Wet wading is a perfect way to attack Montana Rivers. I usually wear a pair of Redington wading pants. These pants can unzip to become shorts, but I normally leave them long. In the past I have used my bulky wading bots and a neoprene sock.
The freedom of wading on a hot day in cool water with the flexibility of no waders is huge. Anglers want a sensible, practical, and sturdy wading boot option. Simms built one.
Recently I purchased a new pair of SIMMS wet wading boots. I wanted a lighter boot that had the sock built into it. The new Intruder Wading Boot is awesome! The integrated neoprene sock serves as a liner and a gravel guard. The EVA midsoles reduce shock. Your balance and control are greatly improved. The Vibram Mega grip rubber construction is nearly as good a felt. When you add some metal screw in cleats, the traction is greatly improved.
When you purchase the boot, select a boot one size larger than your regular boot size. This pair of boots is 46.6 oz. They are designed to be worn barefoot. I have found them to go on and off way easier than neoprene socks.
Adding metal to your boot will help. The sole of the Simms boot requires you to use their screw on star metal cleats. You can make other metal work but the Simms cleats fit easily. I have also used stainless steel hex head screws.
When securing the metal to your boots, start a small drill hole first. Add some Silicon sealer/adhesive such as GOOP to the screw and secure. Do not overtighten. Routinely check the screws to make sure they are tight.
Using a collapsible wading stick is still a good backup, but the metal additions to your boots add amazing traction to your wet wading experience. As we age, we need every edge we can get.
These boots are around $180 but are well worth the comfort and cost. I am always amazed at where fly anglers tend to be the cheapest. Boots and flies! Each end of the experience is often ignored. I need a fly that will catch a fish and a boot that will keep me upright and comfortable. The rest will fall into place.
Step lively and secure!
For more Montana Grant, wade over to www.montanagrantfishing.com.