Winter is slowly but surely starting to creep in here in the UK and this is the time to start thinking about your personal health and safety when out fishing during the colder weather.
To keep warm is all about wearing the right clothing layers and the correct fabrics.
First of all there is the base layer which you wear next to your skin, and don’t think about the old fashioned granddad long johns and vest, start thinking about more modern specially made clothing for this purpose. Most modern base layer clothing is made of polyester and polypropylene which are often mixed with Lycra or Spandex to give some stretch when you’re bending and moving about.
You can either go for a lighter or heavier layering depending on how you are fishing, if you are just moving around the fishery on foot, I would recommend a lighter layer, however if you are just standing nearly in the same spot all day or sitting in a boat a heavier layer is recommended.
I like the Imax Vapour Mesh Base Layer as this provides an internal grid structure which provides comfortable airflow and the lightweight yarn wicks moisture away quickly from the body so that you don’t get cold and wet.
The mid layers are a good shirt that has air vents and slightly looser than the base layer. I like the Simms Montana Shirt, even though I mostly wear it during the summer months as it gives me freedom to move but keeping me cool also, this also works the other way round during the winter months as it also helps to keep me warm but not sweaty as this also leaks out any moisture.
On top of the shirt I wear a Microfleece Pullover this is a great thermal regulating layer that can be worn all year round. The microfleece has a high neck and a zip. The microfleece gives a useful level of insulation while also helping to regulate body temperature meaning it is ideal as a mid layer or as a base layer.
The trousers I would recommend are the Simms Cold Weather trousers as it sure is nice to put on fleece-lined Nylon shell pants on a frosty morning headed out to the river. The DurapelPlus finish and COR3 technology make this cold weather pant a winner.
The trousers are 100% Nylon shell fabric with COR 3™ technology and Durapel Plus finish; 100% Polyester fleece lining and hand warmer pockets.
The outer layer depending on the weather I would wear my normal over trousers and weather proof jacket.
For your head during colder weather, I know that a the fishing baseball caps are good for keeping the sun out of your eyes even during the winter months, but try and get one with fur lined pull down ear muffs. Or wear a balaclava under your cap and pull it down when your ears are just starting to get too cold.
Don’t forget about your hands and feet when out fishing as there’s nothing worse than a touch of frost bite. Always wear a good pair of thermal socks and a pair of thermal boots that can stand up to the cold, I always wear the Stillwater Snow Boots Moonboot style wellies for the ultimate in warmth and comfort, these boots have a really thick sole and a removable thermal Liner. No more cold feet with these boots they can withstand cold weather up to minus 25deg.
Finally I hate wearing gloves when I’m fishing as you can’t grip the line very well, I always take a long a couple of hand warmers and spare charcoal, they not only heat up your hands but keep you warm as well with the heat permeating through your trousers or jacket pocket. If you do wear gloves ensure that they are neoprene gloves as they will keep your hands warm and dry. An excellent new product on the market is the Airflo Hardwear Heated Gloves, they keep your hands and fingers warm during the cold winter months with these waterproof, easy to operate battery heated gloves. Available in medium and large sizes.
Remember; you don’t have to be the height of fashion as long as your warm and comfortable fishing as the cold can spoil a good days fishing and make you lethargic, thus leading to accidents and a spoilt day on the river or fishery and especially when in a boat on a reservoir, lake or loch.
I should know this as quite a few years ago when out boat fishing on a reservoir and new to the sport I didn’t have the right clothing on for the inclement weather, by the end of the day I was cold miserable and wasn’t fully aware of my surrounding due to being a bit lethargic, whereby I ran the boat aground causing me to fall over in the boat breaking my wrist.