Fly Fishing Techniques
Dressing For Success
Being Prepared For Mother Nature And Winter Steelhead
by Christopher Tobias
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
November 2013 Issue
ishing for winter steelhead is not for the faint of heart, but dressing for the occasion can make your outing much more
enjoyable and keep you out on the water longer. Proper layering and a good choice of clothing materials will make the
Starting out with a good base layer is the key to keeping warm and dry. I prefer a wool or fleece base layer, depending on
what the predicted weather may be. Wool is a great choice of material, because even when wet it will still keep you warm.
One thing you never want to use as a base layer is cotton, I.E. thermal underwear. Wool and fleece will wick moisture away
from your body, where as thermal underwear will hold moisture against your body, causing you to become colder faster.
Proper layering will allow you to hike into locations and still be comfortable, even if you break a sweat. After your base layer
you will want a good insulating layer depending on how cold it might be.
A good insulating layer will also allow moisture to pass through the material, but will be a little bulkier than a base layer. A
thicker fleece or wool sweater is my choice depending on how far the mercury is predicted to drop. I also prefer to use a wind
stopper material, since this will also cut the chill out, as well as keep you warm. There are numerous outdoor companies that
all provide great products, so take your pick and spend your money wisely.
Your outerwear is just as important as your base layer. Again, you want a material that will breathe and allow moisture to
pass through. If you haven’t noticed, breathability is the key to success when it comes to picking the right garment for the
job. I use a breathable Gore-tex wading jacket as well as Gore-tex breathable waders for my outer layers. The wading jacket
and the waders will provide you cover from the elements and allow for a much more enjoyable fishing excursion. Last but not
least is your hat and gloves.
Choosing a hat is the easy part. Pick something that is warm and comfortable. I prefer a winter hat with windstopper material
to add an extra layer of protection against that cold biting winter wind. Your gloves should allow you to fish unimpeded and
keep you warm at the same time. Wool is an excellent choice for glove material, and they are a good choice for a back up
glove, or your main fishing glove.
Dressing for winter steelhead fishing, or any winter fishing for that matter, can be easy if you think in terms of breathability
and layering. No one likes to feel like Mikey from A Christmas Story, so pick garments that provide the most warmth for the
least amount of material and allow for a comfortable range of motion.
Tight lines and stay warm and safe out there this winter.