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Old 01-20-2011, 08:26 PM
canetuck canetuck is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Western KY
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Default Felt Soles an issue?

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?

Last edited by canetuck; 01-20-2011 at 08:44 PM..
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:59 PM
pineman19 pineman19 is offline
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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.

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Old 01-20-2011, 09:05 PM
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GrouseMan77 GrouseMan77 is offline
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Location: Andersonville, TN
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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.

jasonkelkins at yahoo dot com
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:04 AM
Heavynets Heavynets is offline
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Location: Indiana
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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.
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:00 PM
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No Hackle No Hackle is offline
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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.
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:28 PM
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JoelO JoelO is offline
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Location: Franklin, TN
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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.
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:11 PM
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whitefeather whitefeather is offline
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Location: Bean Blossom, Indiana
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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!

Blue skies, warm gentle winds, and trout filled waters to all!
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:40 PM
Knothead Knothead is offline
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Location: SE Tennessee
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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!
John Torchick
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:22 PM
Crockett Crockett is offline
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Location: Maryville, TN
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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.
Adam Beal


Hey Jack (JAB)...
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:16 PM
ukfb1 ukfb1 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Ashland KY
Posts: 58

Originally Posted by JoelO View Post
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.
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