My current number one piece of Manic kit is the new Simms Flyweight boots. I have always worn the G3 Guide boots which I have found indestructible, and to have these Flyweights arrive and see that their construction was so light, I was at first a little concerned at how they would hold up. I decided I’d just use them for sandy shingle bottom rivers, however as soon as I put them on I felt a sense of comfort I had never felt before in a wading boot.
Over the last couple of seasons I have been holding a few injuries after falling off a ladder a few years back, so my fitness isn’t what it should be. This years national River Championships were held on the Whanganui River, quite a large river with a swift flow over heavy boulders and papa rock. This required some serious wading to get to the spots fish were holding, and after just three sessions I was completely blown away by how these boots performed on this type of riverbed.
In the final session I was following several of NZ’s top anglers and I knew they would have maximised the available water, so I had to wade a very fast and heavy white-water rapid to get to a soft spot which held a heap of fish. This resulted in 18 complete crossings of the river in the first hour, and I was completely dead on my feet. Needless to say, I was struggling to hold my footing in the swift current. If I was using any other wading boot I would say I would have only managed 10 crossings and missed out on vital fish.
A few weeks later my new found best friends were put to test in the backcountry, hiking in to a spot which took 6 hours with 32 kilos on my back. I hear you ask, “what the hell are you doing with that much gear?”. Well after spending years slowly getting my kit lighter and lighter, down to around 12 kilos, that was all destroyed when Nick from Gin Clear Media showed up with all his camera gear for filming on the next Pure Fly Series.
Normally for such distances and loads I would wear my Miendl hiking boots, yet this river we were headed to is very slippery and I was in love with how these Flyweights gripped, what I was concerned about was their performance under load and distance. After these four days of abuse, and now a further 6 months into our love affair, it’s fair to say I am their biggest fan!