I plan on doing small creek, stream, rivers and maybe some alpine mountain fishing.I am 5'10 / 235 lbs. So a little chunky. It's really all in the belly. I don't know that I'll ever do big river Fly Fishing and have been looking at wading pants. Could I get away with wading pants? I'm currently looking at the Patagonia swiftcurrent wading pants.
I often wet wade and fish small stream pocket water with a 2% to 4% gradient. Because I often cover 5 miles of hiking-wading, I want my legs protected. I wear durable cotton/poly cotton/nylon trousers with double knees and seat and find tactical or GI BDU trousers give good freedom of movement and dry surprisingly fast. I wear wool socks, neoprene socks (mine don't happen to have integrated gravel guards), proper wading boots, and separate neoprene gravel guards with a velcro closure."wet wading" is essentially wading in shorts but wearing proper boots, usually with gravel guard neoprene socks.
Hmm... depending on how leaky they are do you get water accumulating in the waders (and not draining away) that is more uncomfortable and annoying than wet wading with just trousers or shorts?do what I do and use the old, leaky pair (as waist-highs as @Albula mentioned above) for "wet-wading" for the times when you want more leg protection than just wearing shorts.
Never bothered me, but maybe I'm just not that particular. I never feel like I'm lugging around a lot of excess water, I'm just wet from the knees down. Also, I'm just wearing shorts (and no socks), so I don't have a wet fabric layer underneath. YMMV......Hmm... depending on how leaky they are do you get water accumulating in the waders (and not draining away) that is more uncomfortable and annoying than wet wading with just trousers or shorts?