Cold weather is here to stay, at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere (and if you are in the southern, say fishing in Patagonia, well good for you!). And while most of us trim back a bit on our cold weather fishing, there is no reason why you need to give it up completely. In fact you shouldn't. As long as you gear up appropriately, winter fishing can be fantastic, whether you are swinging for steel or coaxing winter trout. The key is layering and moisture management, using well-made products that make smart use of materials. Here are a few things to make you a little more comfortable out there this winter, products which we've used and recommend.
This is one of our favorites! This is just like a flannel shirt but better. Simms has incorporated a waffle-fleece lining to provide extra insulation. The Cold Weather shirt will keep you toasty warm when those cold winter days and is great as a layering piece if you're headed out on the water. Simms has used a 100 percent polyester fleece and lining which is critical in case you go down hard crossing the river, as the cold weather shirt will dry quickly and save your heat. This shirt is also great around the house and many of our customers wear it day-to-day when they are not on the water. A solid pickup for any cold-weather fisherman.
This is another great piece from Patagonia and the Snap Dry Hoody has all the features you would want. This is an extremely lightweight yet warm jacket that can be layered with or used as an outer layer by itself - we love this versatility which makes it great for areas where the weather changes frequently. It has a water resistant coating that will keep you dry during light rains or snowfall and will wick away moisture keeping you warm and dry no matter what you are doing. Complete with hand warmer pockets and multiple zippered pockets, the Snap Dry Hoody is a perfect solution as winter creeps in. It's received two thumbs up from our customers and staff.
For its weight, this thing is seriously, almost shockingly, warm. The Tough Puff Hoody from Patagonia was designed for fishing, pure and simple, and especially for fall and winter conditions. The Tough Puff excels in two areas - warmth, and ease of motion. Think of this as a beefier cousin to the nano puff (long beloved by anglers) one that incorporates a sturdier, stretchy shell to hold up to greater wear and tear. Patagonia has utilized a polyester 60g fill to provide a similar insulating quality as down but with the water resistance of polyester. We're also big fans of the fit: they've found a sweet spot that’s not too baggy yet still offers no resistance to arm or body movements (especially helpful when spey casting). The entire jacket is treated with a water resistant coating making light rain or snow no problem. Throw in the fact that it also looks good off the river and it's no surprise that the Tough Puff has been a top seller. Any angler would be psyched to find this under the tree.
We have been waiting for this one! The new Simms Fjord pant is the newest evolution of insulated cold weather pants. This pant is designed for one thing: The coldest conditions imaginable. This pant is a heavy duty double layer 300-G fleece designed for maximum insulation while still being breathable. This technology was actually used by Navy Salvage Divers to be worn under dry suits during extended deep sea diving missions. Using that same idea and incorporating that same material into a under-wader pant, Simms has come up with a truly winter-specific insulated pant. This is as warm as it gets. You can now be much more comfortable during those January Steelhead trips.
This is the best of both worlds - a fingerless glove and a mitten in one! And if you've spent any time braving the elements out on the water you know there is good reason to want both. Wearing gloves may help with warmth but often reduces or completely eliminates any dexterity, and that's no-go territory when fishing. And of course going without helps with feel, but even the hardiest anglers won't last long barehanded. This is where the Exstream Foldover Mitt comes in. When getting from point A to point B, simply fold over the mitten and keep those hands warm. Once on the water, fold it back and snap it into place leaving your fingers free to manage line and cast. What's more, these gloves will block 100 percent of the wind and the fleece lining will keep your fingers nice and warm when the temperature dips into the single digits. You'll thank yourself for getting these, trust us.
The Simms Coldweather Pant has the same look and feel and the lightweight pants you know and love, with one major difference - these pants are insulated. The Coldweather Pant has a waffle fleece liner that traps heat and keeps you warm as the temperature drops. This pant can be used as a fall/spring weight under-wader pant or as an insulated every day pant for the fall and winter. With a water resistant coating, quick dry materials, and hand warmer pockets; this pant has everything you need to keep you warm this winter. It's a great all-purpose cold weather pant.
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