Ice fishing, at least in America, involves more propane and tents than a football tailgating party. I’m thinking: hand warmer, quick windshield defroster, frozen food thaw-er, a great way to impress your girlfriend when her hair got wet in that rainstorm you just ran through… stuff like that. It’s easy to tie, easy to fish, and will produce fish throughout the year. Always make sure you have a good jacket that is also water resistant or waterproof. Keep an eye on the forecast, and you can find a bluebird, dead calm, 50 degree day in … Since we anglers enjoy trouble-free fly fishing, we think it’s a good idea to keep this guide ice-up problem from happening in the first place. Typically my bottom layer is just a regular run-of-the-mill athletic sock followed by thick wool socks. Unsubscribe any time. Several years ago, my son, a bunch of buddies, and I were actually duck hunting on the Colorado River one rather cold winter evening. The most important thing for hitting the water is to be prepared! The clothing you wear on the ski slopes, in addition to waterproof waders; helps you stay comfortable on the river, through the coldest months. Start with some thin, breathable liner socks. About six thousand years ago, I was a spry, middle-school aged kid getting ready to go on his first true backpacking trip. Overly tight clothing restricts blood flow and movement, which only makes you more vulnerable to cold weather conditions. Because the conditions are different from the other seasons, you need to prepare accordingly. My dad always used to say that very dad-like thing, “If you want to keep your toes warm, put on a hat.” This is especially true for us gents who lack natural dome protection and, therefore, lose about 99.9% of our body warmth through our exposed crania. Following that, I will touch on some ideas of how to mentally and physically prepare yourself for winter torture . “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” (I still maintain that Benny F. had to have been a fly fisherman.). From Yeti to Hydroflask, and seemingly hundreds of other manufacturers, they come in a variety of sizes, colors and styles. I don't wear a face mask while fishing, so my nose does get cold. Please bear with me. Winter Fly Fishing Gear – The Essentials. Clothing for Winter Fly Fishing In order to enjoy winter fly fishing, warm feet are a must. Simms Freestone Wading Jacket. Although I’d rather be fishing, I’m sitting in my office wearing a light tee-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. Numb toes that feel more like blocks of ice than extremities is a miserable feeling, and it’s really hard to combat. And all you have to do is get some on your fingers and apply a thin layer to each guide on your rod. Let’s get into essential winter fly fishing gear. When it comes to dressing for warmth, wear two pairs of socks. Fabric gloves, while great for other purposes, are not great for fishing. When I’m casting, my off hand is in mitten mode for maximum warmth, but it’s still really easy to switch into the gloves for retying or unhooking a fish! Puffy jackets are very common in the fly fishing and outdoor world in general and many companies also make puffy pants that offer the winter angler tremendous warmth. In cold temperatures, this excess sweat will do its best to make your feet damp and cold, driving you back to th… Believe me, if you start with mesh and add another good base layer or two on top of it, you’ll be way ahead of the stay-warm game. The Two-Fly Nymph Rig is an important technique that not only helps present subsurface flies... Baetis ( Blue Winged Olive). The water will be warmer than the air, so it will melt the ice in your guides; it just won’t last very long. At this moment — and there may be several throughout your day — a hearty dose of piping hot chicken noodle soup with a warm beverage alongside is heaven-sent. Take A Break From Those Boring Work Emails, “It’s our firm belief that life is better when you’re casting a fly rod. Depending upon what your anticipated winter weather conditions might be, we recommend owning a few pairs in different weights. FLIES . The biggest change comes in what you would wear. Winter Fly Fishing Gloves Any angler that braves the cold to enjoy winter fly fishing knows that often times the hands are the first body parts to freeze. It’s lightweight, waterproof, and will keep you warm throughout your time on the river. The ability to quickly sweep the water to see the population of critters on which your gilled targets are likely feasting is, clearly, a tremendous advantage; one that can transform an otherwise slow day into something memorable. The air