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6 Ways to Stay Warm During Winter Fly Fishing

We recently asked if you had any questions for our team on the Old Au Sable Facebook page, and one very relevant query asked about staying warm during the winter months if you dare venture out. We've got six tips for beating the chill if you head out.

HDRtist HDR -

So, cabin fever has set in and the typical debate is whether to go fish and face the elements - or to remain in the Lazy Boy and watch the game. Well, here are a few tips to keep you warm when the fever gets too high and you just have to open the door to old man winter.

Don't Hold It

  • If you have to pee, then do it. When your bladder is full the body uses extra energy and warmth to keep the urine warm. If your bladder is empty that energy and heat can be put into your body.

Peel & Stick

  • When it is really frigid, purchasing a peel and stick chemical hand warmer and placing it on the small of the back makes a considerable difference. This is especially true for stationary activities.

Hand Warmers

  • Efficient winter fishing doesn't allow the use of bulky mittens or even full fingered gloves. Either you go glove-less, or with half finger gloves. To help keep your hands warm in that situation, grab some chemical hand warmers and tape them over your base layers on the inside of your wrists. Layer your typical garments over the hand warmers.  As your blood moves to your hand it will be warmed, eliminating some of that fingertip pain. You can tape the hand warmer directly to the skin but be aware some hand warmers get extremely hot and may burn you.

Stay Loose

  • Beware of over tightening your laces on your wading boots because it can limit blood flow to the feet. Other common mistakes are having too small of a wading boot and/or stocking foot especially with an extra pair of socks on.
  • Find out stock of wading boots and socks here.

Cover Up

  • A good windproof hat is essential. Standard knit wool hats are nothing compared to a wool or fleece hat with a windproof liner.
  • Find our winter hats here.

Pump Up

  • Drink (in moderation). If you don’t, disregard this. Yes, there are arguments about this one and it can be dangerous if overdone. However, when you want to pick up anchor and row out due to the overbearing elements a flask filled with your favorite beverage can change your morale rather quickly. I recommend what my college buddies and I drank, it was named feesu. Buy some vodka - I prefer something cheap due to what happens next. Find some mentholated cough drops (fishermen’s friend cough drops are the best) crush them up, poor the pieces into the vodka bottle and freeze for 3 days. An instant morale booster! Just remember - the warming effects of alcohol are more mental than physical, so don't go overboard.

Thanks for reading - if you have follow up questions, please leave a comment and we'll get back with you!

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