In our recent blogs we discussed fly fishing tips and must-have flies to increase your success during the fall, but what we haven’t discussed is how to prepare yourself for the cold temperatures you will undoubtedly encounter as we get closer to winter. Sure, there are plenty of beautiful days with temperatures in the 50's, but as we all know, Colorado likes to sneak in days with freezing temperatures and snow.

So how do you combat cold days on the river when the logical thing to do is sit by the fire and drink beer? The first thing we recommend is setting your alarm clock back a few hours. Fishing during the warmest hours of the day will improve your odds of finding active and feeding trout. The next thing you need to do is layer up with heat retaining clothing, pack an element-proof jacket, fishing gloves and something to keep your head warm. Living in Colorado, we all own clothes that keep us warm but when it comes to fishing, not all clothes are created equal. Wearing clothes that wick moisture and retain body heat is key. We understand that the last thing your significant other wants to see is another fly fishing expense on your credit card, but trust us, having the right gear this winter, will dramatically change your experience. There are lots of great options out there, but these are a few favorites that have worked for us!

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Base Layers:

Simms Lightweight Core Top – This is an ideal base layer to keep your upper body warm. It’s warm, breathable, quick-drying (very important for anglers) and contains odor control technology to keep you smelling fresh after your hike out of Cheesman Canyon.

Cold Weather Gear

Simms Exstream Core Bottom – Water temps during the fall/winter are anything but enjoyable, which makes applying layers to your bottom half critical. These bottoms feature a two-layer weave that locks in body heat. Not to mention, the tapered fit will keep them from bunching up in your waders and rocking a wedgie all day.

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Patagonia Long-Sleeved R1 Fitz Roy ¼ Zip Top – Once you have your base layer, it’s time for a warm mid-layer. This light weight, spandex fleece from Patagonia wicks moisture and provides plenty of comfort and flexibility. Whether you’re rowing, casting or fighting a big trout, you’ll maintain full range of motion to get the job done.

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Outer Layers:

Patagonia Tough Puff Hoody – Whether it’s a mild day or you need an additional layer to fight through snow or wind, this insulating hoody will come in handy. Its durable features make it a viable option when conditions are fair. When it’s cold and snowy, it is lightweight and breathable enough to wear under a heavier jacket.

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Simms G4 Pro Wading Jacket – When the weather is rough and your friends think you’re crazy for going out to fish, this jacket will help you stay warm and dry. The GORE-TEX Pro Shell will keep you dry in rain, sleet and snow. Before you battle another cold day with howling winds on the Dream Stream, do yourself a favor and give this jacket a shot.

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Simms Wool Half-Finger Gloves – If you ask us, the most difficult part of cold weather fly fishing is keeping your hands warm. These moisture wicking, wool gloves will keep your hands warm while leaving your fingers free to tie on flies and untangle knots. Pro Tip: slip a hand warmer in your glove so it rests on the underside of your wrist for fully functional fingers.

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Simms Guide Windbloc Beanie – When it comes to staying warm, it all starts with your head. This affordable beanie will not only keep your head, ears and neck warm, its Windbloc technology will keep you going strong even when the wind is howling.

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