Alaska Felt Ban
We would like to note that this season, fly fishing in Alaska can no longer be done with the use of felt sole wading boots. Starting January 1st, 2012 marks the start of the new Alaska law banning all felt sole wading boots. There is no better grip than felt sole boots while wading, but we feel that the possibility of spreading invasive species outweighs the grip factor tenfold.
There are options. The new lug sole boots do not grip that well, but if you add studs to the boots, they are awesome. If you are in and out of float planes, studs are NOT allowed. A new product from Patagonia called “river crampons”, can be worn and taken off easily before boarding the plane. They are aluminum bars that go on over the boot and strap on. They are a great choice for this fly out style of fly fishing Alaska.
On the Alagnak River, fly fishing in the lower river is done on a sandy bottom, and lug sole boots are actually preferred. In the Braids of the Alagnak, the rocky bottom is more like gravel and lug sole boots are fine.
We would like to note that if our guests are caught using felt this coming summer, the guide as well as the guest will be fined.