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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

Dorsal view of a Sweltsa (Chloroperlidae) (Sallfly) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This species was fairly abundant in a February sample of the upper Yakima.
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.

Shackelford
NY

Posts: 3
Shackelford on Feb 15, 2020February 15th, 2020, 3:38 am EST
Hello, I am new to the forum and to fly fishing but not new to fishing or the water at all. I fish primarily freestone streams/creeks and small rivers that consist of silt, gravel, and boulder size rocks and in some places shale, some of my favorites include the East Koy Creek, Wiscoy Creek, and the Genessee River. The Genessee tends to have a generous slick of clay on rocks throughout much of the year both inside and out from rising water levels making for very slick conditions. Furthermore in the late summer months many of the rocks/shale are coated in slime that too, makes them very slick. I have always just wet waded in old running shoes or my used 8" combat boots that were pretty well done for and was fine most of the time, until the conditions described above anyway. I am sick of trying to wet wade too early/late every year and freezing my feet so this year I bought my first waders and now want a pair of decent wading boots. My absolute limit on cost at the moment is around $150 and that's only because I have $50 credit with a vendor I like, without that it's more like 100. I have been researching and looking and it's very hard to find information however I think I've narrowed down my choices to 2 boots, the Simms Freestone and the Korkers Buckskin. For me durability > convenience and to an extent comfort, I'll wear a slightly heavier boot if it's going to last 2x as long, within reason of course. I know I'll get all sorts of suggestions to just buy the G3 or to just get the best Korkers, I'd love to, really would like nothing more, but just can't now. The freestones are appealing because they have a good reputation for comfort and durability however I'm concerned this may just be their previous models with the Vibram soles, not lots of current info on the new model. I like the Buckskins because they are lighter, appear to have better drainage, and have a very clear warranty and great customer service from what I've heard. What I don't like is the idea of a removeable sole, I've read complaints of these popping off in muddy conditions and although I really like the Idea of felt I do lots of walking stream side and in just 1-2" of water and just can't see felt holding up to the abuse and don't really want to keep replacing soles at $40-60 a pair. So there it is, most of the thoughts I'm struggling with at the moment, If there's something I've over looking please let me know. Given the 2 choices and my situation, if you were going to buy a pair tomorrow, which would you get? 
Partsman
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Feb 15, 2020February 15th, 2020, 6:22 am EST
I would go with the simms, I have also read some bad reviews on the corkers. I have orvis boa boots which are nice and they have lasted me quite a bit longer than I thought they would. I like orvis stuff and will likely replace mine with more orvis boots and waders. One thing im finding out is winter fishing requires different boots, as in a couple of size larger than the ones I wear in the other 3 seasons. God I thought I had frostbite last week, I have never felt pain like that. Larger boots so you can get another layer of socks and move your toes very comfortably!
Mike
Shackelford
NY

Posts: 3
Shackelford on Feb 15, 2020February 15th, 2020, 6:44 am EST
I would go with the simms, I have also read some bad reviews on the corkers. I have orvis boa boots which are nice and they have lasted me quite a bit longer than I thought they would. I like orvis stuff and will likely replace mine with more orvis boots and waders. One thing im finding out is winter fishing requires different boots, as in a couple of size larger than the ones I wear in the other 3 seasons. God I thought I had frostbite last week, I have never felt pain like that. Larger boots so you can get another layer of socks and move your toes very comfortably!
Mike


I could actually get a pair of the Orvis Pivot boots with the BOA system for slightly less than the other 2 models as well.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Feb 15, 2020February 15th, 2020, 6:59 am EST
I have owned four pairs of the Simms Freestones. They are very popular. I've owned two pairs with just felt and two pairs with felt and steel studs. Steel studs are okay but if you fish a lot they wear down. I didn't wear them all out I wanted to keep one pair at a cabin I have on a trout river and another pair to leave at home. Then as I aged my foot got wider and I needed two more pairs.

