Ideas for staying warm for Texas winter fly fishing:

These are some ideas that I’ve come across while fishing in the north, in the US Military, and on multiple winter boat rides with fellow Texas anglers.  I felt that these were worth sharing as the temperature continues to drop.

  1. Layers
    1. Base layer should be skin tight and made of a wicking material. This will pull any sweat away and keep your skin dry.
    2. Mid layers should be a little heavier and still be able to wick moisture away. More than one middle layer is pretty normal. I like to use a vest as part of one of these layers. You can always remove a layer if it warms up.
    3. Outer layer should be at a minimum of wind proof. I would actually use a breathable rain jacket in most cases. Keep in mind that you want this outer jacket to have a hood. Waders for the bottoms or other type of rain paints are also a good idea.
  2. Footwear
    1. Socks
      1. Again laying is a good idea. Using polypropylene socks as a base layer followed by wool, or other thick insulation.
    2. Boots
      1. If you are wading make sure your wading boots are in good shape, and possibly with studs. The size of your wading boots should be at least one size larger that you normally wear, to allow room for the thicker socks, and waders.
      2. If not wading, you still don’t want your boots to constrict your feet, and allow plenty of room for thick socks.
  3. Head gear
    1. Hats
      1. Here you may want to consider both warmth and sun protection. In some cases, this could mean carrying at least 2 hats.
    2. Face covering
      1. The wind can cut into your face on a boat ride, or on the flats. A ski mask, balaclava, scarf, etc. could make the difference between being comfortable enough to stay outside, or a premature ending of an outing.
  4. Gloves
    1. Mittens
      1. Mittens are generally warmer than gloves as they keep the fingers sharing body heat, but they don’t allow much dexterity. Tying a knot with mittens on is impossible. There are mittens that fold back off the fingers, exposing the last few inches of your fingers for tying knots, etc. Make sure that the shell is water-proof.
    2. Full fingered
      1. Which gloves and what material are the best? What works for one person, make not be a good choice for others. How cold is it going to be? How much of your fingers are you willing to expose? Do you plan to dip your hands into the water? Is the fish slime going to be easy to remove later?
  5. Eye wear
    1. Sunglasses
      1. For being able to see on even an overcast day, you will need some kind of polarized lens.
    2. Goggles
      1. For a boat ride, these are invaluable. The cold spray, and the biting wind are not easy to endure. I’m sure there is some specialty googles out there just for this purpose.
  6. Preparation
    1. Put antiperspirant on your feet. Dry socks are warmer than wet socks. By applying antiperspirant to the bottom and sides of your feet you can reduce the amount of moisture that your socks see.
    2. Put a couple of chemical heaters in your pockets. If your fingers start tingling from the cold, use them. Don’t wait until they start hurting or are going numb.

4 thoughts on “Ideas for staying warm for Texas winter fly fishing:

  1. Good job Puck, I would add the additional hat should be a wool watch cap or beanie. If your camping in the cold that beanie conserves a lot of body heat. Gloves for getting your hands wet should be fingerless wool. Wool works great for layering under a breathable Gore-tex jacket also.

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  2. Other thoughts, Sunglasses with readers don’t work very well when wading especially rocky streams. The reader part is what your looking through when wading and distorts the view.
    Cleats on wade boots don’t work in skiffs or drift boats. Corker wade boots have interchangeable soles cleats to felt to rubber.

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