My favorite part of fly fishing is that in Colorado, I am able to fish year round. Growing up on the North Shore of Massachusetts, the fishing season ended in October when the striped bass migrated down the Atlantic seaboard. Fly fishing in the winter breaks up the monotony that the cold weather brings on, while providing an opportunity to catch trout experiencing minimal fishing pressure. What I have learned over the last two years is that you need to prepare effectively if you expect to execute in winter’s harsh and unpredictable weather conditions. Here are some thoughts:
- Pack too much clothing then layer it. It is far better to have to peel off layers then to wish you had an extra layer with you.
- Invest in performance materials and do not wear cotton. I prefer Nike Pro or Under Armor Heat Gear.
- Bring a hat that can cover your ears. I prefer the Simms GORE-TEX® EXSTREAM™ Hat . You look a little silly but it keeps your head warm.
- Make certain your top layer is waterproof and windproof. You do not want to get wet when there is a 30mph wind blowing.
- Buy the right socks. You want your socks to expedite moisture wicking and provide dry performance.
- Purchase fishing gloves. That said, once your hands get wet (landing a fish), you get cold…quickly.
- Buy Stanley’s Ice Off Paste (or something similar) and apply it to your rod guides. Guides that constantly freeze are burdensome.
- Utilize a fish hook holder (Ty-Rite Jr. is a good one but there are others). When your are threading 6x tippet through a #24 midge, the tool becomes invaluable.
- Bring an extra reel. If your primary reel gets wet, the gears will freeze and it will need time to thaw out.
- Drink a lot of water. You might not feel dehydrated in colder conditions but it happens.
Recently, I was evaluating different all-weather jackets that I could wear as a primary coat or layer it on colder days.
I purchased the Runoff by William Joseph. Here is my review on the jacket.
|Manufacturer Description||The Runoff is a meticulously tailored soft-shell which offers a level of movement that you will not find in other jackets. Articulated elbows with a micro fleece liner allow you to cast all day in absolute comfort. Roomy pockets and adjustable cuffs at a unbelievable price.
|Comfort||I wear a 42L-44 jacket size (depending on the manufacturer). I ordered a size large Runoff and it fits perfectly. Roomy in the shoulders, but form fitting through the torso, the Runoff just feels very comfortable once it is on. It can be used as your primary jacket on warmer winter days (above 40 degrees for me) or as a layer on colder days.|
|Looks||The Runoff is a good looking jacket. It comes in a charcoal color, and is highlighted with the William Joseph logo (which is cool looking). I will wear the jacket during other outdoor activities besides fishing.|
|Functionality (Windproof, Breathable, Waterproof)||The Runoff definitely protects you from harsh winds. It was blowing 15mph regularly while we were fishing and I could not feel the draft on my chest. When the temperature dropped to 24 degrees, I had to put on another layer. I did not experience any sweating or unwelcomed body moisture. There are three pockets and I was easily able to store my fly box in the chest pocket. Because there was no rain (and only light snow), I have yet to test the coat’s water resistant feature.|
|Would I Buy it Again?||Absolutely. After extensive research, I am not sure there is a better jacket for the money?|