My name is Barbara, new to the forum, excited about learning to fly fish and soon to be fulltiming in our RV.
My fishing started at a very early age but I've never fly fished. Our main activity growing up in New York State was camping and fishing. Also, my uncle was a game warden so we knew about a lot of good fishing spots, mostly rivers, small creeks and lakes. Since I'm now retired and my husband is soon to be, we are planning to go off and see the country while we are still young enough to get out and do things, both under 60.
Hope to chat with all of you and get some of my questions answered. Which brings me to my first one:
I saw the wader poll but wanted some female insight on the best type to get. My feet get really cold so wanted to get opinions from you all. My son said neoprene is the way to go but do you get the ones with or without attached boots. Also, I'm pretty tall and have the feet to go with it. men's sizes or ladies sizes?
Welcome. What you are going to do keep warm, especially your feet, is to learn to layer your under waders and socks. First; cotton kills and has no place under. I would start with polypropylene underwear. This should be followed by fleece, or even start with fleece. That goes for both tops and bottoms. For socks I would start with fleece covered by "Genius" brand socks, followed by a good pair of expedition weight socks. Now my preferance for waders are Patagonia's or Simm's. I prefer the Patagonia's. Make sure the stocking size is about 2 sizes larger than your foot size. All the feet in the waders are made with neoprene. I think that neoprene waders are a waste of time. With the proper layering and rgular sreathable waders you should be fine. This will accomodate the heavy socks and you will have breathing room for your feet. Wading boots should be slightly larger to accomidate your feet. Again, I prefer Chota"s STL with studs. I leave the choice to you. I'm assuming that you intend fishing in the cold as well as the warm months. If you are then layer accordingly. For rainy days and cold windy days, a good Goretex, wind proof jacket. And last but not least a good hat and for those cold winter days a fleece hat and a neck gator. I'm from PA and fish at least 3 to 4 days a week, winter and summer. Always remember that you can take off if too warm, but you can't add if you get cold. You'll find your comfort zone. If your feet and head are warm so will the rest of you. You lose 40 to 60% of boby heat throught the neck and head. Hope this helps. Enjoy. Frank
Thanks for the info. I kind of liked the breathable waders just from the weight perspective. And the layering idea sounds like a good plan. My first attempt, after I get some lessons will be for trout so I was concerned about the warmth issue. Do the fishing boots keep your feet dry?
Where in PA do you fish?
Barbara, The boots don't keep your feet warm since they are not waterproof, but they allow water all through them. It's the neoprene stocking feet on the waders that are waterproof. and this is what keeps your feet dry, plus the layers of socks that keep your feet warm. You will love trout fishing and also being from N.Y. you will love the salmon and steelhead fishing. I'm from Altoona (transplanted from N.Y.) and have some of the best streams in the East to fish. I'm only 20 miles from the famous Little Juniata River and have access to Spring Creek, Penns Creek and so on. Also do alot of traveling to fish even as far away as Scotland for salmon. It's a disease and now that I'm retired I can fish whenever I want. Of course there are "Honey Do" days, but that comes with the territory. Up until July of '06 I fished in the winter, but 71/2 hours of open heart I was shut down untill early this year. I guess I'm trying to make up for it this year. In any case look on the internet at the various fly co's. that make warm clothes and also you can't go wrong with Cabela's. Enjoy. Frank
By the way in addition to all the clothes boots and waders. Get a good wading belt and a good wading stick. Don't leave home without them. I like the Hodgeman belt, it gives good back support and a wading stick you can attatch to the belt. After drowning 6 beepers and 6 cell phones I got the message. Frank
Welcome to the group! Sounds like you're getting good advice on socks to keep your feet warm. I'll throw in 3 other tips.
Make sure not to have your boots too tight. Tight boots constrict blood flow, and the warm blood coming from your torso is the way your toes are going to get warm.
Keep your head warm. This doesn't sound like it would have much to do with your feet, but your body knows that the head is the most important part of the body to keep warm. (with the brain and all) This means your body will give your head the priority for getting warm blood over your feet.
Lastly, keep moving. Standing in one place in a cold stream for a long time is the best way I know of to get cold/numb feet.
Great tips from you guys. I just took a quick run down to dick's sporting goods just to get a firsthand look at the different waders and boots. I wasn't too impressed with the boots but I liked the breathable waders just for the weight and ease of motion. Didn't buy anything yet, still looking and I'm a real internet shopper when it comes to finding the stuff I need. I think I will need men's waders only because of the length and I can get a larger bootsock.
And by the way, we live in North Carolina now but I go to NY frequently to see my kids and grandkids. My son fishes quite a bit, mostly salmon, steelheads and smelt. I'm planning to go fishing with him when we get up there again.
I have all these tips in a notebook...will need the belt and stick for sure. Thanks for responding and helping me sort this stuff out...Can't wait to get out there and cast a line. Been practicing in the backyard...Barbara
Barbara, I guess you already got some waders. I heard Neoprene makes you sweat, and I would not want them for that. Like someone said on here, you can layer and keep warm feet. I have a pair of breathable waders, with neoprene feet only. Then I bought some wading boots. I think they work for my area. I have thermal underwear, and need to get some decent socks. I am glad someone mentioned a good brand. I do not have any wading socks. I just used regular boot socks, with jeans, and under that thermal pants, and I was fine. I hate trying to find decent women's outdoor clothing, because it is almost non-existent. I had to buy a camo jacket at BPS because that is the best they had for warmth I was told. It had a hood, and I believe it was made by Red Head. I do not know if it will be loose enough for fly fishing. I bought it for conventional fishing for stocked trout this year. That is what made me want to pick up my fly fishing once again. This time I got lessons. I am 48 so I am no spring chicken either...but have been fishing since I was a little girl. I just started fly fishing up again this winter.