Felt and micro-organisms - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:36 PM
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juro juro is offline
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Felt and micro-organisms

Many years ago when WD was discovered I recall arguing on internet sites that felt soles were the typhoid maries of the angling world, and frankly was met with a lot of opposition by people who did not want to accept blame.

Now the problem has compounded with rock snot (didymo) and invasive snails and other plants and organisms New Zealand, Alaska and Vermont have made felt illegal confirming their role in the spread of these disastrous exotics.

As manufacturers adopt new boot sole technologies it's up to us to play our part in the advance of designs that are safe for us and the habitat we enjoy.

I have used felt soles only in the same regions for decades, dedicating boots to particular areas. Luckily I have friends in the pacific northwest for instance, and they let me leave milk-crates in their garage with boots and gear I would have difficulty packing in my suitcase like boots.

Here's a good article with food for thought... my point is let's put the welfare of the ecosystem at par with our own conveniences for the future of the resource.

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Old 01-14-2011, 03:10 PM
JR SPEY JR SPEY is offline
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Originally Posted by juro

Here's a good article with food for thought... my point is let's put the welfare of the ecosystem at par with our own conveniences for the future of the resource.

Juro, if it were just about convenience I'd be in your corner in a heartbeat. However, the issue is personal safety and that's a whole different story. As I get older I'm less and less able to negotiate many trout and steelhead rivers even with felt AND studs. It would be hopeless otherwise. For many of us, it would mean hanging it up. These days we need more anglers to replace those leaving the sport, we cannot afford to lose those who are already active. There are at least as many reasons why these bans are just pie-in-the-sky plans with all kinds of "good intentions." Much of that material has been previously published so I won't re-hash it here. It's interesting that the proposed ban in Montana is going to exclude government workers and others who have to be in the streams and rivers. They're acknowledging that the ban is too dangerous to have it include those workers and all the issues of worker's comp., etc. While rubber works well in some river conditions, it is next to useless in others---even with studs---and even including the new rubber compounds. There doesn't seem to be any way to slow this movement down. However, the first lawsuit that gets filed will cause everyone to re-think this. And believe me, when someone falls and has serious injuries as a result, that lawsuit will be inevitable. In truth we probably should all be fishing one piece waders with vulcanized soles. Done correctly, there would be few (or no) seams, thread, laces, eyelets, etc. to collect spores. It would have to have rubber soles with very little tread in them so that there wouldn't be little pockets for these critters to hide. However, do we really want to go there? There's NO WAY that banning felt is going to prevent what's going to happen. Perhaps some day something will be developed that will be as good as or even better than felt, but right now that something does not exist.
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:11 PM
OC OC is offline
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I agree with Jr Spey in that I'm not confident banning felts will work as there are just too many other ways for mentioned problems to find their way into our rivers. It reminds me of our situation in New Zealand when we were worried about the bottom paint on our sail boat. NZ has really strict rules what can be in bottom paint for pleasure boats coming into the country. Yet they let every container ship and commercial vessel come in with ten times more toxic paint than we were allowed. By the way in NZ almost everywhere I fished there were stands along the river with spray stations so that you could spray your boots at the end of the day with strong bleach solution.
The new rubber sole with cleats screwed in are not very good, takes time to get used to them and are they noisy.
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