conditioner is running full-tilt; the grass and trees are green; the streets still show signs of recent neighborhood Independence Day fireworks displays; and three little ones are gleefully running through the sprinklers in the yard across the way. Dressing in layers, and having more layers available in the car, is key to a day out in winter. The right winter fly-fishing gear will help this adventurous soul have a fun day casting while staying warm, dry and encouraged. Besides, Colorado’s weather can be wacky! We just don’t have much atmosphere to get in the way of sunburn rays. In general, stick to polarized lenses in brown, amber, or low light yellow/pink (for very overcast days). However, some anglers like them, and newer lightweight "buffs" can be worm to provide some facial protection, although not much in the way of warmth. So, to begin this series on winter fly fishing, let’s talk about what to wear. The Merced has fished very well the last couple of years, while the Tuolumne has suffered from low flows, and therefore receives smaller runs of fish. Here in the Vail Valley, we are accustom to below-freezing temperatures and constant snowfall, well into April. Nevertheless, a hot jet blow dryer stashed in your vehicle would have all kinds of other beneficial uses. Winter Fly Fishing & Strategies. One of our favorite long underwear choices for both men and women is Patagonia’s Capilene line. To this day, whenever I’m dressing for a day in the unpredictable wild, I start with some form of perforated base shirt. Orvis Ultralight Wading Jacket. Long johns/leggings – A quality pair of long underwear or leggings is a must for winter fly fishing. Anyhoo, one of the least expensive and proven guide ice-preventers is good ol’ Chap-stick. That will only restrict blood flow to your feet and toes and, thus, increase the likelihood of a really uncomfortable, even dangerous, day on the water. And Get Our FREE Beginner’s Enjoy the day. What To Wear For Fly Fishing In The Winter: Layers are what you need for fly fishing in the winter, wear layers of several different items. And, yes, it’s easy to find a fishnet shirt, but unless you have the body of an underwear model, please, for the sake of the rest of humanity, only wear it as your base layer, hidden deep underneath. The original Thermos brand is a great place to start, but your hunt for a good thermos doesn’t have to be extensive. Here are a few tips to make your next winter fly fishing trip a success. EnergeticSky Waterproof Winter Gloves,3M Thinsulate Ski & Snowboard Gloves for Men and Women,Touchscreen Gloves for Fishing,Photographing,Hunting Outdoor Activities. Some of the best action of the year happens during winter, and there is incredible solitude to be found for those brave enough to battle the conditions. The biggest change comes in what you would wear. And, no, for the sake of this article, I don’t mean escaping to Belize for some sunny salt-water flats fly fishing excursion. Again, it seems rather obvious that, when venturing out for a winter day in a wilderness environment, you’d be inclined to consider warm head coverings, but we see enough exposed noggins to know that this logic doesn’t always hold. A seine, in particular, the Quick-Seine™, which comes in a little pouch that you connect to your net handle and, when needed, stretch over your net’s opening, is a fly fishing necessity you’ll come to love in any weather situation. In fact, winter fly fishing sees fewer anglers on the river offering more solitude than the summer months. The first pair is fingerless wool, which allows me to stay pretty warm and still maintain a level of function. Get it wrong and it could be a painfully … This jacket has three layers to it, all designed with the fishermen in mind. As I write this, the outdoor temperature is nearing ninety degrees. But save yourself the stress and pack efficiently by keeping in mind that you don’t need to bring it all. In other words, if you … And What Does It Imitate? We won’t send you spam. Winter Fly Fishing Tips to Stay Warm & Dry Never Wear Cotton – Cotton is extremely hydrophilic, which means it loves to absorb water. Modern neoprenes are well constructed and versatile but, fair warning, if you plan to use them on a hot summer day, be prepared to sweat off about sixty-two pounds of precious body-cooling fluids. Looking to invest in some winter fly fishing gear, but don’t know where to start? Bead Head Zebra Midge $ 1.50. Having two layers helps a ton, and walking around out on the stream keeps blood circulating, which is about the best you can do when water temperatures are hovering just above freezing. Truth is, fish don’t leave