Patagonia Women’s Spring River Waders
Developed by women in the fly-fishing industry, these waders are specific to female anglers’ needs in fit, form and function. With spring conditions ranging from sunny, 60-F bliss, to cold, blowing snow, the Madison was the perfect river for the test.
The four-layer, fabric construction also increases breathability and abrasion resistance, moves moisture away from the body, and decreases weight. Along with a single leg-seam, the overall construction ensures these waders will last for years.
The quick-release suspension system confirms these waders were indeed designed by women. The bib is easy to unbuckle in the back when nature calls, and the two front straps unclip to convert to waist-high waders on warmer days.
The wool-lined, 3 mm neoprene booties are a godsend. I haven’t thought about cold feet once, which means the booties are doing their job. I also love the fleece-lined kangaroo pocket that quickly warms the hands, along with the large, waterproof internal pouch to hold my valuables.
Well done Patagonia, for responding to fly-fishing’s fastest growing demographic. $399
Patagonia Foot Tractor Wading Boots
I admit, I’m a bit of a klutz and use a fair amount of concentration staying upright in the river. Patagonia’s Foot Tractor Wading Boots allow me to focus more on slaying trout, and less on soaking wet clothes.
The multi-directional aluminum bar technology is made of the softest aluminum available, so it grips everything from slippery rocks to muddy trails without collecting snow or ice. The bars are embedded between the insole and outsole so you won’t lose a bar to the river, but they’re easy to change when they wear out. And you can even wear them in a boat.
Weighing 4-pounds, 3.2 ounces, the Foot Tractor’s Clarino synthetic leather upper provides lightweight durability, while the Venergy monofilament mesh drains water quickly. The Texon trimaliminate toe box and heel are comfortable and protective.
Awarded Fly Fisherman magazine’s Best New Wading Boot in 2014, the Patagonia Foot Tractors work just as well for fly fisherwomen, and have helped me feel more stable and confident navigating the river. $279 – K.D.