Patagonia Swiftcurrent Wading Pants

Waders are one of the essential pieces of gear for fly fishing in cold water and cold weather.

Most fly fishers get chest waders, as they allow wading deeper into the stream – often to the waist or more (though get too deep and one can become buoyant, as I experienced once in a  scary incident).

In addition, the chest-high design adds another insulating layer when its cold. I have had Simms zippered chest waders for years, which I use in the colder months. And the zipper adds a large measure of ease of use when nature calls. I chose Simms as they fit me better than any other waders I tried on.

But wading in Puget Sound isn’t like wading in a trout stream.  The basic rule is never go deeper than your knees. There are two reasons for that.

The first is that searun cutthroat trout are generally not that far out – often if you wade farther out, they will be between you and the beach.

The second reason is one of safety.

Tides create tidal currents that can be surprisingly strong in some locations. In addition, passing ships and boats can leave big wakes that become steep waves as they reach the beach. Getting knocked off your feet in deeper water, particularly in the cold waters of Puget Sound, can be very dangerous.

So, I don’t need the chest feature on the local beaches.

And in the warmer months, it’s nice to go as light as possible – when even  waders made from breathable fabrics can get very warm.

So, this year I decided to buy a set of wading pants for the late Spring to early Autumn.

I chose the Patagonia Swiftcurrent Wading Pants.

They look like a regular pair of pants – minus the front zipper and plus the neoprene booties.

And they’re very light – weighing less than one-half the weight of zippered chest waders (and they pack down to nothing).

They slip on easily over the typical pants I wear when I go fishing; the elastic waistband expands as needed. And what’s nice they’re easy off too.

Now, I would say if I was going somewhere I’d never been before, with unknown wading conditions, I’d wear my chest waders. But wading on the beaches near me, and where I spend most of my fishing, the wading pants have been, and will be, terrific.

Highly recommended.




Author: Tom

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