House Bill 2338: Felt sole wading boot ban in Oregon state legislature

Relating to footwear with felt soles.
Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:
SECTION 1. Section 2 of this 2011 Act is added to and made a part of ORS chapter 498.
SECTION 2. A person may not offer for sale, sell or use felt-soled waders or felt-soled
boots in this state.
SECTION 3. Section 2 of this 2011 Act becomes operative on January 1, 2015.


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26 Responses to House Bill 2338: Felt sole wading boot ban in Oregon state legislature

  1. I know people won’t police themselves so there has to be a law, but I still don’t like it. Wader safety wins in my opinion. Sorry, voting against this one, even though I am a big advocate of not hurting the environment. But then again, maybe with things not becoming official until 2015; wading boots can advance to offer felt-like traction without invasive species relocation.

  2. Steve Mock says:

    I am the head guide for Kelly Galloup at Slide Inn on the Madison river, MT. Montana is in the process of trying to ban felt as well. For me, safety is a huge concern as well. What I don’t understand is why is felt getting all the attention? Anchor ropes hold water, the carpet on the back of the trailer holds water, and if people aren’t judicious about dumping water out of the boat, then banning felt is like putting a bandaid on a mortal wound, it aint’t gonna help. Furthermore has anyone done any research on just how widespread whirling disease is? Banning felt seems futile if it is already present.

  3. David Swart says:

    Agree on both points why does the goverment have to pass a law to regulate the use of any product ? we (humans) are suppose to be the higher intelligence makes you wonder sometimes, anchor ropes, boot laces, mud/gravel guards,sandals, the list in endless come people stand up & police yourselfs.

  4. Steve says:

    The “Safety” thing kinda gets me. I started using studs two years ago, and they’re great. Two months ago on a coastal river, if not for the studs, I’d be dead. I think felt had it’s time, but not now.

  5. Brian says:

    Well it’s definitely not subtle… I just hope they give ample time for everyone to round up all their felted accessories and sell their shit across state lines…

  6. Erik Stowell says:

    I would vote against this as well, for safety reasons. In 40+ years of flyfishing, I’ve had the opportunity to wear all kinds of wading boots and shoes, and have extensive experience with the rock climbing rubber studded and non- studded soles. They work OK in some rivers, where the rocks are clean and there’s lots of gravel and sand, but not so good in rivers like the Deschutes, Willamette, lower Mckenzie, Siuslaw, etc. After moving back here from Boise, my first fishing equipment purchase in the shop was a pair of studded felt sole Simms boots, after nearly swimming several times on the lower Mckenzie in studded rubber soles. I wash out and air dry my felts between trips. I understand the goal to prevent the spread of invasive species, but as Steve Mock pointed out, there are many other potentail carriers, not the least of which are boats. For me, taking a swim in waders and the potential for drowning is not worth the slim chance I may have carried something on my felt boots.

  7. Jake Hoffman says:

    But wait. Isn’t it all about me? If felt soles are a contributer, they should be banned. This is not about us – the fishers. It is about the fish.

  8. William C. Rhoades says:

    Oh Baby, do I love this… we will ignore the Governments use of them because of safety issues, we will ignore the transfer and improper cleaning of boats and motors, we will ignore the improper movement of equipment from one waterway to another, we will ignore the movement of RipRap (rock) from one water to another…. but by God, we are going to stick it to those damn recreational fishermen… first we’ll increase their fees, then we’ll put unrealistic law enforcement on them, then we’ll ban their safety equipment, then we’ll force them to purchase permits to park along the highways, then we’ll cut the funding of recreational programs…

  9. Matt says:

    I was not a big fan of going away from my studded felt boots, but I’ve been using the rubber soles for over a year now. At first, I will agree that they were not as good as the felt. That was until I put the Grip Studs in( ) these things are awesome. I’ve put them to the test numerous times on the North Umpqua, Mckenzie and Willamette and they passed with flying colors. With the rubber soles and these studs I have as much confidence as I ever did with studded felt. Plus I sometimes fish in the snow and the rubber is way better. So I have no problem with the ban on felt soles.

  10. Tony says:

    Just a thought , spose they might start banning certain flys and or materials they’re made of not to metion encouraging the government to futher complicate a refreshingly simple activity.

    PS how about requiring fly fishers to wear floresent Orange !

  11. michael Lewallen says:

    It is about the fish, about maintaining the habitat. Everything element helps! Not all fisherman are conscientious. There needs to be an overall body to regulate and safeguard these wonderful rivers so they will be here for our grandchildren to fish & enjoy.

  12. flyrodfred says:

    Now we have another example of the left leading the blind. How is banning felt soles going stop anything . I hate when the government tries to tell or make people do what it wants too. What are they going to ban next, labrador retrievers, towels, swimming trunks,kids, ducks and geese ! Come on ! I thought we humans were the smart ones. Lets get get out and fish. Have fun and and vote hell no on crap like this. I just watched 40+ people lose there jobs where I work. Their are more important things that the morons in salem need to worry about. Like jobs,schools,the economy.

  13. Jim says:

    I got a pair of the patagonia rubber soles a few months ago. I was VERY surprised how well they work. I’ve only used them in winter conditions, but so far the grip has been comparable to a new pair of basketball shoes on a hardwood floor. That’s with no studs, just the sticky rubber.

