June 30, 2021
I Happily Wore These Fishing Shoes Into a Bar
Wet wading is, for my money, the best fly fishing (wet wading = fly fishing in a stream without waders). It means a few things. First, that it’s summer and plenty warm. Second, the stream I’m fishing is cold but not so cold that my legs will turn to ice and shatter if they’re bare. Third, I’m almost certainly in an alpine stream, so I don’t much care if the trout are biting, or, frankly, if they’re even in the stream at all, it’s just so dang pleasant.
River sandals are, of course, a classic option while wet wading, but I prefer these lightweight, tough, and super comfy wet wading shoes from Orvis, the PRO Approach.
Yeah, they’re basically approach shoes, but for fly fishing. You could easily wear these around like normal shoes all day, then hike to a stream, and sploosh, walk right in and start casting. They’re plenty grippy, with an excellent Michelin rubber outsole, even on slimy rocks. Felt, they’re not, but they get the job done. They have an integrated sock that keeps leaves, sticks, pebbles, heck, even crawdads out of the shoe. The laces tuck up nicely on the top of your foot, so they aren’t dangling around trying to grab branches, tripping you as you plod upstream. They drain quickly, so by the time you’ve hiked back to your car, you aren’t carrying a gallon of water sloshing around your toes.
Simple and easy is best, which is why wet wading is so dang fun. These shoes are the only gear—besides a fishing rod—you need.
– Justin Housman