in the water as specialised boots, but in my experience, not that different. They do take longer to dry and need some tender loving care after a trip. On the upside, cleaned, dried, snow sealed (not dubbin) and then polished, they will be good to go with your suit to your next friends wedding!
Guest blog by Peter Brigg