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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.


Posts: 4
Dillo on Aug 12, 2015August 12th, 2015, 8:19 pm EDT
I have decided that my next fly fishing purchase will be a pair of breathable waders. I have never owned a pair, I've only fished from shore or worn Chaco sandals and shorts, so this is an entirely new world for me. My question is about whether waist high or chest high would suit my needs more. I want to spend 100-150 dollars, if that sways the vote at all. I will be using them mostly in the spring and summer, along with a bit of fall fishing, and maybe 1-2 days in the winter here in Colorado. I will be using them in water shin to thigh deep mostly. I am drawn to waist highs because they seem to be more like normal pants, making movement and adding/ subtracting layers of jackets easier. I also feel like chest highs are better because of added protection if I step in water deeper than expected, but they seem awkward and hot. Any advice and opinion is helpful.
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Aug 13, 2015August 13th, 2015, 3:28 pm EDT
I have cabelas waist high waders, and wish now I had chest high or better yet convertiable waders. Im a little older and thought I would not do as much wading in deeper water, wrong. While I like the cabelas product as it has held up to a real beating, I find myself constantly checking up on how deep I go. Also boots are so important, make sure you get the right size, I think waders are the place to skimp on getting the best you can afford, a good pair can make the difference between a great and safe outing or a cold soaking uncomfortable miserable experience.

Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Aug 13, 2015August 13th, 2015, 5:05 pm EDT
Take a look at the L.L. Bean waders and their warranty. One of the best available. I like stockingfoot waders and Simms boots, but there are lots of less expensive serviceable boots. We have an old thread or two on the topic. I'll see if I can find them and bump them up.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Bnorikane's profile picture

Posts: 15
Bnorikane on Aug 18, 2015August 18th, 2015, 7:02 am EDT
I live in Colorado, as well. I've always used chest waders.

I own bootfoot hip waders and used them on hot days in small streams. They are very quick to put on and off, like seconds, perfect for short outings. I don't use them much anymore. They are just too short. I wet wade on hot days and use the chest highs otherwise.

I know a lot of people love the pants waders. They are cooler and probably cover 75% to 90% of wading depending on your height and wading style. I'm only 5' 8", and often want to cross the river or wade to the perfect casting spot, so I'm closer to the 75%. I actually wade up to the tops of chest highs a few times every year.

When wet wading, how often are over your waist?


Posts: 75
Afishinado on Aug 19, 2015August 19th, 2015, 1:30 am EDT
Check out these waders that convert from chest high to waist high:

Bnorikane's profile picture

Posts: 15
Bnorikane on Aug 19, 2015August 19th, 2015, 4:57 am EDT
Does your budget include wading boots and waders? Most fly fishermen in Colorado use stockingfoot waders and wading boots. The boots run from $70 to $250 at list.

Right now is a good time to buy. The after season sales are starting, so check google and sites like Sierra Trading Post for wader and boot sales.
MarshallP's profile picture
Rhode Island

Posts: 7
MarshallP on Aug 30, 2015August 30th, 2015, 9:19 am EDT
I got the low end LL bean Wader and Boots. The Chest hight waders are great. If its hot or what ever I just put the belt on and roll the chest down. Plus the lifetime warrantee is to good to pass up on.

On the other hand, I'm not crazy about the boots. My first pair broke almost right away (returned not questions asked though) and haven't had a problem since. Still the boots feel clunky, not super comfortable. However, they are totally functional and relatively affordable.

All in all, unless your going with the top of the line simms or something I think the LL Bean stocking foot wader are the way to go. Affordable, comfortable, Durable (after one season no problem), and an un beatable warrantee.

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