Non-Felt Soled Wading Boots: A Couple of Options from Simms

Non-Felt Soled Wading Boots: A Couple of Options from Simms

When Yellowstone National Park announced that felt soled wading boots would be banned starting this season, it marked the beginning of a new era in our region for fly shops and anglers alike.  Every fly shop in the region has started to stock multiple non-felt soled options, and our rental fleet had a complete overhaul.  While many of us at Big Sky Anglers have used non-felt soled wading boots confidently for many years, there are still plenty of anglers who have continued using their felt soled boots out of confidence, or simply because they were waiting for them to wear out before switching to a non-felt option.  Well, for those holdouts who love fishing the Park, the time to switch is now.  We recommend that you embrace the change.  Like barbless hooks, they are a change that creates new challenges in angling that may ultimately benefit the resource.  The altered traction may take some getting used to, but in the long run you’ll be wading and fishing like you always have.  In fact, there are some situations where non-felt soled boots offer far BETTER traction than felt ever did.

If you are thinking about a new pair of non-felt soled wading boots this year, we’ve decided to do a bit of a writeup on a couple of the options that we sell from Simms to help you in your decision.  We carry a full lineup of the Vaportread (Men’s and Women’s) and Freestone a the shop currently, and are able to special order any other boots from Simms, including the new G3 Guide Boot.  Hopefully you find this little review helpful.

Have Fun and Wade On,

The BSA Crew

VAPORTREAD (Men’s) – Vibram Soles

MSRP $179.95

From Simms:

From high-elevation rivulets to coring into no-man’s land with nothing but bear mace and Ramen noodle rations, Simms’ new VaporTread® Boot gets you into the thick of it – faster. Its lightweight, minimalist design is maximized by a VaporTread® platform/4.0mm Vibram® Megagrip rubber outsole that effectively bridges the worlds of superior hiking speeds and traction-enhanced wading performance. Features include a synthetic leather, textile, and scratch rubber upper that, combined with an anatomical top collar, work with your feet for all-day, blister-free trailblazing. Internals are precision lined with plush neoprene where it counts, generating warmth, redefining comfort, and guaranteeing on/off ease whether it’s time to rally – or rest – your dogs.

  • Waterproof synthetic leather, rip‐stop nylon & scratch rubber upper
  • Partial neoprene lining  & anatomical collar
  • ESS plates for improved cleat retention & proprioception
  • Dual‐density midsole for shock absorption
  • APPROX. WEIGHT: 52.8 oz.

Our Take:

These are indeed a nice, light weight wading boot option that is super comfy.  If you feel like standard wading boots are just too beefy, stiff, and heavy for your liking, this is a superb option.  We joke that these are the basketball sneakers of the wading boot world, but in reality they are more like a nice hiking boot.  They will work great if you are looking for a boot that can do double duty.  Wear them over your waders on the roadside runs of the Madison in the Park in June and October and then swap to a set of wet-wading socks and quick dry pants and hike them deep into the Yellowstone backcountry for August!

If you are looking for a boot to screw metal studs into for added traction, this is probably not the boot for you.  Check out the Freestone, below.

VAPORTREAD (Women’s) – Vibram Soles

MSRP $179.95

From Simms:

Lightweight, high-output boots meet all day comfort Wade confidently in Simms’ award-winning Women’s VaporTread® Boot, powered by a hiker-inspired design and the always-agile VaporTread™ underfoot platform. Features include the unmatched durability of a synthetic leather, textile and scratch-rubber upper. Partially-lined neoprene internals add appreciated wading warmth, cushioning, and easy-on/easy-off performance. And Simms’ precision women’s fit – that works with your feet for bolstered support from bottom to top – puts a long haul to feeding fish within easy reach.

  • Waterproof synthetic leather, rip‐stop nylon & scratch rubber upper
  • Partial neoprene lining & anatomical collar
  • ESS plates for improved cleat retention & proprioception
  • APPROX. WEIGHT: 44.9 oz.