I recently bought a pair of Chota Citico Creek wading shoes. They have already installed inserts so you can screw in carbide studs. The head has a hexagon shape and there is a point on top of the hex to really dig into slime and terrain in, and out, of the river. Tungsten carbide are harder than the hardest metals. Harder = More durability.

https://www.chotaoutdoorgear.com/collections/footwear/products/citico-creek-wading-boots

https://www.chotaoutdoorgear.com/products/long-rifle-carbide-cleats

THe boots are $70 and the studs are $30. Even with tax and shipping these are well within your budget.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Shackelford
NY

Posts: 3
Shackelford on Feb 15, 2020February 15th, 2020, 7:47 am EST
I have owned four pairs of the Simms Freestones. They are very popular. I've owned two pairs with just felt and two pairs with felt and steel studs. Steel studs are okay but if you fish a lot they wear down. I didn't wear them all out I wanted to keep one pair at a cabin I have on a trout river and another pair to leave at home. Then as I aged my foot got wider and I needed two more pairs.

I recently bought a pair of Chota Citico Creek wading shoes. They have already installed inserts so you can screw in carbide studs. The head has a hexagon shape and there is a point on top of the hex to really dig into slime and terrain in, and out, of the river. Tungsten carbide are harder than the hardest metals. Harder = More durability.

https://www.chotaoutdoorgear.com/collections/footwear/products/citico-creek-wading-boots

https://www.chotaoutdoorgear.com/products/long-rifle-carbide-cleats

THe boots are $70 and the studs are $30. Even with tax and shipping these are well within your budget.


Thanks for the suggestion however I'm kind of stuck buying from one distributor as I have a decent amount of credit with them, so not all makes/models are available to me. As far as steel studs go if they are getting pricey I know people have good success with Kold Kuttter studs and they are quite cheap to replace at around 10 cents each.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Feb 16, 2020February 16th, 2020, 3:08 am EST
Shackleford,

Kold Kuttter studs


If they aren't hardened steel they will wear out quickly. I used to buy nickel plated hex head screws and insert them into my felts. They do a good job and a box costs about $5.00. However they only last about a month of frequent fishing.

You said you had a budget of $100 + $50 credit. Well the Chota Citico AND the carbide studs (20) still come in right at $100. You could use the $50 credit to buy some other fly fishing tackle.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Feb 16, 2020February 16th, 2020, 3:11 am EST
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
RleeP
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Feb 16, 2020February 16th, 2020, 12:50 pm EST
Given the alternatives you have in your situation, I'd lean towards the Korkers. Despite being an interchangeable sole system, the chances of losing a sole are really pretty negligible. I've had a Korker sole come off exactly once in 10 years of using their product. I've lost 3 times as many glued on felts from other brands over a similar time span.
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Feb 16, 2020February 16th, 2020, 1:45 pm EST
The Kold Kutter studs are OK, but they wear quickly. I've tried them, and decided I prefer carbide, which can last the life of a boot. If you're climbing up and down mud/clay banks, rubber soles with studs provide much more traction than felt.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Feb 17, 2020February 17th, 2020, 2:34 am EST
Louis wrote;

rubber soles with studs provide much more traction than felt.


I agree with this comment 100%. Felts, even with studs, are a formula for slipping and falling often when trying to walk on wet clay or muddy banks.

Rleep wrote;

I've lost 3 times as many glued on felts from other brands over a similar time span.


Interesting since I have never had a felt sole come undone from the upper of the wading boot in forty years of using Simms Freestones or Weinbrenner (no longer being made) and I fish at least seventy days a year. I have had miserable experiences with every Caddis wading shoe I've ever bought. I bought two pairs, each a different model, and within less than one year the felts came off. Then Caddis sent me two free pairs and one of the pairs was there top of the line and the felts on those only lasted sixteen months before they also came off.

The uppers were in great shape so I went to Home Depot and bought a tube of Flex Glue, the stuff advertised on TV, and applied it per directions and also wrapped Duct tape all over the soles and upper and let it dry for 48 hours. Those soles are fully bonded and will wear out before they come unglued.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Feb 17, 2020February 17th, 2020, 2:39 am EST
If anyone may be wondering why I have so many pairs of wading shoes it's because I want one pair with felts, and another with felts and studs at my cabin on the Delaware River. I don't want studded shoes in my drift boat.

Then I want one heavier pair of studded wading shoes for steelhead fishing and another pair of just felt for local trout fishing and a much ligther, and easily packed pair, to take to Montana or to wade wet in the Susquehanna.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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