Wet Wading Options
Waders are great for about 9 months a year around here. But mid-June through mid-September is wet wading time. In Oregon, it may not be every time, but I do want to be prepared, and here are a couple of options.
Orvis Ultralight waders are a top choice
Waders. You may just not be comfortable wet wading in the river. There is absolutely no shame in that whatsoever. Some rivers are colder than others, and a long day in an icy river is not pleasant, no matter how hot it is outside of the water. I have opted for waders nearly every trip this mild summer, but that is going to change with a heat wave on the way.
A lightweight pair of waders is nice to have in the summer. For many of us, fishing is a fair-weather activity, so a lightweight pair of waders is going to be right in the wheelhouse too. Orvis' Ultralight Convertible Waders are about as good as it gets for what they are. They are super lightweight with great waterproofing, plus the ability to easily convert them into wading pants makes them a great choice for summer wading.
Zippered Waders have good ventilation
Redington's Escape Zip are another nice option. The material is a heavier grade than the Orvis Ultralights, and the waders are noticeably heavier than the Orvis', but some would say that makes them more durable. I know that I love a good zippered wader and unzipping them definitely helps them breathe much better than regular waders, especially hiking around on a hot day. These are heavy enough for some fall and winter wading as well, but you might want to keep that zipper up in the winter time.
Wading boots are a necessary part of a fishing outfit, but they are they heaviest item that a angler might buy beyond a boat. Many anglers opt for sandals like Tevas or Chacos, but there are problems with those, especially in the river. No ankle support, rocks and sticks under the toes, blisters and sliding around in them make sandals a less-than-desirable choice for many.
A lightweight pair of wading shoes makes cruising up and down the creek a breeze. The Orvis Approach Wading Shoe is a great choice for that. It feels like wearing a tennis shoe and is great for rafting and a plethora of other fun summer water type of activities. These lightweight shoes make getting around those boulder gardens a breeze and your feet will be noticeably less tired than wearing those 7 pound wading shoes. The extra stability and grip of this shoe makes it worth the upgrade alone. Plus you don't have to deal with rocks under your feet like with sandals.
Orvis Approach - great for summer
We do recommend wearing some socks underneath them, smart wool or synthetic (cotton is rotten). There is no need for neoprene wading socks with these, but there is a scenario for that as well.
If a new pair of waders or specialty wading shoes is not in your future, a pair of neoprene wading socks could be just the ticket. Wading shoes are really big and loose without some neoprene to fill that space. Your waders have the right amount of neoprene on them, but if you are skipping the waders, you will want something else. Anyone who has ever tried to wear wading boots without a thick layer knows the uncomfortably loose, uneasy feeling from a pair of wading boots that is sloppy.
Korker's I-Drain Socks fill wading boots
Wading socks fill the need perfectly. You can wear your existing wading boots and they will fit just fine. We really like the Korker's I-Drain socks for this. They don't fill up with water and they fill out your regular wading boots real nice. Plus they will keep your feet warm, even in cold water, and they will keep those pesky pebbles out of your life for a day. I still like a pair of synthetic or wool socks under them, but some people don't mind the neoprene-on-skin feeling...
No matter what your wading situation, we are here to help. Whether it is a new pair of waders or maybe a set of neoprene wading socks, we can make your next day of fishing a little more comfortable.