I didn’t always wade in long pants, but I do now. Here is my sage warning: never ever, ever wade in running shorts….ever.
Jelly fish are a constant threat even if you have not seen one all season. I used to have some delusional vision that I would wade in running shorts whenever I was not regularly encountering jellyfish. My thought was that shorts are really comfortable, light and dry quickly. I’ve been stung on my legs and hands many times and although temporarily painful, it was not a disaster to get an occasional tentacle brush. What I didn’t calculate was how nightmarishly unprotective the inner lining of running shorts can be during a true inside attack by a jellyfish. I don’t think I need to give more personal detail other than noting that I was a devoted shorts wader until I found myself bounding out of a productive morning trout bite on the Galveston beachfront and rushing to a seawall CVS pharmacy to buy every salve, balm, ointment and cream they had. None of them worked, I still wear the mental (if not physical) scars, and I will never ever wade in shorts again. Lesson taught. Buy yourself a pair of AFTCO fishing pants. They are light, durable, quick drying and (most importantly) protective.