Adding Studs to Korkers Wading Boots

Korkers Metalhead FB3210 boots with 3/8" Kold Kutter Screws

The last time I went fishing was on the Beaverkill River, a river that I fished for 25 years. It was in the late fall and I was wearing my Korkers boots with Kling-On® Sticky Soles. They didn’t feel that sticky when I was slipping on didymo (Didymosphenia geminata). Not wanting to spring for new boots with studs, I bought a wading staff. I still slipped, but did not fall and felt old. I noted that I should get some studs for my boots in the future.

My next trip is to Silver Creek in Idaho. Instead of springing for the $50-$70 for new Korker soles, I decided to buy some screws and put them in the soles myself.

Korkers Kling-On Sole with Kold Kutter 8-18 x  3/8" Screws

I searched a few sites and saw that some people were using Kold Kutter 8-18 X 3/8″ screws, so I bought 25 pieces on eBay (I didn’t need 250 of them).

I first tried drilling a pilot hole in the rubber with a 1/16” drill bit but then I found if I just used pressure to force the screw to start, they seemed to hold very securely. The sharp point of the screws protruded through the top of the soles so I ground them off with a Dremel cutting wheel.

I’ll have to get in the water to really see how they work.

Korkers Kling-On Sole with Kold Kutter 8-18 x  3/8" Screws for studs

Addendum, July 24, 2002

I just spent a week fishing in Idaho on the Silver Creek and Big Wood River. After a couple of days on the Big Wood, a freestone stream, I noticed that my left foot was slipping on the rocks on the bottom. When I checked the soles, nine of the twelve screws that I put in the left sole were missing. The right sole was missing five of the original twelve screws.

Big Wood River, below Lake Creek Trailhead
Big Wood River, below Lake Creek Trailhead, Ketchum, Idaho

It seems that because the Korkers boots have interchangeable soles, the threads on the screws didn’t have enough material to hold. I’ve seen some people suggest using some kind of adhesive on the threads, but given the torque that the screw would endure, I don’t think that it would help.

Korkers Metalhead FB3210 boots with 3/8" Kold Kutter Racing Track Tire Ice Studs Screws

I ended up buying Korkers Studded Vibram XS Trek Soles at Lost River Outfitters in Ketchum, Idaho.


Abel Pt.5 Fly Fishing Reel

Abel Pt.5 Fly Fishing Reel
Abel Pt.5 Fly Fishing Reel

Fishing season is starting. I got a good deal on this old Abel Big Game Standard Arbor Pt.5 Fly Fishing Reel at the Oakland Museum of California’s White Elephant Sale.

I’ll probably use it on larger rivers with my 5 and 6 weight rods – it has a more substantial cork drag system and a little more room for backing than my 17 grams lighter Abel TR1. Now all I need to do is find a new reel seat for my Angler’s Roost 5 weight.

Shepaug River, Washington, CT

Shepaug River, Connecticut
Shepaug River, Connecticut

The Shepaug River, near Washington, Connecticut, is a tributary of the Housatonic River. The Housatonic River runs from western Massachussets through southern Connecticut.

George Black, the author of The Trout Pool Paradox: The American Lives of Three Rivers, writes about the Shepaug: “In springtime, the river is like the Platonic ideal of a trout stream, as it rushes through places called Steep Rock and Hidden Valley.”

Trout Fishing in Monterey

Rainbow Trout at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Rainbow Trout at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

I walked over to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and photographed some rainbow trout in the Monterey Bay Habitats exhibit. The aquarium trout don’t fit into the angling category but there are a few freshwater opportunities here – you’d just have to work at it.

In Monterey, there stocked hatchery trout in Lake El Estero, located near the bay off Del Monte Avenue and managed by Monterey City Parks and Recreation Department. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife mentions fish plants there and the last one , (California Fish and Wildlife Planting Map), was January 19, 2017. I used to see people fishing Lake El Estero but it’s been a while. A couple of years ago, when I inquired at the recreation center at the lake about fishing, a woman asked me, “Why would anyone want to fish here?”

When I first moved here, I found a nice, friendly fly fishing store in Carmel, Central Coast Fly Fishing. They qre the most informed about trout fishing in Monterey county.

According to the California DFW, “Most Monterey County streams have their headwaters in the Los Padres National Forest. These headwater streams provide good trout angling for hikers.”

This is a link to a very long PDF entitled “Steelhead/Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Resources South of the Golden Gate, California” that will require significant wading through.