Our Take:

Ladies rejoice.  Light weight, comfy, and shaped for your feet. Beyond that, our take on these matches our take on the Men’s Vaportread.  These are indeed a nice, light weight wading boot option that is super comfy.  If you feel like standard wading boots are just too beefy, stiff, and heavy for your liking, this is a superb option.  We joke that these are the basketball sneakers of the wading boot world, but in reality they are more like a nice hiking boot.  They will work great if you are looking for a boot that can do double duty.  Wear them over your waders on the roadside runs of the Madison in the Park in June and October and then swap to a set of wet-wading socks and quick dry pants and hike them deep into the Yellowstone backcountry for August!

If you are looking for a boot to screw metal studs into for added traction, this is probably not the boot for you.  Check out the Freestone, below.

FREESTONE – Rubber Soles

MSRP $149.95

From Simms:

Navigating strong currents and slippery rock river beds is part of the experience. Our Freestone® Boot has a proven record of durability and traction in rocky rivers around the world. It provides the support underfoot and at the ankle for negotiating slick, unseen river bottoms. The synthetic uppers take the abuse of brush, rock and water in stride, while a cushioned midsole and partial neoprene lining provide all-day cushioning and warmth.

  • Waterproof synthetic leather & scratch rubber upper
  • Partial neoprene lining
  • Dual‐density EVA midsole for shock absorption

Our Take:

The Freestone has always been a classic boot from Simms.  The combination of rugged design, comfortable fit, and wallet friendly price point has made it a top choice for our customers and guides for years.  The Freestone is a burlier boot than the Vaportread, so if your fishing style requires more aggressive wading,a bit less hiking, or you just like a taller upper with more ankle support, this might be a good boot for you.

According to Matt, who has fished in both of these boots and spent a lot of hours on the steelhead rivers of the PNW, the Freestone is also a better choice if you intend to add screw in studs for the extra traction you might need on basalt rivers like the Deschutes or North Umpqua.  Another tip on the Freestone:  If you have a low volume foot or simply like the comfort offered by Superfeet footbed liners, the freestone will accept those aftermarket footbeds with ease, while the Vaportread generally will not.

Ladies, unfortunately the Freestone is a unisex boot.  But fear not, as many of the women we know fish in these.  Just drop down one or 1.5 sizes from your women’s street shoe size and try those on first. 

G3 GUIDE BOOT – Vibram Soles

MSRP $229.95

From Simms:

Time spent on the river is knowledge. And the more time you spend on the river, the more your gear needs to perform at a high level. Our G3 Guide™ Wading Boot is designed with working guides in mind. This means the support, traction and durability that 200-plus days on the river demand. The boot features big-time ankle support and an enhanced feel underfoot to help you get to hard-to-reach places. Our Rivertread® build gives you more feeling under your boot, so the unseen becomes easier to navigate without compromising on the overall support or traction of the boot. With proven durability to handle the wear and tear of hiking and wading day in and day out, the G3 Guide™ Boot gives you confidence to move across rocky river bottoms anywhere in the world.

  • Waterproof nubuck leather & lace‐to‐toe upper
  • High abrasion textile with full scratch rubber rand
  • Molded external TPU heel counter & heel clip
  • Dual‐density midsole for shock absorption
  • ESS plates for improved cleat retention & proprioception
  • APPROX. WEIGHT: 62.4 oz.

Our Take:

While we aren’t carrying a full line of these at the flyshop yet, a couple of our guides have been wearing these, and if their feelings on them are accurate we may need to carry them for the fall. These are beefy, burly boots that are rugged but comfortable.  If you are/were a fan of the discontinued Simms Rivershed boot, you might recognize a lot of that legendary workhorse’s genetics in the new G3.  Virtually 360 degree rubber rand for durability and minimal leather to eliminate stiffening and shrinking when dry.  Like the Freestone, these are great option for anglers who intend to add screw in studs or aftermarket footbeds.

These boots follow typical Simms sizing, so if you’d like a pair of these, just give us a call and we’d be happy to order them for you.

