Preparing for the Winter Season

cdnred

Active Member
I'm sort of new to spey fishing and I'm getting bored with all these COVID restrictions. It's becoming more of an obsession with preparing to get ready for getting out as soon as this COVID clears up. I'm a person that dislikes being cold and would prefer to be prepared for when getting outside in the winter. I've noticed that fishing isn't just a warm weather sport and many people are fishing throughout the winter as well, sometimes it gets cold even in the fall depending where you're at..

What kind of gear, clothing, waders, gloves, hats do most people prefer to wear during these cold periods..? Does anyone have a certain preference for (insulated) waders, what type of pants do you prefer to wearing inside your waders, what about jackets..?
 

wetswinger

Active Member
Thermal undie top with polyester sweater topped off with Redington GoreTex hooded parka..Elmer Fudd hat and neck gaiters. Sweats and poly socks under standard stocking foot waders. No gloves, they don't work for me. Beach fishing only in my case.
 

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
WFF Supporter
I'm sort of new to spey fishing and I'm getting bored with all these COVID restrictions. It's becoming more of an obsession with preparing to get ready for getting out as soon as this COVID clears up. I'm a person that dislikes being cold and would prefer to be prepared for when getting outside in the winter. I've noticed that fishing isn't just a warm weather sport and many people are fishing throughout the winter as well, sometimes it gets cold even in the fall depending where you're at..

What kind of gear, clothing, waders, gloves, hats do most people prefer to wear during these cold periods..? Does anyone have a certain preference for (insulated) waders, what type of pants do you prefer to wearing inside your waders, what about jackets..?
I see that you are in Ontario. Get some Bare bootfoot waders, fleece and wool socks and same for the body. Layer up so you can peel when it warms mid day.
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
I fish all winter, as long as it's not frozen to a trickle. Good boots, breathable waders, wool socks (buffalo bison socks!), wicking long johns, fleece wading pant's, craft Tshirt, long sleeve shirt, light fleece layer, soft shell jacket, gore tex jacket, skull cap, another hat for protection. I don't care for gloves either, but do carry fingerless wool and castelli waterproof cycling gloves if I want.
 

sroffe

Active Member
Since fishing can also be a cold and wet sport its important that what you wear will hold the heat when it gets wet. Stay away from cotton as much as you can.

I hate being cold. A good insulating layer under your shell is very important. I have a Simms Primaloft jacket they nick named the heater and I love it!
 

cdnred

Active Member
I fish all winter, as long as it's not frozen to a trickle. Good boots, breathable waders, wool socks (buffalo bison socks!), wicking long johns, fleece wading pant's, craft Tshirt, long sleeve shirt, light fleece layer, soft shell jacket, gore tex jacket, skull cap, another hat for protection. I don't care for gloves either, but do carry fingerless wool and castelli waterproof cycling gloves if I want.
Gotta be tough for moving around with all that on..:eek: Just kidding that's good advice, I'm gonna follow your lead and start collecting some that stuff..
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
Gotta be tough for moving around with all that on..:eek: Just kidding that's good advice, I'm gonna follow your lead and start collecting some that stuff..
If you pick the layers right it's fine. I can creep around a small stream or stand in a drift just fine. If it's not raining I usually leave out the last goe tex layer unless it's well below freezing.
It only gets difficult at pottie time. :)
 
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cdnred

Active Member
I hate being cold. A good insulating layer under your shell is very important. I have a Simms Primaloft jacket they nick named the heater and I love it!
I'm with you about hating the cold. Which particular model of the Simms did you get..? They've got a few different models that come up for Primaloft and when I did a search on the "heater", nothing came up..
 

vader

Active Member
Cabelas has fleece under gear for your legs. They come in several thicknesses with foot straps. For the upper body, I use long johns, t shirt, and sweatshirt. Best thing for your feet is bootfoot waders. All this depends on your tolerance to cold, how much you are active, and the weather. Somedays it can be just long sleeves and others bundle up with everything g you can find.
 

cdnred

Active Member
Cabelas has fleece under gear for your legs. They come in several thicknesses with foot straps. For the upper body, I use long johns, t shirt, and sweatshirt. Best thing for your feet is bootfoot waders. All this depends on your tolerance to cold, how much you are active, and the weather. Somedays it can be just long sleeves and others bundle up with everything g you can find.
Very true about how the weather can be very changeable in a short time. Like the idea of the fleece under gear with the foot straps, I'll have to look into getting some..
 

IveofIone

WFF Supporter
I'm currently gearing up for fall fishing that won't be near as cold as winter but will still encounter freezing weather. Days can be cold and cloudy and being on the water with even a mild breeze will lower the chill factor to uncomfortable levels. My outings are all in a pontoon boat so I can layer up or down as necessary.

