Winter Warming Tips That Won’t Break the Bank

12 inexpensive tips to stay warm in the winter

Winter Fishing Week #5

United Women on the Fly reached out to our community for Winter Warming Tips that Won’t Break the Bank.  Listed below are the 12 tips, plus a bonus tip from our friend Rebeca Granillo, founder of @wasatchflyclub.

The Winter Warming Tips that Won’t Break the Bank are:

  1. Warm the Soul with Calories
  2. Heat Behind the Knees
  3. Wrap Your Mind & Cozy Your Neck
  4. Sock Layering
  5. Keep Your Hands Warm and Dry with a Towel
  6. Squeeze Your Glutes
  7. Warm Hands, Happy Angler
  8. Submerged Legs Need to Be Warm
  9. Hot Water Pour Over
  10. Dance Off
  11. Thermal Thursday, Versatility is Key
  12. A Banana a Day Keeps the Shivers Away
  13. Rechargeable Hand Warmers and Homemade Wool Booties
#1 - Warm the Soul with Calories
 @marchbrowneyedun River Snacks are Soup and Hot Chocolate

Author Deighan @marchbrowneyedun. Warm the soul with calories. Warm tea or decaffeinated beverages may initially make you warm but hot drinks with extra sugar or butter are effective to give your body some calories to burn. Temperatures drop and research shows that foods high in fats take longer to digest, therefore will keep you warmer.

If you’re feeling a chill or tired, it could be an indicator that your body needs food. Keep snacks on hand at all time.  

Author Tina Murray @shenanigansflyfishing.  Heat behind the knees. Tina shares her tip of taking an activated hand warmer and securing it with adhesive wrap behind your knees. See Tina’s YouTube video for a tutorial of this tip at https://youtu.be/uEeWuLWzIew

Steps –

  • Activate hand warmer
  • Be sure to have a thin base layer on
  • Secure the activated hand warmer behind the knee (long side down) with the adhesive wrap
  • The adhesive wrap will adhere to itself
  • Place second layer on over base layer and hand warmer
  • Put on any additional clothing and enjoy the outdoors

Wrap your mind and cozy your neck. Lisa @cptn_plnt not only staying warm but looking stylish as she spends time on the water in the winter.

WRAP YOUR MIND – In cold conditions, it is important to retain that warmth for comfort and safety. Putting on a hat really matters for preserving body heat. These hats don’t have to be expensive but should have three things:

  1. Fits Properly
  2. Insulates Sufficiently
  3. Blocks Wind

COZY YOUR NECK – The neck is perhaps the most overlooked source of heat loss. Retain that precious warmth with a simple, inexpensive neck gaiter, scarf, snood, lined buff or whatever you have in your closet or purchase from the local second hand store.

Choose a neck covering that covers all exposed gaps, fits comfortably within all of your layers, and still gives you the flexibility to fully zip up your clothing and be able to cast, hike or whatever you’re doing in the outdoors.

Author Trista Rye @t.l.rye.  Sock Layering. The two-sock system is ideal for winter fishing. One of the most important things for Trista is socks. “If my feet get cold, it’s all downhill from there.”

My wading boots are a size bigger than my regular shoe, otherwise this might not be possible for me. My first pair is either a thin cotton/synthetic blend OR, if it’s really chilly out, a thin pair of wool socks. I have a few pairs of thin SmartWool ankle socks that I love (I shop clearance sections at my local running store). They are my favorite. My second pair are just regular wool calf-length socks that I bought at Walmart.

For myself, this method is tried and true. It’s rare for my feet to get cold anymore even in the freezing Montana temps

Author Cat Toy @crazycat313.  A dry hand is a warm hand.  Carry a little hand towel. It’s really important to have dry hands when fishing in the winter. Cat carries a little towel on her fishing pack at all times to dry off her hands after handling a fish.

“Your hands can become miserable in cold water if you don’t quickly dry them.” After drying her hands, Cat will put her fishing gloves back on to keep the warmth and also carries a pair of ski gloves to warm up when needed.

Cat loves the inexpensive Personal PackTowl® or a small cotton towel will work too. Just make sure that the towel absorbs water. Happy Fishing!

Cat Toy was the August #uwotffeaturedflygirl learn more about her at https://uwotf.com/featured-fly-girl/cat-toy/.

Author Paula Shearer @paulashearer . Squeeze Your Glutes. Paula is no stranger to fishing during the winter months. Paula enjoys her personal fishing in the winter as she’s a full-time guide on the Bow River and Southern Alberta Streams.

When we asked the @unitedwomenonthefly community for Winter Warming Tips, we loved Paula’s tip as it can be done by anyone, is free and really works. Activating your glutes produces heat in your body. “Most times its a consistent squeeze and other times its just squeeze and relax. It’s a great glute workout too.” Give it a try!

Author Leland Miyawaki @lelandmiyawaki.  Warm Hands, Happy Angler.  Leland is known as Old Man River at the @orvisbellevue and is no stranger to fishing in wet/cold climate.

COLD FINGERS WHILE FLY FISHING? You get cold when water evaporates off your skin.

Simple Solution: Do not let water come in contact with your skin. Get a pair of Smartwool or fleece glove liners and a box of Nitrile gloves. Pull on the Nitrile over the liners. Your hands will not be toasty warm but will be dry and never bitter cold.

You can strip, tie on most flies, tie and undo knots, work your phone, and even pee. You can leave them on when taking off your waders and shoes. If the Nitrile rips, toss ’em and pull on a new one. If your rod ferrule gets stuck, believe me, you’ll get it unstuck. They do not slip but you will get used to it. Trust me, this works!

