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It’s a wonder that I ever survived the wading follies of my youth, and it’s only by the grace of God that some of them didn’t end differently. Those were days that predated felt soles, studs and cleats and thoughts of devices like a wading staff were as distant as thoughts of getting a colonoscopy or a prostate exam. I can still remember my buddy’s dad watching us crossing some heavy water when we were teenagers and shaking his head and reminding us that we weren’t invincible. Fish enough and you’ve probably had a few moments that reminded you of mortality. I used to look at the cost of cleats as a luxury item I could live without, but somewhere along the road started looking at them as another form of insurance. While the manufacturers of these things offer vague guidelines on how many cleats a stream angler needs or a recommended pattern for arranging them, my own experience says there’s a direct correlation between age and the number of cleats one should put on their wading shoes. Just recently I decided to inspect my wading shoes after seeming to slip around more than I usually do and discovered I had lost a few cleats along the way. Check those soles from time to time. It’s like renewing your insurance … www.ramsayflies.com


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