Thursday, August 11, 2011

Felt Soled Wading Boots

Snow likes felt too.

Since becoming a Steelhead angler, I've used felt sole wading boots, so when the move to eliminate felt soled boots happened, I kept using mine. The rivers we wade in the Pacific Northwest have big boulders, and slick rocks. Wading in a boot without felt can be very slippery and dangerous. My experience with rubber sole boots even with cleats, do not give the grip that a felt sole boot gives. As a angler that cares about rivers and fish it is our responsability to make sure invasive blooms are not spread, so if you choose to use felt, please clean your boots when going from river to river.

The ban on felt started in 2008, These actions came from increasing concerns that felt soles were providing a perfect home for transporting invasive species, specifically Didymo. Didymo is a freshwater microscopic diatom (a type of singled-celled algae with silica cell walls) garnering attention for its ability to form massive nuisance “blooms” that carpet stream beds, altering biological and physical conditions.


This bloom has been found in rivers and lakes in New Zealand, Montana, and throughout BC, "Didymo has not been officially confirmed by the EPA from any locations in the state of Oregon. Pest RIsk Assessment for Rock Snot in Oregon.

Simms will reintroduce felt-soled wading boots to our product line in Spring of 2012 on three of our boot styles: Guide, Freestone and Headwaters. This was not an easy decision for Simms.

In the past few years, Simm's have received a lot of feedback regarding felt from guides, consumers, and dealers. After additional follow-up and serious consideration, they made the decision to give anglers a choice. They have not backed off of their commitment to insist that all anglers follow clean angling practices: inspect, clean and dry, and all of our boots continue to have CleanStream™ designs to minimize seams & hidden crevices and utilize materials with minimal water absorption, which help make the boots easier to clean and dry. While many states and provinces continue to legislate felt bans, many consumers and dealers feel felt is still their best tread option.

Below are way's to prevent the spread of Didymo and other invasive blooms.

Soak and scrub all items for at least one minute in the following solution.

Hot Water at (60 C)

a 5% solution of salt (2 cups and water added to make 10 liters)
a 5% solution of antiseptic hand cleaner
a 5% soution of dishwatching soap
a 2% solution of bleach (200ml and water added to make 10 liters)