Being comfortable in the water whether is 35 or 65 degrees is incredibly important for safety as well as your enjoyment.
Understand how your wader/boots will work to keep you dry and comfortable starts with the material . Unlike you father’s/grandfather’s old school neoprene waders that felt like wearing a scuba suit, todays wading systems are made to be breathable as they are anything else. Almost all waders are made from some sort of a breathable material like Gore-Tex. Gore-Tex is a proprietary brand name for the first scientifically engineered waterproof breathable material. Since then there have been many “copy cat” materials created, all of which provide the same benefits.
Most all waterproof/breathable materials incorporate some type of a nylon fabric. it’s how theses fabrics are layered adhered to each other and seamed that makes a jacket, pants or waders different. You can spend anywhere from $200 to over $800 for a pair of waders.
Some people like wet wading, whereby they wear sturdy boots and quick-drying pants without any waders. Wet wading can be particularly fun in the middle of the summer when the water is warm and pleasant. However, many anglers prefer to wear their breathable waders even when it’s warm.
When Do I Need Waders?
Everyone’s tolerances for the cold are different. But one thing that is constant is that we all get hypothermic when we are exposed to water cold temperatures. “They” say that you can become hypothermic in water temps below 70 degrees. This is why waders will make you feel more comfortable, especially when spending prolonged time standing in a river or stream.
In our experience, waders are particularly handy in late fall, and early spring, when the water is still cold. And, of course, in winter, when you definitely need waders if you want to stand in the middle of a freezing stream. It is exhilarating to fish in such conditions and most fishermen enjoy the thrill.
Amazingly enough, you may even consider wearing waders in the summer. While water temperatures are typically mild, they are rarely so warm that you can stand in the water for hours on end without getting chilly, unless you are fishing in tropical waters.
Also, in the summer, streams have less water and trout will flock to the middle of the stream, where there is more water. If you stick to the bank, you won’t get great opportunities for trout catching. If you stand in the middle of a stream, though, you will be far closer to where the action is.
Why Do I Need Waders When Fishing in a Stream?
It’s What you wear under the waders that makes the difference
Since breathable waders are not extraordinarily thick, it’s the layers you wear under that determines you level of comfort. Just like any cold weather activity the old “Don’t ski in Jeans” rule applies here too. Cotton defeats the whole purpose of breathability when worn inside a pair of wader, especially for a prolonged time. Capilene and Polypropylene are just a couple of base layer fabrics that are moisture wicking and warm that are great to wear under waders.
What Type of Wader Should I Wear
When looking in to buying a pair of waders there are some things to consider before making such a big purchase
- Where do I do the majority of my fishing. Do I live in the mountains, the coast or in the heartland?
- Do I want Stockingfoot or Bootfoot waders?
- How much do I plan to fish?
- What weather conditions do I fish in?
These are all good questions to ask yourself. Let’s use the example of someone who lives here in the Rocky mountains, who fishes from spring trough fall and a few days a month. For many of us the difference between a Bootfoot wader where the wading boot is actually attached to the waders and a Stockingfoot wader where the boots are separate is the question of whether we wet wade in the hotter part of the summer. Many of us here in the mountains prefer to just wear our wading boots and short when it’s hot out. therefore many of us only have Stockingfoot waders. If you’re an Alaska or Northwest Steelhead/salmon angler them you might prefer to wear a Bootfoot wader.
There are different quality waders for everyone’s price level. knowing what warranty your getting and the manufacturers commitment to the customer are also big factors when looking into buying wader/Boots
Do I Need Boots?
You need boots when you fly-fish, as they will keep you steady and protect your ankles if you fall. They will also help you stand in uncertain terrain and give you a good grip on most surfaces.
Wading Boots are like the tennis shoes of fishing. You get what you pay for. But a good pair of boots can last you a long time and can keep you from slipping and falling in some of the more slick river bottoms.
Wading Boots come with 2 sole options now a days, rubber or felt. Felt has long been the staple of all wading boot companies. felt offers some of the best traction in a majority of rivers and streams like we have in the Rockies. However felt does wear down relatively fast and is not a best option in the snow or for hiking into your favorite fishing hole. Some states and countries have outlawed felt because felt can transport invasive species of aquatic mollusks and algae’s from one watershed to another.
in recent years many boot companies have started using rubber compounds and have even teamed up with some of your favorite tire companies to construct the Mother of all rubber wading boots. Rubber soles are much more durable over the long haul and are better for hiking and don’t get ice built up in the winter like felt does. Although not quite as slip resistant as felt, when used with some metal studs they are very effective.
Trust Fly Fishing Outfitters for All Your Fly-Fishing Needs
Our Fly Fishing Outfitters shop has plenty of waders, wading boots, and other equipment for your fly fishing adventures. You can book your fly-fishing trip and order your equipment online, call us at (970) 845-8090, or visit our shop at 1060 W Beaver Creek Blvd, Avon, CO 81620 to make your dream of fly-fishing on some of Colorado’s favorite rivers come true!