TIP OF THE WEEK: LAYING FOR COLD WEATHER
With too many clothes, you'll be hot, sweaty claustrophobic, and grumpy. Trust me...I know. After many years of fishing and guiding in cold weather I know. Fall, winter, and early spring are my favorite times to personally DIY fish. The river is quiet and the fishing... oh man. The fishing can be incredible. One of the obstacles however is simply being comfortable. Anyone can stay warm, that's easy.
Goals of your cold weather/water layering system:
1. Comfort. If you aren't "happy"... you won't be happy. Pretty simple. Make sure what you wear feels good.
2. Mobility. Wading is tricky to begin with. Now you've got 3 pairs of sweatpants on and some ill fitting layers and it's hard to balance and move! For me, whatever I wear has to move with me, not against me.
3. Breathability. If my layers don't breathe I get clammy, grouchy, and likely I'm going to be damp and I'll still be cold even with all my layers on!
4. Warmth. I listed this last because simply putting on enough clothes is the easy part.
Breathable Materials at the Base, shell on the outside:
I keep my layers very simple, comfortable, and my wool hoodie and Fusion Puffy breath super well. This keeps me dry and comfortable and if I do sweat, these layers will let that damp air get out. On top, if it's really cold, my shell or wading jacket will breathe but now that moist air is all the way on the outside of my insulating layers so it's almost a moot point.
Tip of the Week Video:
My Personal System:
There are many ways to skin a cat, but this is the gear that works well for me. It has very comfortable moisture properties meaning it breathes when it's supposed to, insulates, and the waders and wading jacket are bombproof. I am confident and comfortable in this kit.
1. Skwala RS Waders (zippers are quite nice for cold weather fishing, you can open it up to prevent overheating, and it's priceless when I have to pee).
2. Skwala Merino Wool Pants - purpose built for wader laying. Taper, pockets, etc. all designed to be worn under a wader.
3. Skwala Thermo 350 Merion Wool Hoodie - don't leave home in cool weather without it.
4. Skwala Fusion 3/2 Puffy Jacket - I could go on and on, but this you won't want to take off. It seems to keep your body at an ambient temp.
5. Simms OTC Thermal Socks - high socks, hike 'em up. Just like your old gym teacher.
6. Skwala RS Jacket - the side vents/pass through pockets let me access gear and warm my hands. The sleeve/cuff system is excellent. Very comfortable as far as shell jackets go.