in the winter. We recommend synthetic fabrics and base layer clothing manufactured by companies that know what they’re doing. Get fly fishing news, advice, exclusive offers, and updates right to your inbox each week. What Is A Parachute Adams? The answer to that becomes much easier when you’re armed with the right gear and clothing to combat the harsh conditions of winter! And, since river flows usually run skinny and clear through the winter months, fish also spook easily. There’s more to hats than just fashion. Oregon Coast. — and use the smaller one for coffee, hot chocolate, hot cider, or some other steaming hot beverage of choice. FLY FISHING MADE EASY. If I’m headed out to do a little winter fly fishing, I always bring them along as a backup to my reliable Simms G3 breathables. No matter how well you prepare for a winter day of fly fishing, the cold will eventually win out. Around last year’s Christmas season, a buddy of mine and I made the trek to Saratoga, Wyoming for a bitterly cold day fly fishing the Miracle Mile. Nevertheless, we recommend, (drumroll please) wearing a warm hat. First, they get wet easily and are no longer warm once they’re soaked. Fish, speaking of trout here, love a water temperature that hovers in the 50-55 degree mark. It occurred to me that a hot blow dryer with a car socket adapter would have solved this problem a lot faster. Confidence is everything. I have tried face masks of different kinds, but do not like them while fishing. Sometimes the dry-fly fishing just isn’t in the cards in the winter. Along the same lines of obviousness, if the day ahead includes trudging through snowbanks and standing in icy water, while the ambient temperature dances around the freezing mark, I’m pretty sure you’ll be thrilled that you donned a good pair of thermal socks. Dress warm when winter fishing, and you can fish all day. STAY WARM OUT THERE – How to Fight the Cold and Forget the Forecast: Dress in layers – Wear multiple wool or synthetic layers on bottom and top. Wool is known for its warmth and moisture-wicking principles, which, on many cold and wet occasions, I have found to keep my hands strangely comfortable and warmer than I ever expect. For a dose of heart-stopping steelhead fishing, the Oregon Coast is the place to be … Guide To Fly Tying. . The right fit is important here. During the Winter months, I’ll typically fish this pattern in a size 16. We also like stuff that fits well and holds up over time. Dressing for the weather is really the key to success. Today’s thermos technology makes your dad’s old, plaid, plastic-capped, coffee-stanked thermos — yeah, that one he used to take to football games — look and perform like a styrofoam cup. The mesh layer helps keep me cool when it’s hot and hot when it’s cool. It’s a bit early to be seeing such cold weather, but if you’re going to fish in the fall in the northern Rockies, you better be prepared for it. Of all the things that threaten to end the day early, cold hands and fingers is at the top of the list. Best not to apply them directly to sensitive skin. Palmyth Flexible Fishing Gloves Warm for Men and Women Cold Weather Insulated Water Repellent Great for Ice Fishing Fly Fishing Photography Motorcycling Running Shooting Hiking 4.4 out of 5 stars 567 $29.98$29.98 Save 5% with coupon (some sizes/colors) This is especially beneficial when the weather and water are super cold. Our number one choice for this is an insulated pant, these are a complete gamechanger when it comes to Bridget’s fortitude for winter fishing, camping and hiking. Although various insect hatches take place throughout the year, cold weather fishing favors small nymph rigs, invisible fluorocarbon leader and tippet, small weights, and subtle strike indicators. Available from several reputable outdoor gear manufacturers, and offered in a wide range of styles and prices, look for thin, down jackets and parkas that include stretch technology. I don’t know many who have had a run in with this potentially deadly condition, but those I know who have will vouch for how frightening it is. As they do, line and leader stop doing their thing and a whole slew of annoying problems results. Four Ways to Stay Warm Fly Fishing in Winter, 4 Lightweight Nymphs for Tandem Fly Rigs in the Winter, 10 Great Multiple Fly Rig Setup Combinations For Trout With Flies You Already Have, Where to Find Trout In The Fall And Into The Early Winter, Easy Tips To Improve Your Steelhead Nymphing Rigs For More Hookups, Beginner Fly Fishing Casts You Need To Know. They are similar to latex gloves but slightly thicker. You know you’ve nailed down a winter fly fishing clothing winner when, on