While floating the Catawba River tailrace yesterday I thought about several tips and tricks to make your day on the water more enjoyable even in the winter months. Being located in NC, these tips are geared towards wade fishing the local fisheries but as you can imagine they will work anywhere.
Of course layering is very important. But even more important is correctly layering. Leave your jeans and cotton pants at home. In fact the less cotton you wear the better. I recommend starting with a base layer like the Simms Downunder Merino Bottoms or for those days not as cold the Simms Waderwick Bottoms. These base layers will keep you warm and dry. By wicking the moisture away from your body, you’ll stay much warmer.
The next layer under your waders is just as important. Again steer clear of cotton and stay with fleece for this layer. I like the Simms Guide Fleece Pants but you have several good options here. Simms also makes a Coldweather Pant that looks great but I haven’t tried them yet.
Socks are very important and of course Simms makes some great socks. My biggest tip here is…. change your socks when you arrive at the stream. I see so many clients add a second pair of socks over the socks they wore on the drive to the river. BIG mistake! The socks you wear in the car or truck on the way to the river are wet with moisture. Change your socks to dry socks before putting on your waders.
Plan your day wisely….. no need to start at daylight for winter fishing. Mid morning through mid afternoon will be the most productive time of the day. Focus your attention on the warm part of the day.
Flies…. most bug hatching through the winter months are small. Keep this in mind. My rule of thumb for winter time fly fishing, go small and dark.
Hope this helps! Stay safe, stay warm and keep tight lines!
All pictures in this blog entry were supplied by Anthony Smith! Click here to visit his site