Orvis Fly Fishing
What Should I Wear For Winter Fly Fishing?
Winter fishing can be sublime. Most of the time, you’ll have the water to yourself, and if you pick the right day it can be extremely productive and even more rewarding.
Gearing up for an arctic experience on the water is hands down the most important aspect of winter fishing. If you don’t layer your clothing and dress accordingly, fly fishing in the winter months can be an exercise in futility.
To find success and comfort when winter fishing, it’s important to layer your fly-fishing clothing with just the right gear to keep you warm and dry when the conditions could send you back to the truck for a warm up.
Rule # 1: Cotton kills
Cotton is extremely hydrophilic, meaning it loves water and absorbs it quickly. Once water is absorbed, cotton loses almost all its insulating value. This is bad news when winter fishing as it means once your cotton layer becomes damp from sweat or a leaky wader, your body will have to work harder to keep you warm.
Avoid cotton socks, sweat pants and even cotton undershirts. You want your body to breathe from your feet to your head. Breathable waders do allow you to expel excess body temperature and sweat out of your waders, but a fair amount of moisture it will stick around. Breathable layers help disperse this condensation. Cotton layers will just pool up and collect the condensation and make you feel cold and damp.
The two-sock system is ideal for winter fishing. All stocking foot waders have neoprene booties. Neoprene does not breathe, and if you do any amount of hiking in the cold temperatures of winter, your feet are going to sweat. While the waders keep out the water, they don’t expel all the sweat your body creates while moving.
Body and legs
For your legs and body, follow the same system you’ll use for your sock layering system.
Gloves and hats
Nobody enjoys fishing with gloves on. They can take way your tactile abilities, catch line when casting and add bulk to your experience.
But with winter fishing, gloves are pretty much mandatory. So, it’s important to take a look at the different types available.
When fishing in the winter, it’s always a good idea to bring a pack along that you can put extra layers into, or use to store extra layers in when you start to get too warm and start to sweat too much. It’s always a good idea to be over prepared to take off layers throughout the day instead, of being stuck without enough clothing and warmth.
If you follow some basic guidelines like avoiding cotton, avoiding squeezing too tight into your waders and continue to allow your body to breathe, winter fishing is a breeze to stay prepared and warm for. Get out there and enjoy a cold day on the water and you’ll see that sometimes the solitude alone was worth the trip.
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