Most successful trout fishermen have a little Lewis and Clark in them. They scout the rivers they fish, searching bed and bank for the best locations to snag a wary brook or rainbow trout. Often, an angler can effectively reach these locations from the bank. But inevitably, a trip into the water is required, which is why most trout fishermen invest in waders.
You have two choices here. Hip waders are typically made of vulcanized rubber and completely cover the legs, up to the tops of the thighs or all the way up to the waist. They come in stocking-foot or boot-foot designs. Boots have cleated lug soles for maximum traction while working the water. Chest waders, as their name implies, come up high on the chest and back, with adjustable suspenders to keep them secure. You can get both types of waders with polyester fleece insulation to keep you warm when fishing in cooler weather.
If waders seem like overkill, consider a wading boot. A 17-inch (43-centimeter) rubber knee boot with a tight ankle fit will keep your feet dry and will stay locked on even in swampy conditions. Some anglers prefer ankle-high boots because they're less restrictive. There are several designs available, including convertibles that allow you to change from rubber-lug sole to plain-felt sole or vice versa depending on the stream conditions.
Of course, it takes more than a good pair of boots to dress for success. Vests and hats are up next.