Believe it or not, the winter fly fishing season is here. It’s probably the best time to fly fish; very few fishermen venture out, the trout are beautiful colors and they are hungry. But we must be prepared for fishing in the winter; cold temperatures, cold water, just plan cold. If we make a mistake, hypothermia can set in quickly and survival becomes our only goal. So, to be prepared here are a few tips for you during winter catch and winter season:
- Understand your limits: Know how much cold you can stand. Check the forecast and make a wise decision to fish or not.
- Wear the proper clothing: No cotton (no jeans under waders, no sweatshirts, etc.). If you get wet, cotton will “hang” onto the water and hypothermia will set in quickly. Wear layers! For tops and bottoms (under waders) wear the new “wicky” type, cold weather gear, wool or fleece. Wear wool socks and a balaclava (look it up) and as a minimum, have good fingerless fishing gloves (wool or fleece).
- Bring extra set of clothing
- Make sure whoever drives to the river leaves their car keys hidden someplace on the car so that if someone falls in, they can get in the car – dry off and stay warm.
- Never fish alone: Always fish with another or group, especially if you are fishing in a location far from your car.
- Bring something hot for lunch – soup or chili in a thermos goes down well – even hot chocolate or coffee sounds good.
7. Use a wading staff for stable walking and wear cleats on your wading boots for better footing. A little extra insurance to prevent you from falling in the cold water.