There’s been no time to fish lately, too many lovely distractions like family, friends, festivals, barbecues and cricket. So purely for the sake of writing something here’s a little review of a good piece of kit.
I bought a pair of Muck boots last autumn. For anyone who hasn’t seen them they are a combination of rubber & neoprene, with a thin lining of some sort. They come in various styles, shapes and colours and range from £60 upwards. Mine are called ‘Avon’ and are moss green with realtree camo on the outside and the inner lining is bright orange. This is so the neoprene leg part of the boot can be folded over revealing the orange to prevent hunters from shooting each other…apparently.
I wore the boots all last winter and due to the monsoon we’ve had this spring/summer I’ve wore them a lot since. My feet have been kept warm, dry and comfortable throughout and I haven’t slipped on the slope whilst launching the boat. I’ve had all types of waterproof footwear over the years from traditional wellies, Skeetex, Derry boots you name it. The Muck boots are much better in than any of these and then some. I couldn’t believe they could possibly be as warm as the fleece lined boots like Skeetex but they are and furthermore they are much more comfortable and miles better for walking in.
Last weekend I gave them the ultimate test at the Latitude festival (more elsewhere), where I wore them from morning till early the next morning for three straight days. I walked miles up and down slopes (we don’t have hills in Suffolk), stood for hours, waded through mud and believe it or not I even danced. That is if my random staggering, wiggling & swaying can be called dancing. They were as comfortable on the third day as they had been on the first. More so in fact because the sun came out and I folded the legs over which kept my legs cool, the orange liner also made it easy for the good lady to spot me in the crowd.
I also have a second pair of Muck boots which are actually more like rubber slippers. I wear them in the boat when the weather is milder and also at times through the summer. They are good to slip on your feet & in the sleeping bag for night fishing, for example. I wear them round the garden and sometimes further afield. They may not be the height of fashion but they are waterproof and comfortable.
Another piece of kit that got a good testing at Latitude was my lightweight, packaway jacket made by Regatta for about £25. It will fit in a deep pocket or easily stow away in a fishing bag without adding too much weight, handy for summer days when showers are forecast. It’s waterproof and breathable so no sweating and comes in black or dark green, assuming anglers don’t want to wear pink or pale blue that is.
Neither the boots or jacket were needed at the Oval on Saturday where my friends and I, decked in brightly coloured perm wigs, watched South Africa batter England. As impressive as the South African’s were it wasn’t a great day for the spectator but the beer was good, the atmosphere fantastic and the company unbeatable. I even experienced biltong for the first time thanks to some friendly Saffers.