Trevor Covich is one of our key guys on the ground at Alaska West and Andros South. Andros South provides an excellent sandal research facility; Trevor’s conducted some extensive studies recently and was kind enough to write up his findings.
Maybe the Best Sandals Ever Made
If you’re a fisherman from the northwest, finding a good pair of sandals isn’t near as important as a solid pair of wading boots. Let’s face it, most of us spend our time waist deep in a steelhead or trout stream.
Well what if you’re heading south to a warmer climate, like let’s say the Bahamas or the Keys on a bonefish or tarpon trip? You’re going to want to air out those feet that have been trapped inside your wading boots most of the winter.
Not ever having to wear a pair of sandals most of my life in Seattle, I wanted a good pair for my spring in the Bahamas at Andros South. Like most shoes, you’re looking for a couple things – are they comfortable, and do they serve your purpose? You can try on all kinds of sandals at your local REI or PAC SUN stores and you can usually find a pair that suits your feet and that are comfortable to walk around in. So let’s talk about serving your purpose.
If you’re like many fly fishermen on the flats, a cold Kalik beer or a nip of rum is part of the experience. Most anglers don’t think ahead and bring a bottle opener out on the boat. A BIC lighter works fine to open bottles, or you can cringe like I do watching a Bahamian open a beer bottle with his teeth. After spending a season at Andros South and talking to a few clients about sandal preference I came to a solid conclusion that would suit most fly fisherman.
Enter REEF sandals…A client by the name of Jerry Taylor gave me my first pair after my last pair bit the dust with a month left in the spring season. These could be the best sandals ever I thought, as I watched him pop the top off an ice cold Kalik at the boat launch with one of his sandals. Watching my clients struggle to open a beer at the end of the day was getting old; I used the seatbelt to pop most of their caps at the end of the day while waiting for other boats to arrive. These sandals with bottle openers in both feet would be a sound investment for the flats angler or anyone who drinks beer.
Just when I thought these sandals had hit the peak of amazing I looked at the pair of REEF sandals that trip host Tom Knopick had on. Tom runs a shop in Durango, Colorado called Durangler’s Fly Shop and one of his clients gave him this pair. These had a cap on the side of both sandals that could be unscrewed -yes, these convert into flasks! You can fit a couple shots in each sandal. So now I’m thinking rum on the right, whisky on the left – and think of the applications back home!
If you’re in the market for a new pair of sandals, check these out – you won’t regret it. Like most shoes, break them in before going on an extended trip so they will be more comfortable. Avoid the front yard where Fido does his business because it might make your beer/whiskey/rum taste a little funny.
Enjoy – and please drink responsibly!