Saturday, December 17, 2016

Winter Clothing 2017 Edition

Years ago I created a Winter clothing post but thought I'd redo it today because the struggle is real!  I had a wonderful opportunity last week to fish with international competitors as a Coach at the World Championships.  I also had the opportunity to embarrass myself and prove the value of dressing right:

Me Shortly after scrambling to save all my gear it's 49 degrees F.

Why am I smiling?  Because I'm prepared for it.  Soaking wet I managed to fish the rest of the day without a single shiver.  Wet but warm - here's the recipe you can buy most of these items or similar at The Backpacker in Baton Rouge or Lafayette:

Let's start from the inside out socks.  Wool is good - neoprene is better.  I was wearing a pair of sealskins socks.

Then I was wearing polyester shirt and pants.

I was wearing a custom Jersey on that particular day but a long sleeve polyester shirt can make a world of difference and those prAna pants are remarkable.  They are stretchy, water resistant, and tough.  Mine are a year old and look brand new.

A good Buff is important.  I was wearing a buff and when the wind kicks up you can pull it over your ears but just having it around your neck makes a big difference.

Now you can layer up as you need a good fleece vest is hard to beat:

Lastly the outer shell this will change based on the severity of the weather.  Anything above freezing I layer up under a simple breathable rain suit.  I like something with adjustable cuffs and adding a base layer can give you the warmth you need.

When it's really cold I go to chest waders.  Lots of folks go with a pair of hip waders.  The great thing about wearing these items is that you finish your day and you are clean no fish smell ready to get on with your day!  Key is to make sure you have that belt.  It helps to keep the water from ballooning in the waders when you are getting back in your boat.  You can spend as much or as little as you want.  I like stocking feet because I go barefoot in the boat.  I just have a large pair of crocs that I wear over them out of the boat.

Last Thoughts:

If you fall in the water in South Louisiana the first thing is be dressed for success.  The second thing is to not panic.  9 times out of 10 you are in shallow water.  The Mud is your problem - disperse your body weight take your time, then gather your gear and get back in the boat.  I have had to reach down with my arm to pull my foot out of the mud.  Take your time and you will be alright.  In deeper water, you will likely lose some gear.  Your safety is more important.  You can learn about water self-rescue here.

God bless - be safe - and keep smiling even when you're muddy and wet!

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