Tag Archives: cold weather

Product Review : Simms Guide Waders

A Simms classic has been reborn in the form of the reintroduced Simms Guide Wader.  For anglers looking for frills and luxuries (aka front zippers, hand warmer pockets and built in retractors) these may not be your cup of tea. However what these waders lack in gadgets they make up for in pure angling function.

These waders feature a 3 layer GORE-TEX fabric from the legs down and when the temperatures drop staying warm is paramount.  My favorite feature on the Simms Guide Wader has to be the front stitched seams. In my extremely humble opinion that is huge because they do not experience as much wear as traditional seams. That is where a majority of anglers experience leaks within their waders due to constant friction from hiking and wading.  Overall these waders are an excellent value for anglers who don’t want to break the bank when looking for new waders.

Pros:

  • 3 Layer GORE-TEX fabric which makes these waders highly breathable and leaves the angler feeling comfortable and dry.
  • Built in gravel guards to provide extra protection while wading
  • Front seam construction increases longevity of waders.

Cons:

  • In my experience these waders can be quite hot as temperatures rise during the summertime.  That can be attributed to the quality materials used to keep the angler dry.

These waders have served me quite well over the year and a half I have been using them. I have heard  that it is not uncommon for an angler to get 5-10 years out of a pair of these Simms waders.  These waders are not cheap but if you fish 70+ days a year or just want to be as comfortable as possible spending that little bit extra will pay off in the long run.

Frigid in the shade

More Cold Weather Fishing Tips

Winter presents some of the best fishing all year. Less crowds, dry fly fishing, and you don’t need to be on the river at O’dark-thirty. What more could you ask for?

When asking anglers about winter fishing, one might encounter many different opinions. There are those that enjoy it immensely and those that believe winter fisherman are crazy. If you are of the latter opinion it’s in your best interest to make sure you understand how to dress for warmth and be comfortable on the river before you decide to spend the winter tying flies and hibernating.
Staying warm and dry by layering clothing is key to enjoying yourself while fishing on those cold winter afternoons. Layering gives you the option of adding or removing clothing based on temperature and activity level. Your basic layering categories are as follows:

Base Layer

Base Layer or “Next-To-Skin” is the first part and maybe the most overlooked part of staying warm. Base Layer clothing is designed to keep you dry by ventilation or by “wicking” way moisture. Not all Base Layers are made equal, material is what sets them apart.

  • Wool – Best – Provides the best breathe-ability and insulation
  • Synthetic – Good – Provides good breathe-ability and insulation
  • Cotton – Avoid – Provides some insulation and very little breathe-ability

Insulation

Insulator clothing should be worn over the Base Layer to provide warmth. This should also be non-cotton piece to still promote breathe-ability. The weight of your insulator pieces should be chosen by activity level.

Outerwear

Outerwear is the final piece you put on and provides protection from wind and precipitation. Choose your Outerwear based on conditions. If you are fishing in wet and humid conditions a heavy duty rain jacket will provide the greatest protection from the elements. If you are fishing in cold dry conditions a soft-shell jacket provides excellent warmth without bulk.

Gloves, Socks, and Hats

Don’t forget any of these. Your hands, feet, and ears are the first things to get cold. Taking care of these extremities will keep you noticeably warmer and on the water longer. Make sure you layer your socks by following the same Base Layer and Insulation system and discussed before, but still provide room for ventilation.

Winter fishing can be very productive and if nothing else it is a good opportunity to expose yourself to sunshine on short winter days. With the right clothing it doesn’t only have to be for the “crazies”.

Keeping Your Feet Warm

Let’s talk about keeping your feet warm. This discussion always comes up this time of year, and a little bit of planning and foresight will really go a long way toward making your winter days on the water much more enjoyable. First, we will develop a strategy for warmth, and then we will talk about what equipment will get you there.

Three things really stand out as important when discussing this topic: pre-fishing warmth, moisture, and insulation.

Pre-fishing warmth: Your feet need to be warm when you put them in your boots. No matter how dry and insulated your feet are, you will have a hard time warming up your feet once you step into the water.

Moisture: Moisture is the enemy of warmth. Check your waders frequently for leaks, as even a pinprick leak in your neoprene booties can spell disaster for warmth. The seam between the neoprene and wader fabric is one of the weak spots when it comes to leaks, so pay particular attention to that area. Even in the absence of leaks, however, feet can become wet with sweat. One of the best ways to deal with sweat is through the use of a polypropylene liner sock. This may be the most commonly overlooked weapon in the arsenal against cold feet. If you’ve never worn them, you’ll be amazed. Buy some. Today.

Insulation: The final important consideration is providing your feet with enough space in your boots to be properly insulated; this means buying wading boots that are large enough to accommodate neoprene booties and multiple layers of socks. All of the preparation mentioned above will be meaningless without enough room for an insulating layer of air to surround your feet. Further, tight-fitting boots may restrict blood circulation to your feet. Obviously, multiple pairs of socks will help to provide this insulting layer around your feet. Avoid cotton as it tends to collect moisture much more easily than wool or fleece.

There are a number of other recommendations that I have heard over the years and never felt compelled to try. These include such things as rubbing down your feet with petroleum jelly before putting on your socks and wearing plastic bags over your feet. The plastic bag idea would seem to trap moisture around your foot, so I would advise against it. Besides, following the advice above should prevent you from needing to resort to dipping your feet in Vaseline before fishing.

As far as equipment goes, make sure you have the following items on hand:

  • Polypropylene Liner Socks
  • Quality Wool Socks
  • Fleece Pants – I’d recommend finding a pair with stirrups to make sure they don’t ride up throughout the day.

I hope these tips make your winter days on the water a little more pleasurable and a lot less miserable.  No use sitting at home while some of your favorite waters are devoid of other anglers on chilly winter mornings, right?