1. Smudged waders. Bright white (or tan) is like walking onto a basketball court with a shiny pair of Converse high-tops. I look for grease stains on the hips, floatant smudge, and better yet, if I can see mustard, ketchup, or the remnants of yesterday’s sandwich, that’s good.
2. Duct tape. Aqua Seal is great, But if I see the gray ribbon, or traces thereof, on the waders, your vest, whatever, I know you’re an improviser.
3. Boot laces. Okay, new boots are great, but if I see a pair of grocery store, Boy Scout, threads on your treads, I know you’re willing to walk and wade for your fish.
4. The “Puff Factor.” If you look like the Michelin man with a vest stuffed to the limit, I know you’re wondering. If you’re really good, you’re streamlined.
5. Warpaint. Sunscreen. If you’re wearing it, or applying it, I know you’ve been on the river. Better yet, a raccoon tan around your eyes.
What are your telltales? Be honest.