  14. Bob "Hoss" Burnham says:

    Hailing from Eastern PA ( I fish the McKenzie every summer!) where Didymo is a growing concern. I’ve been wearing the same pair of Simms Guide boots w/ aquastealth rubber and studs since 2005. Having had both studded felt soled and studded rubber soled boots, studded rubber gets my vote! If you have safety concerns about rubber v felt than maybe a little common sense should be applied when wading! Don’t put yourself in situation you shouldnt be in in the first place. . .Felt or Rubber! It’s just a small step in long journey to control invasive species! Most here in my neck of the woods are doing it . . . VOLUNTARILY

  15. Michael says:

    “Hoss”, I’m sure your Aquastealth soles are great on the Penn. spring creeks, but let’s face it: you’d be safe fishing barefoot on those streams.
    Guys that fish the Deschutes, N. Umpqua, and other large, powerful rivers with slick bedrock and boulder river beds have legitimate safety concerns. Nothing I’ve heard of works as well as felt in those conditions.
    I’m all for protecting the rivers. Let’s at least wait a bit on banning felt until there’s a suitable (safe) alternative.

  16. Dave Earl says:

    Cleats are very slick on hard smooth surfaces. Don’t see how or why they will pass this. Then again it is our government, which in itelf, is hazardous to our health.

  17. Stephen Cushing says:

    Hmmm… I guess the other option is to just let the AIS kill all the fish, and then we won’t have to worry about the wading “safety” issues.

  18. GW Foster says:

    I think banning felt waders and boots will help, though i also think there are larger threats to the anadromous runs of steelhead trout as well as the wild resident trout in not just Oregon, but all the rivers and streams of the entire country.

    That said, i can wade just fine on the Pit, Upper Sac, North Umpqua and any other rivers that have slick beds and that without felt. I use a wading staff at all times while wading.

  19. BRKetsdever says:

    Rubber soles and studs are no good on steep, slippery slopes. Led to a dislocated shoulder in AK last year. Felt is better. Felt w/ studs is best!

  20. Jim Mense says:

    I am a retired Fishery Research Biologist and am preparing an article on Didymo. Let me give you some FACTS. First, Didymo is a native species in North America and was recorded as far back as the mid 1800’s. A change has occurred starting in the late 1980’s when it began to produce blooms in North America. Of course in the United Kingdom these blooms have occurred for the last 150 years! Why? We don’t know. The blooms were first noticed on Vancouver island in 1989. The blooms spread rapidly, primarily in rivers with headwater lakes or impoundments. Some of these have since disappeared although some still remain, although often in reducede amounts. Let me repeat that: SOME HAVE DISAPPEARED!
    Felt soles came into popular use around 1980. Before that, rubber soles were used. Why were felt soles preferred? You tell me, okay? Datus Proper, a rather famous Fly fisherman and author, was presumed to have died when he fell and hit his head on a rock. This was before felt soles. It can happen to you.
    Decontamination can be accomplished by scrubbing and soaking in a 2% bleach solution for 1 minute or a 5% solution of salt or dishwashing detergent. Felt should be soaked. If cleaning is not a viable option, after the items are dry to the touch, they should be left to dry for 48 hours before using in another river.
    Banning felt will not prevent the spread of Didymo. Only decontamination of all equipment that touches the water will prevent the spread. If one single Didymo cell is transferred to a new stream, it is likely that a bloom will occur. Let me repeat that: ONE DIDYMO CELL IS ALL IT WILL TAKE TO START A BLOOM!
    Didymo will destroy a trout fishery, reducing the food supply and destoying the spawning ability of trout, right? WRONG! The only studies to date have shown an increased biomass of food organisms, although the increase has been due to an increase in “midges” and “San Juan worms”. No reduction in trout or salmon populations has ever been documented as a result of Didymo blooms! Let me repeat that: NO REDUCTION IN TROUT OR SALMON POPULATIONS HAS EVER BEEN DOCUMENTED AS A RESULT OF DIDYMO!
    Please write to your voting representatives and try to get this ridiculous bill defeated!
    The law will not prevent the spread of Didymo into favorable habitats and it will put recreational stream fishermen at risk.

  21. Craig Ziegler says:

    What he said…………..

  22. Zachary says:

    This is the first I’ve heard about this. I think you guys are having a cow over nothing. Only city people wear fancy felt boots and such .. us real natives FISH NAKED!

  23. Kurt Heinz says:

    There is no substitute for felt and studs in combination for safety while wading. Have tried rubber with studs and they are not as good. I for one will pay any fine for my safety.

  24. Larry says:

    Caddis makes a felt boot that is already dyed black, just bought them was getting ready to go fishing, Then checked to see if they were leagle, found this website and thought I might have to buy some rit dye, glad I looked first.

  25. Darius says:

    I am all for protecting our natural resources, parks, and fisheries. I am an avid fisherman who loves nature and the outdoors. For me, it has little to do with catching the fish, but just being outdoors and enjoying nature. Unfortunately, I have seen too many fisherman trash rivers, lakes, and other fishing sites by leaving behind bait, beer cans, hooks, bobbers, sinker weights, food, soda bottles, clothing, and broken nylon lines (spools of this stuff) along the upper Siuslaw River. Yes, it sucks when states and federal agencies fee us to death: I don’t like it, but they see the same shit I am seeing. So, please do not complain! Now, that I have spoken my mind, I am in the process of buying wader boots. I had felt soled ones and loved them, but I am considering studded ones. I am looking at Simms, Cabela’s, and others: what should I look for since not all studs are created equal. Thank you.

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