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Trout Bums at Large is a monthly column appearing in the Yakima Herald-Republic and the Seattle Times. The column is written by Randal Sumner and Mark Littleton. We will be keeping an archive of these articles on this page.

by Randal Sumner

The subject of fishing waders reminds me of a monolog Jerry Seinfeld might do. Jerry:" Why do they call them waders? They don't wade, why not call them leakers, that's what they do best".

I bought another new pair of leakers last year, the $400.00 variety. These are the best leakers I've ever had, roomy, lightweight, and almost comfortable. Over the years I've bought about every kind of leaker on the market: rubber, lightweights, neoprene, Kevlar, and Gortex, some still hang in the garage, kind of a museum of leaker history. I've also had about every kind of leak: the torn crotch leak, the barbwire leak, the abrasion leak, the falling down on sharp rocks leak, and worst of all the head leak. I only wear leakers from October to May; the summer is for wading in shorts. I prefer this wet wading, its simple, cheap, and you know you going to get wet so there is no disappointment.

Of all the different categories of leaks, the worst is the head leak; it can be devastating to your positive fishing attitude. This is how it starts, after taking off your waders one day you discover your sock is wet, not really soaked but dampish, defiantly a small seeping leak, its interesting that you fished all day and hadn't noticed. Retuning home you find and repair the leak. In a few days you're on the river again, concentrating on a # 20 blue wing in bad light, when you realize you foot is cold and soaking wet. Darn it, now its more leak repair, but you're sure you fixed it, how can it still be leaking! The vest comes off, then the boot, then the waders (the trout are boiling like crazy) your sock is dry. The sock is DRY; the only leak is between your ears, maddening. Dry Fly fishing when done as meditation requires the angler's full mental focus, your entire universe is a tiny dot thirty feet away swirling in the current, the last thing you need is leaker anxiety.

When you buy your new pair of leakers they will come with a repair kit and care recommendations, this is the leaker manufactures stab at humor. The warranty will state that if you should happen to use these waders in water for fishing the warranty is pretty much out the window. The care recommendations are not very practical for trout bums either; it assumes your waders will have time to dry out, before attempting a repair job. Here's a tip, I put mine in the dryer but not for long or they do get somewhat crispy. The repair kit that is included with your $400.00 waders is really helpful, two little patches and a tiny tube of sealer goop. Tiny, as in one squeeze and that's all. What do I expect? How about a roaming team of beautiful leaker repair girls, traveling from town to town.

One last thing Jerry, why do they call them a pair of leakers? You only get one.

More Trout Bum Articles:
05/01/2015: The wolves will always eat the sheep by R.Sumner
11/17/2014: Red Fish Redux by R.Sumner
08/01/2014: Retirement by R.Sumner
07/02/2013: Custom by Randal Sumner
05/01/2013: Subaru Magic by Randal Sumner
01/19/2012: Ding Ho by RandalSumner
04/06/2011: A Cautionary Tale by Randal Sumner
01/26/2010: Redfish Round-up by Randal Sumner
11/24/2009: Kentucky Don and English Bob by Randal Sumner
08/25/2009: A word about Bears by R.Sumner
06/30/2009: Polar bear hugging by Randal Sumner
01/27/2009: Christmas letters by Randal Sumner
11/25/2008: Trip to Eden by Randal Sumner
08/07/2008: Mime Time by R. Sumner
06/02/2008: fuel vs fishing by R. Sumner
05/01/2008: Long sleeve Hawiian shirt by R.Sumner
02/07/2008: The Empire by R. Sumner
11/29/2007: Troutbum self-help by R. Sumner
09/04/2007: The Perfect Client by Randal Sumner
07/02/2007: High Anxiety by R.Sumner
03/29/2007: Grasshopper by Randal Sumner
01/25/2007: Chinese food by R. Sumner
11/30/2006: Old Whitey by R.Sumner
09/28/2006: Chief Holland USN retired by R. Sumner
07/10/2006: BBQ by R.Sumner
05/30/2006: Cashmere by R. sumner
03/30/2006: Sterling Choices by Randal Sumner
01/26/2006: Tying with Pablo by Randal Sumner
12/01/2005: Brrr by Mark Littleton
11/24/2005: Thanksgiving 2005 by randal Sumner
09/01/2005: Anchors Away by Mark Littleton
07/01/2005: Some kinda fun by Randal Sumner
05/01/2005: The Base Lake by Randal Sumner
04/01/2005: Humble Pie by Mark Littleton
03/01/2005: Dance monkey dance by randal Sumner
01/01/2005: Where are the Instructions? by Randal Sumner
12/01/2004: Das Boat by Mark Littleton
11/01/2004: What me Worry? by Mark Littlton
10/01/2004: Priorities by Mark Littlton
09/01/2004: Falling In by Mark Littleton
08/01/2004: Ice Fishing by Randal Sumner
07/01/2004: Honey, I flooded the basement by Randal Sumner
07/01/2004: Elvis Lives by Randal Sumner
06/01/2004: Coyote by Randal Sumner
05/01/2004: Redfish and Capt. Dan by Mark Littleton
04/01/2004: Vested Interest by Randal Sumner
03/01/2004: Are you a Troutbum? by Mark Littleton
12/01/2003: Christmas presents by Mark Littleton
11/01/2003: Oklahoma by Randal Sumner
10/01/2003: Steel heading JuJu by Randal Sumner
09/01/2003: Motor Home by Randal Sumner
08/01/2003: Life is Funny by Mark Littlton
07/01/2003: Deschutes by Mark Littleton
06/01/2003: Class of 2002 by Randal Sumner
05/01/2003: BOAT FISHING by Mark Littlton
04/01/2003: ALASKA, LAND OF THE MIDNIGHTBLUE TARP by Randal Sumner
03/01/2003: MARCH BROWNS by Mark Littleton
02/01/2003: DEEP IN THE HEART OF IDAHO by Randal Sumner
01/01/2003: TOP TEN by Mark Littleton
12/01/2002: SAN MIGUEL by Randal Sumner
11/01/2002: DISNEYLAND by Randal Sumner
10/01/2002: CAMPING by Mark Littleton
09/01/2002: MMMM MAYFLIES by Mark Littleton
08/01/2002: CARNEGIE HALL by Randal Sumner
07/01/2002: CRAWFISH PIE by Randal Sumner
06/01/2002: Sons and Pals by Mark Littleton
03/01/2002: Visitation by Randal Sumner
02/01/2002: Ouch by Mark Littleton
01/01/2002: Death by Randal Sumner
09/01/2001: Poser by Randal Sumner
08/01/2001: Snake River Diary by Mark Littleton
08/01/2001: It's Hard by Mark Littleton
07/01/2001: Etiqutte by Randal Sumner
06/01/2001: June by Mark Littleton
05/01/2001: Road Trip to Paradise by Randal Sumner
04/01/2001: What Are They Doing Up There? by Mark Littleton
03/01/2001: Gear by Randal Sumner
02/01/2001: Soft Hackles by Mark Littleton
01/25/2001: Motivation by Randal Sumner
12/28/2000: Winter Fishing by Mark Littleton
11/30/2000: Old Blackie by Randal Sumner