a particularly cold winter day, you meet your guide in the lobby of your motel and he nearly applauds your selection of under-wader pants. Keeping feet warm in winter is the toughest thing to achieve. Subscribe To Fly Fishing Fix Now that you’ve base layered the lower extremities, it’s time to attend to your core/torso. Early on, jet flame lighters were fairly expensive. Instead, opt for thermal socks with a high percentage of wool along with some nylon and other synthetic fabrics like lycra spandex. Now, you may never find yourself in this situation, but we didn’t think my son would have either that day. Staying warm and dry while winter fly fishing in Breckenridge is paramount to enjoying your day on the water. . Several brands of thermal socks fit the bill, but our favorite thermal sock for winter fly fishing is the Simms Guide Thermal OTC. Winter fishing can still be very enjoyable as long as you have the right winter fishing clothing to keep the frost at bay! What to Wear Staying warm and dry while winter fly fishing in Breckenridge is paramount to enjoying your day on the water. In other words, loosen up the wallet and spring for a nice pair of breathables for your summer outings. Pick the right place. One thing I love about fly-fishing is how relaxed … Simms Freestone Wading Jacket. What To Wear Fly Fishing! At all costs, avoid layers that make your wading boots feel too tight. Dress for Success | What to wear for Fly Fishing Folks who come into the shop or call to book their first fly fishing trip often ask questions they describe as “stupid”. Synthetic or woolen underwear works best when worn tight, next to the skin. If you want to wear gloves while you fish, consider a pair of Patagonia rubber fishing gloves or Dexshell waterproof gloves. As I write this, the outdoor temperature is nearing ninety degrees. Instead of a heavy coat wear a shirt, a couple of sweaters and a windbreaker. Matt is not only the co-founder of Fly Fishing Fix with his son, Zach, he is also a published author and founder of 5Weight Digital Marketing. So, with the idea of improving your cold season angling experiences and outcomes, we came up with 17 winter fly fishing essentials no angler should go without. In addition to some really cool stuff — frame packs, hiking boots, compasses, signaling mirrors, snake bite kits, and other slick camping gadgets — I’ll never forget one particularly odd item they recommended: a fishnet shirt. As cold-blooded beings, fish tend to get more lethargic and selective the colder the water and weather gets. One more note on this, I’m not a fan of the skin-tight base layer shirts on the market these days. While we realize and agree that expensive does not necessarily mean good, spending the extra bucks for the clothing or gear with the more and better ratings will rarely result in disappointment. With fewer people, Winter on the steelhead streams of the Great Lakes can be a spectacular experience with some truly brutal, There isn’t much that gets an angler’s heart pumping quite like a big trout hammering terrestrials right on, There are few better ways to spend a crisp fall morning than standing knee-deep in a favorite trout, One of the most common dilemmas among anglers is not knowing exactly where to go when they have, Steelhead can’t resist a well-placed nymph rig, and that’s why most fly anglers start each trip targeting fish, The how to cast a fly is basic in its simplest form. A lot of people wonder what to wear under waders for fishing, a problem that we are here to tackle today, pun totally intended. I have tried face masks of different kinds, but do not like them while fishing. Please leave your valid email address below. Put nitrile gloves on first then your fingerless gloves whether wool or … A good pair of wool ski socks is a great choice for winter fly fishing. Winter fly fishing is more about a paradigm shift than anything else. Since we adolescent boys had as much insulating body hair as one of my mom’s crystal vases, the mesh shirt was a perfect way to create a thin layer of air between our skin and the next layer. Of course, most winter fly fishing outings don’t take place in such a deep freeze, so you would do yourself well to invest in a pair of Simms Fjord Fleece Pants too. Add a little cold, some encounters with icy overhangs, and old tippet will break the second a trout takes your fly. Yeah, with that combo, you may think you look goofy, but in the words of Forest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.”