Korkers River Ops Review – One Wading Boot for All Applications

Last week I had the opportunity to join a group of 12 anglers we booked for a week of fishing at the Alaska Steelhead Company located in Ninilchik, Alaska, on the Kenai Peninsula. It turned out to be a cold and challenging week of steelhead fishing, but we all landed some dime-bright fish and had a terrific time.

As you might know, since Jan. 1, 2012, footgear with absorbent felt or other fibrous material on the soles are prohibited while sportfishing in the fresh waters of Alaska. This law was initiated by the state to eliminate the introduction of invasive species into their freshwater ecosystems. The Korkers wading boots are a great option for Alaska, as they have perfected an interchangeable outsole system allowing you to select the proper sole for your wading application. The soles can be felt or rubber, studded or no studs, angler choice.

Korkers River Ops Wading Boots

For my trip in Alaska, I was fortunate enough to snag a pair of Korkers new boots, the River Ops. I had fished in the Korkers Devil’s Canyon boot in Argentina a few years ago but needed more ankle support than what they provided. The new River Ops is all about being heavy duty, and the ankle support is awesome and highly adjustable. The lacing system on the boot allows you to loosen the toe box for maximum volume (super important in keeping your toes warm while fishing in 20 degrees weather and mid 30’s water temperatures) but still locks in your ankle. The laces provided are long enough for any lacing application, and the three sets of cleats on the uppers make micro-adjustments fast and easy, as well as getting them on and off. The boot features exoskeleton outer foot protection, non-exposed stitching for durability and longevity, and the padding inside the boot is comfortable yet very supportive. The boot is completely made of synthetic materials, so they dry fast, which is a great feature when traveling back home after fishing on your last day. The River Ops has an internal drain system that quickly removes excess water and weight, which makes for more efficient wading and walking. For a boot with so many features and maximum support and protection, they are remarkably lightweight. The bullet-proof interchangeable sole is the real feature that makes this boot a standout in my mind. I brought two soles with me, the Vibram XS Trek and Vibram Studded XS. Both soles performed well, but the studded soles were killer on the slippery rocks, especially on one of the glacial rivers we fished where there was an abundance of glacier silt on the bottom. The studs cut right through the scum and bit hard on the rocks. Better traction and better stability equates to better and more efficient fishing in my mind.

I give the Korkers River Ops wading boots high marks. I look forward to wearing them through the winter, steelhead and waterfowl season. Give me a call at 800-669-3474 or shoot me an email at pat@theflyshop.com if you want to learn more about these capable boots.

Tying your wading boot’s lacesTying your wading boot’s laces:
My good friend and former workmate Ryan Peterson showed me this knot years ago and I never looked back. The illustration outlines how to tie the double overhand bow knot. The only thing I would change is that you double the overhand knot tight to the boot (to lock-in the laces tight), before tying the double bow knot. This knot has never failed me once, it always stays tied.  And when you are done for the day, grab one of the tag ends and pull, the knot comes completely undone. Try this knot I think you will like it! I do!