Under my mother’s loving instruction, I caught my first fish when I was two-years old. It didn’t take long before I was “hooked.” My parents taught me how to cast a spinning rod and toss out a line with a bait caster. They taught me how to clean my catch, and cook up a delicious dinner. Over time, I developed an intimate love affair with fishing. I grew to love early mornings on flat-water lakes, and wading into quiet streams in search of finned treasures. I may have also been known to play hookie from a college course or two in order to catch a bite on the Snake River near Washington State University.
As my relationship with fishing has progressed, so has the women’s fishing industry. Years ago, when I purchased my first pair of waders, they were only offered in men’s sizing, and in limited “one-size-fits-all” styling. It was difficult to find a pair that fit properly. Today, however, the industry markets countless brands of waders cut for a woman’s curves! My favorite brand for size and fit is Frogg Toggs®.
The women’s Canyon Togg wader series is designed for the female shape and is available in a range of sizes (small through x-large). The waders are expertly constructed to not bunch around the arms and chest. This feature is extremely important to me, as I want to be able to move freely when casting a line or fighting a big fish. The waders also boast a Y-back design with adjustable, quick release suspenders. The suspender straps are extremely comfortable and sit well on the shoulders. I have experienced problems with shoulder straps of other brands slipping off my narrow shoulders while casting. This has never been an issue with the Canyon Togg.
The stocking feet of the Canyon Togg are constructed of 3.5mm Neoprene, and are cut to minimize “bunching” of excess bootie material in your wading boots. I wear my Canyon Togg waders with my favorite Caddis wading boots, and find them a comfortable combination.
The Canyon Togg is designed with an ultra tough, breathable nylon outer shell, and the cut of the wader is forgiving enough to allow for extra layers in colder conditions. Last fall, I took the opportunity to fish central Montana with my husband. The mornings were cold (cold enough we were breaking ice from our rods between casts), while the afternoons were sweltering. The Canyon Togg provided me plenty of room to layer heavily in the early morning, yet they still fit comfortably (and not too big) when I stripped down to shorts and a t-shirt by afternoon. The waders also offer an adjustable belt, with belt loops, which help find that perfect fit.
Frogg Toggs offers a one-year warranty on all defects in workmanship and materials in their waders. Keep in mind, however, this warranty is no guarantee of a big catch! If tragedy does strike, Frogg Toggs also offers a Breathable Wader Repair Kit with waterproof quick-dry glue (MSRP $7.95).
As much as I have enjoyed the Canyon Togg wader, I realize all good things in a love affair must come to an end. I recently discovered that Frogg Toggs has discontinued the Canyon Togg line. The good news for the budget-minded-fisherwoman, however, is that the regularly priced $109.95 Canyon Togg wader is now available at close out pricing of $59.95 directly through Frogg Togg.
Although I am sad to see the Canyon Togg go, I am very excited to hear that Frogg Toggs has introduced the women’s Hellbender wader in its place. The Hellbender, also a stocking foot wader, provides all the same great functionality of the Canyon Togg. The Hellbender, however, offers an H-back design suspender for enhanced comfort and fit. The Hellbender also has a more accessible front zipper pocket for secure storage on the outside of the wader (as opposed to the smaller, inside pocket on the Canyon Togg).
As much as I have enjoyed my Canyon Togg waders, I cannot wait to try the Hellbender series and see what great fishing adventures we have in store! My love affair with fishing will continue …
The retro-WON post was published originally on May 14, 2013.
An experienced huntress, Michelle Whitney Bodenheimer has pursued big game, upland birds and waterfowl throughout North America and Africa. Although Michelle loves to hunt and shoot (both rifle and bow), her biggest passion in life is sharing her love for the outdoors with others. Michelle is the dedicated gear review columnist for Women’s Outdoor News, in a column called “Her Gear.” Michelle’s writings and photography also have been published in a number of outdoor journals, including On Target, Lady Angler, The Gun Dog Journal, The Shooting Channel and African Hunting Gazette. Michelle has been a repeat contributing guest on Outdoor GPS,a live hunting and fishing television program broadcast on Comcast SportsNet NW. When Michelle is not writing, she is serving her time as an outdoor educator. She is an active volunteer for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Outdoor Skills Program. Her primary responsibilities with ODFW are serving as a shotgunning coach and dog handler/guide for ODFW’s upland bird hunting clinics. Michelle also teaches regularly for Women in the Outdoors (WITO) and Becoming and Outdoors Woman (BOW) programs. She serves on the Pro Staff team for Cabela’s, as well as for the NW Ladies Hunt Camp, an educational outreach program hosted in conjunction with the NRA’s Women on Target Program and Extreme Desire TV, and is a member of the field staff for Próis Hunting and Field Apparel for Women. A current member of a number of national conservation organizations, Michelle is a life member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundations, as well as a life member of the National Rifle Association. She also served as a past director for the Southwest Washington chapter of Safari Club International. Take caution, however, if Michelle invites you along on a hunt. Having been stalked by a cougar and attacked by a cheetah, she tends to live life a bit on the wild side. View all posts by Michelle Whitney Bodenheimer