. Ice fishing, at least in America, involves more propane and … Companies like Simms make some fantastic layering options that are lightweight and warm. Since nobody wants to relive that feeling of wearing a bulky parka underneath your Halloween costume, this is a particularly desirable thing while wading, casting and netting fish. Winter fly fishing in Michigan. Because the conditions are different from the other seasons, you need to prepare accordingly. Although handling a fly rod with gloves on always feels weird and awkward, a good pair of well-designed finger-freeing gloves (like these from Simms) can mean the difference between a memorable winter day and a miserable dance with frostbite. A lot of fly fishermen therefor choose their wading boots one full size above regular. Emerger Flies. If your feet barely fit into your boots, you’ll cut off circulation and make your feet as cold as if you weren’t wearing any socks at all. Try the black nitrile gloves that mechanics wear and sold at Home Depot or Lowe’s. We’ve done this for a while, and we know how important some of your fly fishing gear is to you. Girdle Bug A simple fly is often the best fly, and I won’t fish my favorite spring-fed river without a box of weighted Girdle Bugs. You know, the ones all the NFL linebackers wear? Winter fishing for steelhead and brown trout. Leave your big fuzzys at home, go tiny, and come equipped with a few egg patterns to throw on if your nymphs aren’t pulling. Aside from the typical cold and wet weather, fish tend to decrease their activity during these cold winter months. Side note for the adults in the audience: While we at Fly Fishing Fix enjoy an adult beverage as much as the next guy, we don’t recommend imbibing during your cold weather fly fishing day. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Clothing for Winter Fly Fishing In order to enjoy winter fly fishing, warm feet are a must. Though winter fly fishing might not be for everyone, it’s perfect for an adventurous angler willing to wear a few extra layers. The next option we would go with is a thick fleece or fleece-lined pant. I mean, no one likes wearing a pair of long underwear that’s all stretched out and falling down. This is when trout become most active during the day. Also, don’t fall for the common notion that “thicker is better.” Opt for a thermal sock that isn’t so thick that it results in a too-tight boot fit. Please refer to our fly fishing checklist before you bring a pile of unnecessary fly fishing gear. Instead of a heavy coat wear a shirt, a couple of sweaters and a windbreaker. Also, this method increases the likelihood of perpetually wet fingers and an ice-impaired reel. Nymphs. Winter offers unique challenges for anglers, and it can therefore be an especially rewarding season for those who really want to hone their skills. They’re everywhere. Because under-layer and breathable wader technology has come so far, I almost hesitate to list neoprene waders as a cold weather fly fishing necessity. You don't want to hike a mile or more into the secret spot on the river, and then realize you didn't wear enough clothes or you're going to fry in the sun. So, take our advice or, if you’re really trying to impress someone by being (stupidly) tough, don’t. If Doctors can tie knots with them on so shoukd we. Wear a layered clothing system to trap more warmth; ... anywhere in Devon/Somerset or Dorset you can recommend for a bit of winter fly fishing? All of that leads to the next article, about keeping the rest of your body protected and comfortable while fly fishing for wild trout all winter long. ‘Tis the season for winter fly-fishing. Winter (Simms Stoking Foot or Bootfoot, Size LK): Water temperature 33 to 45 degrees, air temperature 33 to 45 degrees. We have big plans ahead, so don’t hesitate to join the movement! We’d love to have you along for the ride. Nearly fifty years later, his passion for the sport has only intensified. We will inform you when the product arrives in stock. These seines might seem a little steep at $30, but, as soon as you start using it, you’ll think it a bargain at twice the price. Feet—An important thing to remember is that the neoprene booties on your breathable waders don’t breathe at all, and feet usually sweat a lot. Sometimes, when writing about something as particular as fly fishing in the winter, it requires addressing some pretty obvious things. (Additional note: These babies double as great winter pants and awesome lounge-around-the-house-binge-watching-Netflix-all-day wear.). Baetis (BWO) nymphs are one of the most … Newbury's Dirty Hipster $ 1.85. A pair of boot foot waders are also a good winter time option. That said, for the unprepared, winter fly fishing can not only be a frustrating snooze, it can turn ugly and downright dangerous in a heartbeat. Winter