Lighter Side
November 23rd, 1998
By Alan Pratt

From Pardon My Backcast
Published by Frank Amato Publications, Inc.

"I know of but few fishers, no matter how accomplished, who can walk on water easily. Most of us must cope with water, a necessary component of most streams and ponds, by the use of hip boots or chest waders, unless we elect to fish wet and get chilled and end the day with prune-like calves.

Hip boots have their shortcomings, at around 3 feet. Chest-high waders, on the other hand, can get you into deep water, often deeper than planned. They are also splendid for retaining perspiration.

Sometimes waders come from the factory already leaking, but most can be relied upon to repel water until immersed for the first time, or when subjected to such threatening objects as barbed wire, beaver-sharpened twigs, or even irate beavers.

A leak usually is heralded by a sensation of dampness on the wearer's leg or a squishiness about the toes. Locating the source of the leak can be difficult, especially if it is only pin-hole sized. One procedure is to fill the waders with water (first removing the angler) to which has been added food-coloring dye, seltzer, or marshmallow syrup, which will appear either as colorful, bubbly, or sticky evidence at the point of leakage. Most common leaks can be repaired by use of a common leak-repair kit, available at most any reputable leak-repair-kit store.

Temporarily, a leak can be patched using electrician's tape, pitch, goombah or when available, POOT, (Poltroon's Original Oat Treat, Milford Poltroon's much-loved, stick-to-your ribs breakfast dish.) Some leaks, especially those devilish ones around crotch seams, will defy repair in spite of your best attentions. Waders that survive beyond a single season prove only that you are not fishing enough.

Today's chest waders are mostly manufactured in foreign lands, and foreign people are used as models to obtain size measurements. Usually these people are inexpensive small children or sumo wrestlers. Thus we are beset with S, M, L, and XL sizes all with size-5 feet and crotches in decidedly un-American locations.

Waders do not come equipped with zippers. If you or any of your friends or relatives have a workable solution to this problem, by all means."

~ Alan Pratt

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