By month’s end, alder leaves will be the size of a mouse’s ear, and prime time for fishing will be upon us. Those of us who use waders need to do some preventive maintenance to be sure that we aren’t surprised when we step into that cold water!
The first step is to examine our waders very closely for any cracks or abrasions. Any visible leaks should be patched and inspected again after drying, wader belts should be examined as well as suspenders. Whether we like it or not, we need to get in the water and test for any leaks missed earlier. A swimming pool is a safe place to do this, but short of that, a lake or pond with a shallow shoreline and no current will do. The time to test these waders is not when we have to step into a fast current with uncertain footing. REMEMBER; when testing your waders, the safe bet is to have your wader belt snug and WEAR a PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE (PFD). I know that this seems like overkill, but cold water is VERY debilitating and can render you unable to help yourself very quickly.
If you wear stocking foot waders with boots, check boot laces. You should also check the soles of the boots to be sure that there is no separation between boot and the sole. Note: We all should be wearing boots with non-felt soles as the felt soles are proven to carry germs that can cause diseases harmful to our fisheries. Lastly, if you wear studded waders, check for missing studs and replace. Wading staffs need a once over too. We’ll offer wading tips and staff use later this summer. Remember, if you are fishing alone, leave word with someone where you’ll be fishing and when to expect you.
Next Month…30-second Nail Knot