Montauk State Park

Changes you should know about

Posted by Darrell Bentley on January 6th, 2012
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As most of us know on March 1, 2012 the rules are changing on the felt soled waders and boots. Weather we like it or not the fact is that it’s changing. What will this mean to the anglers who fish Montauk & the Current River?  Over all not much.  But there is a safety issue we have to think about.  Most all of the water inside the park is loose small sand which causes no problems as far as slipping and falling.  But there are areas that will be a huge problem both in the park and in the Blue Ribbon area below the park.

The area below the main Hwy 119 bridge to the end of the park is going to bring some of us to get wet.  Big rock and deeper swift water is going to be very hard to wade without some kind of traction on the boots and waders.  If your over 40 and have bifocals lenses, stiff joints, or just not aware of the environment .  The anglers who have wore the felt sole boots for years are going to be shocked as to how quick you can be standing to setting on your butt in the cold water. So lets talk about how we can help yourself and things we can do to stay dry and safe.

The conservation Department has a so called FIX to make the felt  you now have legal.

For the most part as I see it your making the felt into ice skates. Think about how slick your boots are going to be with contact cement smeared all over the bottoms. Let alone the mineral spirits will soften and release the manufactures glue the soles are attached with. So now whats the things we can do to make our self safe.

1. Buy New Boots & Waders. Not this for a majority of folks poses a problem. We can’t afford $200.00 for new boots. The answer to this is shop around. Some great boots can be bought for much less. Bear in mind that you get what you pay for. I have heard guy’s say they will go to Wal-Mart and buy some of the $30.00 hunting boots. Well that is fine if you want to lug around 10# of wet boot on each foot all day. And after tow or three outing notice the stitching coming apart. I expect  to see some of the boy’s and girl’s wearing converse tennis shoes with their Sims waders. ( I like the red ones.) No one can see them under the water now can they.

2. After you find a boot, shoe, or decide to go barefoot, We have to look at what we can do to keep upright in the stream. A wading staff is another thing that will help us. They cost about $60.00 for a four piece folding staff. To as little as free to cut your own personal hickory staff. You can even take a Dremel tool and carve your logo into it, so folks can know who it belonged to when the find it floating down the river.

3. Learn to read the water your wadding into. If we have been on the river with felt and wadded we already know the places that have given us trouble. These are the places that are going to break or rod, hip, arm, or pride now. We can ether portage around these areas or slow down & pat attention. Keep tour foot on or close to the bottom, side step down current, stay close to the bank, and have your wader belt snug on tour waders. Also try to have a buddy to help you out and laugh with.

This is not going to be the end of wade fishing as we know it. It’s going to be a little learning curve for some of us, but things change and we adapt. We have to look at it something we can try to keep our trout streams clean of thing we know will harm them. Whether it works or not we owe it to our sport to at least try. We all know that it’s almost fruitless to fight most of the laws that are passed by the people we trust, so here we go, and we can do this.

When it comes time to swallow your mad hurt feelings and buy your new boots just think of your favorite local fly shop. These are the guy’s that need the help and they will be there if you need them, they keep the money in the local area which even helps your stream more. They are in the same stream as you in this deal so give them a call and see what kind of advice they give you. I bet it will be better than Wally World in the long run.

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