NW Energy Press Release Re:  Water Releases from Hebgen Dam to Flush Madison River Sediments

NW Energy Press Release Re: Water Releases from Hebgen Dam to Flush Madison River Sediments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Water Releases from Hebgen Dam to Flush Madison River Sediments

Butte, Mont. – May 21, 2018 –  NorthWestern Energy is planning to release water from Hebgen Dam with the goal of flushing fine sediments from Madison River gravel under the terms of its operating license with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The Madison Flushing Flow Program was designed during FERC licensing to augment natural flows with surplus water in heavy snowpack years with the intent to flush accumulated fine sediment to maintain the quality of spawning gravels that support the healthy fishery in the river.

NorthWestern Energy plans to continue gradual increases in outflow from Hebgen Dam that began on May 20, 2018, with the attempt to maximize releases for a minimum of three days coinciding with peak runoff in the West Fork Madison River. To protect the outlet of Quake Lake from erosion, the goal is to maintain the flow slightly below 3,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the Kirby gauge.

NorthWestern is conducting the gradual release of water from the dam in cooperation with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; the U.S. Forest Service; U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

“Fortunately, this year we have a better snowpack in the mountains, and the recent warm weather has made it a good time to supplement naturally occurring high water,” said Andy Welch, Leader of NWE’s Hydropower License Compliance group. “This operation will not affect our ability to refill Hebgen Reservoir. There will still be plenty of water to support our normal operations for the rest of the summer.”

Releases of 1,700 cfs from Hebgen Dam are being made now and could go up to 2,500 cfs by May 26, Welch said. These figures are estimates and will change based on location on the river and the variability in river flow, which can change rapidly this time of year.

Anglers should be aware of the changing conditions and take appropriate precautions.

After the flush the flow will be gradually tapered down to protect small fish and river life at the margins of the stream. Questions about this flushing flow operation may be directed to Andy Welch at 406-444-8115.

NorthWestern owns and operates Hebgen and Madison dams on the Madison River under a license issued by FERC. The operation of the hydroelectric facilities play a significant role in managing streamflow on the Madison River.


About NorthWestern Energy (NYSE: NWE)

NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 718,300 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. More information on NorthWestern Energy is available on the company’s website at www.northwesternenergy.com.

Media Contact:

Butch Larcombe

(866) 622-8081

Butch.larcombe@northwestern.com

 

 

Dispatches Volume 3 – Fly Fishing in Argentina for Trophy Brook Trout with Steve Hoovler

Dispatches Volume 3 – Fly Fishing in Argentina for Trophy Brook Trout with Steve Hoovler

Welcome to the third edition of Dispatches, a new series which reports on the Big Sky Anglers crew as they travel the globe in search of angling adventures. Each edition of Dispatches will feature an interview with one of our angling pros while they are on assignment or traveling for fun. Our crew might be hosting anglers in a remote destination, guiding clients on our home waters, or exploring new fishing territory at home and abroad.

This edition features BSA guide, Steve Hoovler who is reporting from the Brook Trout Base Camp in Argentine Patagonia. Steve spent a month in Argentina this Spring working with our good friends at El Encuentro Fly Fishing to help develop their late-season fishing and wingshooting programs. During his time in Patagonia Steve visited El Encuentro’s Brook Trout Base Camp on the Rio Corcovado to hunt for trophy brook trout. Give a listen to what Steve has been up to, and stay tuned for more reports from the BSA crew.

“Where are you right now?”

 

“How did you get there?”

 

Fly Fishing for Trophy Brook Trout in Argentina

 

“What is your target species? Why did you pick this location and time for that species?”

 

Fly Fishing for Trophy Brook Trout in Argentina

 

“How are you targeting these fish?”

 

Fly Fishing for Trophy Brook Trout in Argentina

 

“What’s one thing that’s happened on your trip so far that you didn’t expect?”

 

Fly Fishing for Trophy Brook Trout in Argentina

 

“What are the conditions like?”

 

Fly Fishing for Trophy Brook Trout in Argentina

 

“What’s been your favorite piece of gear on this trip so far, and why?”

 

Fly Fishing for Trophy Brook Trout in Argentina

 

“What’s the best thing you’ve had to eat?”