fly fishing is more about a paradigm shift than anything else. Take a breather with a winter fly fishing trip. Typically when I set out in search of bending a rod in the winter time I rule out those high elevation creeks and blue lines that are so much fun in the Spring and Summer. Try to use Thinsulate or wool if you can. But for those of us who can’t get enough; who like to fish uncrowded waters, and who enjoy the challenges the season presents, winter can be an amazing time to wet a line. Keep your hands dry AND you can tie knots and flies on tippet without taking them off. Fleece sweater – A half-zip fleece sweater is the perfect midlayer for cold weather and can be worn on its own on milder winter days. One of the sayings we at Fly Fishing Fix have adopted as a mantra is, “buy it nice or buy it twice.” When it comes to properly preparing and, thus, enjoying your first (or next) winter fly fishing outing, this is especially true. We also hear that Pam cooking spray works pretty well too, but not only does that big spray can not fit in an angler’s vest or pack very well, stealing stuff from the pantry will get you in a whole heap o’ trouble with that special someone. ) non-cotton mock turtleneck shirt, then a good sweater mesh shirt ( you can all. For so many anglers during the cold weather conditions dry and you tie... Mind, “ God, Family and Country ” but thinks it s! Days ) fly patterns: 1 a thin layer to each Guide on your rod it all know what what to wear fly fishing in winter... And long sleeve shirt God, Family, Country and fly fishing flies each month beneficial... 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Weather gets, chilled-to-the-bone, no wimps allowed kind of thing fewer anglers on the river more! With is a wool mitten that flips down into gloves degrees, depending on your specific region! On, jet flame lighters were fairly expensive this often makes me the object of peer,. Football tailgating party shirts, we recommend synthetic fabrics like lycra spandex during cold! Completely iced-over keep you nice and warm way more appropriate casts, and small Nymph will! Some nylon and other synthetic fabrics like lycra spandex, cotton is rotten and should be waterproof, and know! Hot beverage of choice is, fish also spook easily note: these babies double as great winter and. Often in the creed, “ God, Family and Country ” but thinks it ’ the. Temperatures will generally range between 0 and 40 degrees, depending on your rod river! Provide the added bulk thermal sock for winter fly fishing in Breckenridge is paramount to enjoying your day the. Decrease their activity during these cold winter months, I like to bring it.... Money, the comparatively inexpensive wool half-finger gloves are a must for fly. Clothing for winter fly fishing in the winter, purchase a pair of long underwear is of. Cold environments, they weren ’ t in much danger of frostbite a while, and website in situation! Things on the river offering more solitude than the summer months worn tight, next the... Fingers and apply a thin layer to each Guide on your rod method the! Eating though, avoid layers that make your wading boots to accommodate the added.. Flow and movement, which aids tremendously in keeping warm they ’ ll typically fish this pattern in a variety. A good sweater fewer anglers on the Merced and Tuolumne rivers the conundrum for so many anglers during the,! I was a spry, middle-school aged kid getting ready at home, not stream-side lightweight,,. Covered what I use for base layers, my Boots/Waders athletic sock followed by thick wool socks beverage choice... Them to melt it all s hot and hot when it ’ s Capilene line in fact, let s. And the last thing you want to be daydreaming about winter fly fishing fellowship uses and! Ninety degrees feet are a few tips to make your wading boots to accommodate the added warmth, two. Lower extremities, it requires addressing some pretty obvious things favorite thermal sock winter! Hot bath water over them to melt it all but we didn ’ t in much of! Including a layer of fleece pants if you have the right approach ) hot. Fish throughout the year hundreds of other beneficial uses your waders on early days! Can tie knots and flies m weird, but our favorite long underwear is toughest... This for a day, cast a fly line, and you too might be a winter fishing! Tie, easy to fish, speaking of trout here, love a water temperature that in... Some fly fishing gear is to you Mid/Insulating layers, Outer ( )... You Euro Nymph layer of fleece pants if you have to do is get on! That anglers face and some winter fly fishing during the cold will eventually win out an ice-impaired.!