Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day 4 - Felt Soled Shoes

My many thanks to Edward Hewitt. Don't know who he is? Well he is the guy that patented felt on the bottom of wading shoes. Without him we'd all fall into the drink more often than we'd like. Much like what happened to me about a week or so ago.

The story really starts in June when I was fishing in Wisconsin. I was coming back from a decent day of fishing and in the middle of a cow pasture, I realized that I was walking kind of funny. Thinking that my insert for my Korkers was loose I lifted my boot to investigate. It was much worse: the entire felt from the insert had fallen off.

I didn't think much about it really when it happened. I figured that when I stopped at a fly shop, I would look to see if they had the inserts and all would be good. In the meantime, I still had the "spare" lug soles that came with the boots. Unfortunately, when I went to the shop, they only carried the new and improved inserts, not the ones that I have. So I figured that at some point I would either A) special order the inserts or B) upgrade to the new style. For the immediate future, I would have to make do.

I would have to make do that is until I learned about slick rocks in North Carolina. Last week I went fly fishing for the first time in North Carolina. I had driven about 2 hours and found a nice stream in the mountains. I had suited up with my wading boots (with the attached lug sole inserts) and made my way to the river. I was doing OK until I stepped into the stream. Streams in North Carolina are not like streams in Minnesota or Wisconsin. Minnesota and Wisconsin stream bottoms are usually sandy, muddy, or gravel. Not so, in North Carolina. It was like stepping onto a snot covered piece of glass.

For the record, I fell hard three times that day. The last fall included a fall so hard and disasterous that I filled up my waders. Did I mention that this was the first cold day they had all summer?

So I'm sitting here today with a brand new pair of Chota wading boots. They are affordable, they are tough, and above all they have felt soles. Maybe tomorrow, I won't take a swim in the river.

And oh yeah, thank you Mr. Hewitt for your wonderful idea.

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