 

Fly Fishing for Trophy Brook trout in Argentina

 

“Have you learned any new words or phrases?”

 

Fishing for Trophy Brook Trout in Argentina

 

“What’s your playlist been on this trip…what tunes are you listening to?”

 

Fly Fishing for Trophy Brook Trout in Argentina

 

“Where are you off to next?”

 

Wingshooting in Argentina

Big Sky Anglers 2nd Annual Grand Opening Celebration

Big Sky Anglers 2nd Annual Grand Opening Celebration

Big Sky Anglers
Hi, friends.  We had so much fun at our Grand Opening celebration last year that we’ve decided to do it again!  That’s right, Big Sky Anglers SECOND ANNUAL Grand Opening Celebration.  Please save the date and join us on Saturday, June 30th, 2018 from 10 am to 10 pm to celebrate our first year at Madison and Canyon, and kick this summer off right.  We are super excited to see everyone. We’ve got a number of things planned for the day, so be sure to check out the schedule later in this post.  Also, make sure to check back in between now and the event as we are sure to be adding a few more special guests.  Stop by the shop any time on June 30th to get in on store-wide sales, giveaways, fly tying demos, fly casting, and more.  Great presentations and demos from vendors, Beartooth BBQ, and more.  We are loaded up with new Big Sky Anglers hats, shirts, and other logo gear, and still have some classic Bud Lilly’s Trout Shop gear hanging around if you are looking for a collectors item or two.
Best,
Joe Moore, Justin Spence, and Jonathan Heames
Owners, Big Sky Anglers
39 Madison Avenue, West Yellowstone, MT 59758

Special Guests and Events Schedule

Be sure to check back as we add more to the schedule!

Saturday, June 30th

  • All Day Long:  Sales and giveaways. Tying demos, fly casting, and more.
  • 10am – 11am:  Coffee hour.  Meet and hang out with BSA shop staff and guides.
  • 1pm – 5pm: Mimi Matsuda (https://www.mimimatsudaart.com/) will be hosting a CHILDREN’S ART TABLE alongside her awesome mobile art exhibit.  Bring the kiddos down and let them show their creativity with the help of one of our all time favorite artists.
  • 1pm – 5pm: Winston rods Rep Travis Morris will be hosting  “Cast a Rod – Win a Rod”.  Test cast any Winston rod and be entered to win a Winston Kairos rod later in the event.

  • 2pm – 4pm: Orvis Rep Doug Best will be in the shop presenting on gear and hosting a casting demo.  Heads up for some cool giveaways, Orvis specials, and surprises for those in attendance.  Rumor has it that there may be a Helios 3 involved!

 

  • 3pm – 5pm: Farbank Rep Kurt Kruger will be in the shop showing off all the goodies from Sage, Rio, and Redington.  Heads up for some cool giveaways and surprises for those in attendance.

 

  • 5pm – 7pm:  Catered BBQ from Beartooth BBQ of West Yellowstone, MT
  • 5pm – 10pm:  Party with the BSA Crew.  Beverages, specials, awesome giveaways, and more.

 

West Yellowstone Trout Spey Days – 9/21-23/2018

West Yellowstone Trout Spey Days – 9/21-23/2018

Welcome to the information page of the

Second Annual

West Yellowstone Trout Spey Days!

Please, save the date:  September 21-23, 2018.  We are thrilled to be partnering again with the Custer Gallatin National Forest and hosting our second annual Trout Spey Days event right here in West Yellowstone.  Check back in the coming months for details on event schedule, presenters, and party times!  Be sure to sign up for our email newsletter for updates on this event and more.

Email Newsletter Signup

Are you already into Spey casting and fishing for trout?  Maybe you have heard of it, but have never picked up a Spey rod, and are interested in getting involved in this super fun way to fish for trout?  This event is open to everyone, regardless of skill/experience level, age, fly shop or industry affiliation, etc.  We had a great turnout last year and have plans to expand the format and add even more opportunities for you to hang out and talk Spey with experienced pros and spend time on the water perfecting your technique.