We’ve reached out to @keep.fish.wet to see if there was any science about handling fish with nitrate gloves. There’s still no research on nitrile gloves. It’s all about slime removal and while it’s fairly safe to assume that nitrile gloves (because they are slick) remove less slime than cotton tailing gloves or winter gloves with texture, there’s still no science compared to bare, wet hands. Best advice – use with caution until we have some science.

This tip makes it easy if you decide to remove your gloves when handling a fish for release. You can use @crazycat313 tip by using a towel to dry your hands and then put your gloves back on.

Author – Chris @misschrisyface. Submerged Legs Need to be Warm. Our friend and inspiration, Chris just received a spey rod and she’s giving us todays #12daysofwinterfishing Tips. For Chris, winter fishing calls for learning new techniques.

Spey Fishing is a technique where you stand in the water when fishing. After the fly has swung a piece of water, you move downstream and do it again. Many times your hands get wet when stripping in your running line at the end of the swing or by grabbing your wading staff that is sitting in the water when you’re fishing. Cold legs and wet hands can end your fishing day very quickly.

To keep your core warm, your submerged legs need some layers. Chris uses fleece pants under her waders and supersized adhesive body warmers. She also suggests having multiple pairs of gloves when fishing in the winter.

  • Fleece Pants Under the Waders
  • Supersize Adhesive Body Warmers
  • Multiple Pairs of Gloves

Water Temperature and Lower Body Layering Suggestions:

  • 50 Degrees – Double Layers is Recommended
  • 40 Degrees – Consider Heavier Double Layers
  • 30 Degrees – Two or Even Three Layers is Highly Recommended

Author Tabbitha Lynn @tabbithalynn__. Hot Water Pour Over. Similar to a coffee pour over, hot water is key! Boil some water by building a fire, using a portable stove or bring hot water from home in a thermos.

Pour the hot water over your boots, or better yet into your boots. Tabbitha unlaces her wading boots around the ankles and pulls the tongue away. She then pours the hot water into the boots. It takes a few seconds to feel it. “There’s nothing like warm feet.”

Author Jenna Davis @jdfishart. Dance as if Everyone is Watching. Raise your heart rate, circulation, and body temperature by shaking it off. 

Grab a partner or break out in dance anytime of the day. Just make sure to tag #uwotfdanceoff so we can share your moves. If you’re frozen, just dance. Wiggle and shake like it’s 1999. The faster and more wild, the better. Keep dancing until you’re warm.

Author J. Michelle Swope @olywomenonthefly.  Thermal Layers Don’t Have to Break the Bank.  While fishing in these chilly temperatures, layering becomes key to keeping us warm and dry. Before you head out to your next winter fishing destination…. consider some of these ideas first.

See Full Blog Post at https://uwotf.com/blog/thermal-layers/.

A base layer is a layer of clothing that is closest to your skin, almost acting as ‘second skin’ that can keep you warm or cool. … Thermal clothing is versatile clothing and comes in different fabrics and styles that will benefit various climates, conditions and activities.

Versatility is Key! J. Michelle’s thoughts are not just on fishing when she purchases clothes. She also considers what other actives she can wear with this clothing. What clothing can you wear while fishing but also hiking, exercising, eating out or be like @sassymamaonthefly sledding down a hill?

Safety is paramount. The lighter and better layering we can put on prior to our waders, will ensure that we can then safely move and wade, unencumbered by multiple bulky layers. Freedom of movement is very important for wading safety, so let’s layer up wisely!

  • PolyPropylene: Great for wicking moisture away from our skin.
  • Polyester: Essentially, fabric made from plastic. It is will keep us toasty even when it is wet, but the downside?
    • Don’t get too close to that warm campfire with it exposed as it will melt if an ember hits it.
    • Polyester blends are readily available, and come in various thicknesses, depending on our needs.
  • Wool: Does absorb moisture, but stays warmer than most other fabrics, and stays warm even when it is wet.
    • However, it can be VERY expensive, so looking for used wool clothing is Army Surplus stores, or used clothing stores is a great idea.
    • The down side to wool is it is not very packable, and it is not windproof.
#12 - Banana a Day Keeps the Shiver Away

A banana a day, keeps the shivers away. Throw out the banana fishing superstition and indulge in this fiber-rich complex carbohydrate. 🍌

Bananas contain vitamin B and magnesium, which help your thyroid and adrenal glands function properly. These glands help to regulate body temperature. This is a great food to eat when fishing in the cold.

Rechargeable Hand Warmers and Homemade wool booties

Bonus Tip - Rechargeable Hand Warmers and Homemade wool booties

Author Rebecca Granillo @chewwwbeca.  There are a few things that get me through the cold days. First one is the HME Hand Warner’s that are battery powered. They also come in rechargeable options to help cut down on plastic waste (until it goes out that is).

Second one is homemade wool booties from old wool jackets/sweaters that I find at the Thrift Store! I stuff these guys into my wader booties for an extra level of warmth since my feet are usually the first to go and get cold 🥶

Meet the Authors

@marchbrowneyedun
Tina Murray - @shenanigansflyfishing
@shenanigansflyfishing
Lisa L - @cptn_plnt
@cptn_plnt
Trista Rye - @t.l.rye
@t.l.rye
Cat Toy - @crazycat313
@crazycat313
@paulashearer
@lelandmiyawaki
Chris - @misschrisyface
@misschrisyface
@tabbithalynn__
Jenna Davis - @jdfishart
@jdfishart
J Michelle Swope - @olywomenonthefly
@olywomenonthefly
Rebeca Granillo - @chewwwbeca
@chewwwbeca

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