Starting on top I use one of 3 weights of fleece skull caps that cover the ears and are held by chin straps. I also use one of these for sleeping at night.Then a buff or a fleece Dicky to completely seal off the neck area. For shirts I start with a Merino wool long sleeved tee shirt with a polyester hooded shirt over that followed by the fishing shirt of choice. Current favorite is a Simms model that has a 100% polyester shell and 100% polyester waffle lining. The hooded undershirt combined with the skull cap and a wind breaker is usually enough to keep the head and neck area warm.
For pants I am using warm fleece models in different weights depending on the temperature with just standard breathable waders over those. I can double up on the fleece if necessary. Socks are double layers of Merino wool or single layer of expeditionary weight. I bought winter boots a while back that are a size larger than I usually wear and they have made a big difference in foot warmth.

Last year I came up with a good system for outer wear jackets. I bought a cheap Amazon Basics down sweater that is better than it needs to be for $50. I bought this in a medium so it would fit close without much slack inside to try to heat. Then for another $50 I bought a Gerry polyester/down sweater with a hood in size large to fit over the other sweater. Even combined they are very light and add 6 more layers between me and the cold. This has proven enough for almost all conditions here on the tundra and seems just right for plowing snow as well. The big advantage is how easily I can layer down as the day warms up. A Simms shorty Goretex raincoat or an LLBean lined longer model see duty in the really snotty weather.

Gloves are standard fare fleece finger less models or sun gloves, usually several pair on board. At Costco I bought a case of hand warmers and always start with those in the palm of my gloves. Freestone gave me some wrist straps that hold a hand warmer against the inside of the wrist and they are very effective in the battle against cold hands.

Each year it becomes harder to stay warm and I have to do more to gear up. It sounds like a lot but I am used to it all by now and being outside on a tractor so much in winter has honed my keep warm skills. Wicking underwear and socks are crucial and protecting the head and neck area from cold loss is probably the most important of all. I see guys sometimes fishing in the cold with just a ball cap on and complaining about their cold feet. Duh! To this end I recently ordered a couple of new balaclavas to keep my head and neck even warmer.
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
Pay particular attention to your feet. Once your feet get cold you will be cold and stay cold. Use quality socks. I like a thin base sock made of a synthetic wicking material such as polyester over which I‘ll wear a medium to heavy wool sock. The most important piece are boots that fit properly. They cannot be tight. Your boots need to allow your foot to breath and not limit circulation. Spend the necessary time and money on your footwear. Do not scrimp.
 

cdnred

Active Member
Pay particular attention to your feet. Once your feet get cold you will be cold and stay cold. Use quality socks. I like a thin base sock made of a synthetic wicking material such as polyester over which I‘ll wear a medium to heavy wool sock. The most important piece are boots that fit properly. They cannot be tight. Your boots need to allow your foot to breath and not limit circulation. Spend the necessary time and money on your footwear. Do not scrimp.
I think priority one would be to get a new quality pair of "boot foot" waders and be sure to try them on with the sock pairing that I'd plan to be wearing. I agree properly fitting boots are the most important part of any winter gear. What I 've got now is the socking foot waders with separate wading boots which won't work in these conditions..
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Supporter
I fish the salt in winter and there are a couple of year-round trout streams close by that I keep my eye on the CFS during November - February cold snaps. The air temp usually isn't terribly cold; I can recall one (good fishy) day in the salt at 19°F -7°C, but the wind blowing off the salt around freezing is bone-chilling. Add a coastal drizzle and...

Merino midweight or Polarmax "expedition weight" top and bottom, thick Merino wool socks, I have a (rather odd) pair of Filson thick synthetic stretch upland game hunting trousers that are like thin fleece, Merino Buff, Primaloft jacket, my patched but trusty 5mm neoprene waders, wading boots that fit slightly larger than my spring-fall boots, wool baseball cap, fleece Inca cap over that, hooded Gore Tex jacket.

After many years of backcountry skiing - ski-mountaineering, cold causes my hands to ache; it's painful. I recall it was dry on the 19°F -7°C day and didn't need gloves - (when your hands get cold, put on a hat). But if it's drizzling around freezing, ouch! I'll carry different combinations of gloves based on conditions.
Ragg wool fingerless in the high 30s (3C)+.
Wind-proof Thinsulate lined fingerless with thin Nitrile gardening gloves underneath have kept my hands dry and warm and still have dexterity to tie on flies.
Ragg wool mittens with fingerless fold-back flaps and Nitrile gloves.
Neoprene gloves with fold-back fingertips.
And I always keep a pair of OR "Lightweight Sensor" liner gloves in the "cold weather sack" to use with other combinations.
 

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