Ask Outdoors Girl

August 02, 2009|By Candus Thomson

Grant Watson of Montgomery County writes: I punched a hole in my waders, but it seems a waste to throw them out and I don't trust my skill as a patch maker, either. Do you have a suggestion?

Outdoors Girl replies: Angel Willey, a biologist at the Department of Natural Resources, put me onto a program called "Recycled Waders," a Seattle company that takes leaky waders made of breathable material and turns them into wallets, creels, fanny packs and gear pouches.

Owner Pat Jenkins, 33, an avid fly fisherman and athletic trainer at the University of Washington, decided after a salmon fishing trip to Alaska two years ago that his damaged waders - and the environment - deserved a better fate than the landfill. He also had come to the realization that he needed to downsize the gear he was lugging around from stream to river. So he fiddled around with the material and enlisted his mom to sew the pieces together and, Voila! A gear pouch was born.

"I guess the stars aligned," Jenkins said in a telephone interview.

Emboldened, Jenkins decided to go into business and set up his Web site 18 months ago.

The company takes breathable waders, wading belts or jackets, cleans them, cuts them into pieces and stitches them into Recycled Waders gear. Some waders are beyond salvaging - Jenkins will let you know if that's the case.

You can either donate your waders to Recycled Waders or send them in to have them turned into the gear of your choice. Prices range from $20 to $60.

So far, Jenkins has rescued 364 pairs of waders. You can learn more at


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