Guided Trips


Things have changed a lot since the last report. Unseasonably warm weather has kicked off the first hatches of the year in the Great Smoky Mountains while an extremely wet February means all of the tailwaters are blown out across middle and east Tennessee.

If you want to fish in the Smokies, nymphs and streamers will be your best bet unless you encounter a hatch. In that case, Blue Quills and Quill Gordons should be in your arsenal as well as Blue-winged Olives.

For now, just forget about the tailwaters in the short term. continued rain means it will be at least another month before the tailwaters are fishable again. With luck, we can start thinking about some streamer float trips on the Caney Fork in mid to late March, although that may be optimistic. In the meantime, head for the mountains and enjoy chasing the wild trout there.

Photo of the Month: Breaking Cabin Fever

Photo of the Month: Breaking Cabin Fever

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Product Review: NEOS River Trekker Overshoe

A couple of months ago I was contacted by the folks at Overshoes Online about reviewing one of their products, the NEOS River Trekker Overshoe. The River Trekker is a hip wader that is designed to be worn over your regular footwear. I have been waiting for the opportunity to try these out on a tailwater before writing a review. The Caney has finally been fishable recently so now I have tested them on all the water types I fish.

My first impression of the River Trekker was a bit skeptical. This was because I couldn't believe that a shoe worn over your regular shoe could actually be comfortable. As it turns it, the exact opposite is true. As soon as I tried them on I was impressed with how comfortable they were, and I didn't feel like I was walking on top of a platform. The best thing about them is how fast you can get them on and take them off. These are perfect for several things including as a quick backup pair of waders that you keep in the car for those rare opportunities when you want to fish but don't have all your gear with you.

My chief complaints about the River Trekker are that it is only a hip wader and that the rubber soles don't grip well on mountain freestone streams. The first part is just a personal preference. I am a very aggressive wader and prefer chest high waders instead of hip waders. I am definitely limited about where I can wade if I am only wearing hip waders. The other complaint is that I wish they had a felt sole. The Vibram sole works great on smaller rocks and gravel and makes these perfect on the tailwaters. However, on larger rocks in mountain streams, I just didn't feel safe. The rubber sole just does not grip the slick rocks as well as I would have liked. To be fair, I still haven't tried on any rubber soled boots that I feel are as good as felt. As far as rubber soled wading boots go, the River Trekker is probably as good as any other.

These hip waders have a couple of great applications. The first is for anyone that has a drift boat or other type of boat but doesn't want to wear waders throughout the whole float. The ease with which the River Trekkers can be put on or taken off makes them ideal for those times when you need to get out of the boat in the shallows such as launching or taking out or stopping for that shore lunch. They are also great for wading small creeks that don't have lots of larger rocks. As long as the bottom is gravel, silt, sand, or even mud you will be fine. Shallow tailwaters are also ideal for using the River Trekkers. They will work even on a river like the Caney Fork, but you will be limited on the water you can access.

For certain applications, these are a great wading product. I can't really recommend them as your primary wading gear unless your wading is mainly on the water types that I mentioned as being ideally suited for them. I think that the addition of a felt sole and maybe also making these as a chest high wader would make them better, but as they are, they do have some great uses.


  1. I'm considering some of these for backpacking trips. I don't want to have to carry hip waders and wading boots in addition to all of my normal backpacking gear. If these would work then it'd be excellent. I'm usually backpacking in the Great Smoky Mountains Nat'l park. I'm usually on small streams, which are rugged but usually shallow.

    Would gluing felt to the soles or adding cleats help with slippery rocks?

  2. If you could somehow glue felt to the soles then they would be great for this. On small streams you could get away with wearing them just as they are as long as you do not step on rocks...stay on the smaller gravel and your traction will be fine... I don't think the cleats would help really need felt for the majority of wading in the park.

    Personally, I just carry wading boots when hiking in the park and wet wade. Obviously this approach won't work in the winter but in the warmer months it does cut down on weight when packing in...



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