Rock Snot Cure-All – Not!

by Tony Bishop on April 6, 2010

There is a growing trend in the USA for  various states to consider banning felt sole wading boots. A couple have already taken the plunge and of course anglers are exhibiting all the angst that hit new New Zealand fly-fishers when the ‘no felt soles’ regulation came into being.

Some US sites are promoting ‘Uncle Jacks Didymo Killer’ because various test have shown it to be a an excellent rock snot killer, on contact with didymo.

In fact some sites are suggesting Uncle Jacks is so good it will negate the need to ban felt soles. Unfortunately this is simply not the case. Uncle Jacks is a good and effective surface spray, and works well on any didymo that it makes contact with. But it is the contact bit that hides the problem.

Tests conducted here in New Zealand and elsewhere have shown conclusively that wading on infested rocks with felt soles forces the didymo ‘spores’ deep inside the felt, so deep, that no surface spray gets anywhere near it. The spores can live in damp felt for weeks. And it only needs a tiny number of the minute ‘spores’ to infest a river.

There are two ways to ensure didymo is killed in felt soles:

  • Dry them for at least 72 hours in a dry, warm environment.
  • Freeze the boots for at least 12 hours.

As to the rest of the wading gear, waders, boots, laces, boot tongues, wading staff, landing net, etc., anything that makes contact with the river – go mad with Uncle Jack’s or any other sprays that do the business, there are a number of them. They will deal to didymo – but in felt soles? Afraid not!

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