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View Full Version : Felt Soles an issue?


canetuck
01-20-2011, 08:26 PM
I will be getting some new wading gear soon, and have seen somewhere about a negative impact on streams from felt soles.I guess from some kind of contamination from one stream to another.I wouldn't consider myself an environmentalist,but a conservationist.Is this a valid issue in GSMNP that I need to be concerned about?
Also do the rubber sole wading boots work as well as felt?What about boots with the screw in metal studs?

pineman19
01-20-2011, 08:59 PM
Hello,

If you use the felt soles only on Smoky streams you'll be fine. I don't recommend studded soles for the mountain streams, tried it once, cause it was all I had with me and it didn't go well. If you fish the tailwaters, either clean them very well, soak in a mild chlorine mix or just use different boots for the mountain streams than you use in the tailwaters.

Neal

GrouseMan77
01-20-2011, 09:05 PM
I agree with Neal on not using the studded soles in the park. I got lazy and left in one time and it was like being on roller skates. And, I can't roller skate.

Heavynets
01-21-2011, 11:04 AM
Just my opinion, but I think that the banning or voluntary non-use of felt soles will, at best, only slow the migration of invasive species. Nooks and crannies in boots, ducks, beavers, otters, turtles and of course those people who choose to ignore the issue will all contribute to the inevitable migration.

No Hackle
01-21-2011, 12:00 PM
Well the issue lately has been the didymo. I personally like felt and will never have the rubber soles. I have many friends who have had them and swear against them. I do fish many tailwaters where the didymo is present. I also fish the park and do not want to be the one who transfers it. I will not ever put bleach on my stuff. What I do is freeze my boots. I have an extra freezer in the garage so when I get back from fishing, I put my boots in a plastic bag ( wal-mart, kroger.etc.) while their still wet and hard freeze them. The night before I fish I take them out. Let them thaw,when I'm ready to put them on their already wet and easier to put on.
Lynn

JoelO
01-21-2011, 12:28 PM
I like felt too...the problem is finding manufacturers that still make them. I'll have to see what people think of the Orvis branded Korkers.

whitefeather
01-21-2011, 02:11 PM
I've been waiting for this one to come up! First of all, this whole thing started using Van Couver Island, BC as the basis of the studies. I have researched most of the scientific studies. About the only outside element that seasonally visits that river system is fly fisherman. So naturally they take it on the chin for what is happening. Never mind that the studies also show a disappearance of didymo infestation in some years for no apparent reason. But our rivers, are an entirely different demographic. Tubers, canoes, kayakers, fisherman, children in tennis shoes and bathing suits, wildlife, waterlife, birds, the list goes on and on.

The fact is I can name you over hundred other ways that didymo can be spread both animal and human, and more effectively than waders. And all this boils down to is the fly fisherman is responsible for spreading it? Bull&8#$! And even Biosystems New Zealand is backing down from their previous position. ****, they knew when they put out their "bleaching" recommendations, there was a more effective way to kill the didymo in felt soles. As a matter of fact it has been in use by US farmers and others for over forty years I know of. Didymo survives heat, freezing, and bleach. But it can't survive copper sulfate solution. That's what we have been killing complex algae's in the US in farm ponds for years. And Biosystems New Zealand even stated so. Mix a handful of copper sulfate crystals to a five gallon bucket of warm water, stir it, then soak you felts, overnight if you like. It kills instantly and any residual, dried or wet copper sulfate mix that remains will keep on killing the **** stuff for a period of time to come. And it doesn't hurt invertebrates, nymphs, bugs, fish, fish eggs, etc. in any way. Since TU started this whole push to outlaw felts by agreement with Utah's fish and game and the Sierra Club it smacks of "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" politics. And I belong to TU, I just don't care for some of their liberal agenda. And of course if there's a buck to made by replacing old "bad, bad" product with new "good, good" product then look out for the greed stampede to follow. But don't take my word for it, research it for yourself at TU.org's list of cited scientific studies and see what you think. Your mileage may vary!

Felt soles, don't leave home without them. Using rubber or cleated rubber waders may be hazardous to your health in Blue Ridge waters.

OK, I feel better, rant over, time for a sip of coffee and a deep breath....a..a..ah!

Whitefeather
_________________________________________
Blue skies, warm gentle winds, and trout filled waters to all!:smile:

Knothead
01-21-2011, 08:40 PM
Fly Fish America had a test comparing felt vs. synthetics. The anglers wore one boot of each sole. The general consensus was that felt had an edge over the synthetic rubber. I did see an ad for a synthetic sole with ground walnut hulls in it.
Why doesn't someone come up with a way to replace the felt with synthetic? Cheaper than buying new boots!

Crockett
01-21-2011, 09:22 PM
This may be controversial but with a thousand miles of mountain streams at my back door why in the h*** would I ever fish a tailwater covered with rock snot? Never have figured out the attraction there.

ukfb1
01-21-2011, 10:16 PM
I like felt too...the problem is finding manufacturers that still make them. I'll have to see what people think of the Orvis branded Korkers.

