Fishing report: Staying warm on the water
November 16, 2010
BASALT – At this time of year I often find that staying warm is the key to having a successful day on the water. If I can stay warm, then I stay focused on the fishing, not the weather. Dressing in layers is best to regulate your core body temperature and adapt to changing conditions. With the abundance of technical clothing available in all price ranges, there’s no excuse to get cold.
Since we are wading in icy cold water I find that keeping my lower extremities warm is the most critical. Wearing a thin, wicking liner sock with a thick heavyweight wool sock over the top is best. Using small, disposable charcoal-activated toe warmers will also aid in keeping your feet warm.
To keep your legs comfortable, continue with the layering theme. Heavier-weight base layers with a next-to-skin fit are best, since winter anglers need maximum warmth, not necessarily maximum breathability (we’re not being overly physically active). A pair of fleece pants or synthetic insulated pants over my base layer will offer freedom of movement while retaining my body’s temperature.
The same can be said for your upper body. A base layer, followed by a mid-layer or two, depending on conditions, along with a soft-shell or hard-shell outer layer will practically keep you warm no matter what Mother Nature throws at you. Soft-shells offer higher breathability and better range of movement, but are not waterproof. If wet snows or rain are expected, then we opt for the hard-shell.
You will also want to keep your head warm, as most of your body’s heat loss can be found here. A stocking cap of windproof fleece is preferred by most anglers to shear off the biting wind. Fingerless or flip-mitt fleece gloves will keep your digits warm. Like our toes, we often use disposable hand warmers inside of our gloves to keep the capillaries in our wrists warm, which will thus keep blood flowing to your fingers. Using a small towel to dry off your hands after catching fish also helps tremendously.
Don’t let the weather dictate your fishing success.