Welcome to the latest installment Fishwest Gear Guide! The goal of this guide is to provide you, the angler, with the recommendations and professional insight from the Fishwest staff in order to make your fishing adventures a success. Each month, we will be exploring different fisheries, species, the tackle and other gear we think you would need in order to find success on the water.
As we head into the second month of the year, we were beginning to wonder if winter was ever coming, however, we recently received a few impactful wintery storms that made the statement winter is…in fact…here. With that, fishing has been fantastic despite the colder temps. Of course dressing appropriately for cold days is such an important element when considering to head for the snow banked river. In this issue we’re covering our favorite Women’s winter laying tactics that keep us warm allowing us to enjoy our favorite sport.
Check out the gear guide below for the picks from Fishwest staff and guide, Andrea Jeffery and what she recommends for staying warm out there in the elements seeking those selective Midge risers. Read on!
When I’m out on the water for fun or out teaching, my tolerance for cold has become less and less, this is given I improved the way I layered and the warming accessories I began to use. I don’t have to prove I’m tough by suffering the cold! I’ve left that belief behind for much wiser tactics. I highly recommend each one of these items to improve your experience on the water in cold, windy, wet, winter conditions – you will last much longer, your performance will not diminish or be zapped by the temps!
Note: I strongly believe in Simms products, using them personally on a daily basis out in the field on the water guiding or just daily functionality at Fishwest, I support them and proud as most of their labels boast USA made products in some beautiful Montana country!
An unfailing Gore-Tex outer shell to keep the most intense conditions – wind, rain or snow, sometimes all at once the G3 Guide Jacket provides fun colored functionality. The fleece lined hand pockets are a great touch that Simms has kept for years on this jacket along with the fly box compatible pockets. The shingled, no-catch watertight cuffs are amazingly comfortable and quite possibly my favorite spec on this jacket. I find that given my other layers beneath, the mobility I have in this jacket does not inhibit me from any task.
WARMTH & Insulation – I am in love with my Simms West Fork Jacket, I wear it fishing or just out and about. Insulated using PrimaLoft variations and Cross Core Technology this jacket has gotten me through Wyoming cold windy days and light snow Park City errands. Another great option if you wanted a little less bulk, I’d suggest the ExStream Bicomp Hoody paired with your G3 Guide Jacket.
For your base layer I recommend the Simms Fleece Mid Layer 1/4 Zip , I will usually wear some sort of basic moisture wicking shirt underneath such as the Lightweight Core Top from Simms. Warming tip: I will stick one of my rechargeable hand warmers in the chest pocket. Ohhh yeah!
For bottom layers I use the Simms Midcore Legging, I enjoy a good stretchy pant for comfort & if the forecast isn’t on the warmer side of life, I’ll stack it with Simms Fleece Midlayer Pant.
I like to layer my socks in these cold months, so I have a specific winter boot (G3 Guide Boot from Simms) a size up to accommodate the extra layers. I use Simms Merino Thermal OTC Socks, I like the length on these socks helping to keep my pant legs from sliding up when I pull on my waders. I will pair these with either my re-chargeable heated socks, unfortunately they don’t last all day but they will get me through a half day trip or I will use the Simms Merino Midweight Hiker Socks in addition.
A wader’s build & layers can can make such a difference in lasting waders & durability! The G3 Guide Z Waders by Simms, has a 4 layer Gore-Tex for your toosh and in the legs. I absolutely love the TIZIP waterproof side zipper makes layering that much easier and very convenient wadering/de-wadering. Warming tip: I will keep a couple rechargeable handwarmers inside my waders, the wading belt will help keep them around my waist.
To top it all off, just about every day I am wearing the Dockwear Wool Beanie. This has become my favorite functional accessory, 80% lambswool, not itchy and does not irritate my skin.
Warming tip: I bring a thermos of hot tea, coffee or warm adult beverage for those cold days.
We hope you found this helpful for your next winter river adventure! If you enjoyed this gear guide look for our Winter Layering Done Right – Men’s Edition coming soon!!