Winter fishing can be a great time to get out on the water, but underdressing can ruin your day. Preparation in terms of layering and the right clothing technology can be the difference between calling your day short or fishing till dark. We put together a list of key products and strategies to stay warm this winter season..
Baselayer- Do yourself a favor and buy a nice pair of long underwear. Long underwear are the foundation to proper layering. A top AND bottom piece are crucial. We recommend Patagonia Capilene Midweight layers for a couple of reasons.
- They are soft/silky and do not get itchy
- Not too tight but fit well enough to insulate your body
- Odor resistant. I've had mine for 3 years and they never smell, even after sweating profusely
Shirts- try a hooded sun shirt followed by a thicker flannel shirt. Often times, temperatures can vary 20-30 degrees from morning to afternoon in the winter. A winter hat/neck gator may be necessary in the morning but having a hood for sun protection in the afternoon can be clutch.
Simms sells the best winter fishing shirts via the Guide Insulated Shacket and the Coldweather shirt. These shirts are comparable to a heavy hoody and aren't as thick/bulky. Plus they look great if you need to shed some layers and are going for fashion points.
Cover the extremities- feet, ears and hands are the toughest areas to keep warm in cold temps. You can do everything else right but if one of these gets too cold, you will end up calling it quits early.
- For the feet- Simms Guide Thermal OTC socks. We sell them in both men and women options.
- For the hands- Simms Guide Windbloc Foldover Mitt. These are the warmest gloves I have found that still allow finger access. They also have a pocket designed specifically for hand warmers located on the inside of the wrist. The idea here is to warm the blood flowing in to your hands. Smart, right?
- For the head- Simms Kype Cap. Ear protection and a brim for sun protection.
Outerlayer- Wind protection, water proofing and insulation are all attributes your jacket should have in the winter, each equally important. The Simms Challenger Insulated Jacket has them all covered. My favorite part of this jacket is the PrimaLoft insulation. PrimaLoft® is a brand of patented synthetic microfiber thermal insulation material that was developed for the United States Army in the 1980s. Howler also puts it in their winter coats if you are looking for a more stylish layer for a night out on the town.
Lastly, carry some hand warmers. You can put them in your pockets, waders, gloves etc. A little whiskey always helps too..