I have these, the ankle support is not great but the biting action on rocks are great. I could not go back to felt.
http://www.orvis.com/store/product.aspx?pf_id=2H07&dir_id=758&group_id=11059&cat_id=5421&subcat_id=10664

whitefeather
01-22-2011, 04:43 PM
Crockett,

I'm jealous... dang it!

So much water, so little time!

Whitefeather
_________________________________________________
Blue skies, warm gentle winds, and trout filled waters to all!:smile:

Knothead
01-22-2011, 06:31 PM
Reading the thread again. FWIW, the first time my wife fished the park, all she had to wade was a pair of Free Spirit sneakers. I was skeptical about her wading but, surprisingly, they were very good on the rocks. I think she had gotten them the year before at one of the outlets in PF.

Owl
01-24-2011, 03:57 AM
The most valued opinion I could get on them the last time I was looking for new boots( last year) was that in winter the rubber bottoms were "ok." In late spring, it because like "a hippo on roller skates." This was from a reputable fly shop owner(not anyone at LRO).

I did a blog post the other day called Felt Saves Lives. It became quite the interesting debate as people from different parts of the country chimed in. I can tell you that "slippery" is a relative term and I'd almost pay good money to see some of the western fly fishers come here and try to wade our creeks. :)

There were actually some good arguments made against the continued use of felt, although none of those arguments took the safety of the angler into consideration in a meaningful way.
I think at some point, there won't be an argument as manufacturer's rush to accommodate the knee-jerk reaction of the larger environmental and environmentally-focused angler's clubs. I doubt very seriously if in a year from now, you will be able to find felt-soled boots and I have no doubt that it won't be long before someone dies trying to use them where only felt is safe.

There's a reason felt soles became the sole of choice in wading boots...but we'll throw all that out the window because we think we humans are in control.

Still, the idea that we could slow it might be worth a shot. I'm as on the fence about this issue as I am about the horses thing...and I gotta tell you guys I HATE being on the fence about anything. Time will tell....

whitefeather
01-24-2011, 02:53 PM
I spent nearly thirty years fishing Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Montana, and Idaho streams and never once needed anything but my Red Ball rubber soled waders. I wouldn't expect too much support from western fisherman on this issue.

It wasn't until I began to fish the Blue Ridge and the Smokies that I even considered felt waders, but did so on the advice of a friend at work who was experienced at fishing the Smokies. My first day on the water I tried both, the second time I left the rubber soles at the campground. Also, I began to use a good quality wading staff on the faster water.

It's not that I don't think fisherman should be responsible. I do and am! But I only use my felt waders in the Smokies, TN and NC waters, and I do sterilize like I mentioned before.

It seems to me this whole issue has been emotionally generated using good science the wrong way to justify a means to an end. And the real issue is still, didymo and other invasives can and are being spread more efficiently and more effectively by at least a hundred other causes which, collectively, overwhelm the use of felt waders. To me it's just that simple. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

I suppose if felts are outlawed everywhere I'll have to make adjustments. Let's see...I have an old pair of gold cleats I don't use anymore...Hmmm?

Whitefeather
_________________________________________________
Blue skies, warm gentle winds, and trout filled waters to all!:smile:

whitefeather
01-24-2011, 03:05 PM
Oh, and by the way, horse hooves are at the top of the list!

Invasives can be packed tightly into the hoof membranes especially on shod animals. That is a common ailment of horses, deseases of the hooves caused by bacterialogical interface from pollutents in and on the soil.

How many streams do you think horses cross on a daily basis in the Smokies? Brought in from states all over the country without the benefit of cleaning and sterilzing the hoof area. Then trodding through Smokie Mountain streams that are criscrossed by hiking/riding trails.

Think about that one!

Whitefeather
_________________________________________________
Blue skies, warm gentle winds, and trout filled waters to all!:smile:

tennswede
01-24-2011, 04:15 PM
This may be controversial but with a thousand miles of mountain streams at my back door why in the h*** would I ever fish a tailwater covered with rock snot? Never have figured out the attraction there.

well, each to his own, but fishing the sulphur hatch on SoHo can't be beat in my opinion.

Crockett
01-25-2011, 12:57 PM
well, each to his own, but fishing the sulphur hatch on SoHo can't be beat in my opinion.

touche TennSwede I haven't fished the SoHo during a sulphur hatch. Perhaps thats a good thing. I might not want to go back to the jungle after seeing Paris as they say...

pineman19
01-25-2011, 02:13 PM
touche TennSwede I haven't fished the SoHo during a sulphur hatch. Perhaps thats a good thing. I might not want to go back to the jungle after seeing Paris as they say...

The crowds are tough on the weekend, especially a Saturday, But I do advise trying it once, during the week if can't deal with the crowd. It is awesome seeing all the browns and bows in 2-3 feet feeding during the height of the hatch. That river is full of fish, personally I wish they didn't stock the bows, luv them wild browns. Of course, I still like fishing the mountain streams as well, that's where I cut my teeth as a flyfisherperson:rolleyes:

Neal