The days of Felt “Souls” are doomed…..

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Simms no longer makes these……a good thing in the long run.

Slip-sliding away………………

Felt, for most of us around the Madison and Yellowstone, is essential to safe wading and not busting your butt in the river. The upper 9 miles of the Missouri is pretty easy to wade without felt, but try getting out of the boat in the Canyon and you may get baptised by the trout gods. The new sticky rubber soles have yet to impress me.  Now if you put studs in those boots they will preform better.  I hate studs in my driftboat……..but I would hate it even more if there were no more hatches, no more trout and gone would be the days of casting big fluffy dry flies from the bow of my boat.

Felt it is now unsafe for the trout and insects which inhabit our streams in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming…….and every other trout stream in the WORLD.  Aquatic Nusiance Species (ANS) such as Didymo (an algae), aka rock snot, is by far the worst of these ANS.

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Dydimo in NZ.

check out: http://www.stopans.org/ for more information.

Alaska has now banned felt, as of 2012, statewide.  There is a section in the SE portion of AK that is banning felt as of Jan 2011.  Get used to it.  New Zealand has already banned felt.  Is it coming to Montana?  I would bet my bird dog on it.

The traveling angler, who visits many streams in different parts of the world is the main problem, so they say. These ANS cling to felt and almost never die, even after mulitple scrubbings. Bleach won’t kill it.  The only thing that will is a prolong exposure to cold……I can see it now…….the ice chest infront of Headhunters Fly Shop will be full of felt boots each night…..and they call me a hippy?

Some guides and anglers in Montana have decided to buy multiple felt soled boots and only use one pair for each river.  What’s in the river already is not the probelm.  But, new ANS which haven’t been in our rivers to date, is the problem.

What will you decide? Well, do you want to continue to fish for trout?