It’s official: another wet wading season has sadly come to an end. Hopefully everyone got in plenty of long hikes for remote brookies and hopper action out West this summer. With the cold weather moving in, we’re presented with a whole new set of challenges for anglers fly fishing in Georgia. Probably the biggest challenge is fishing in cold weather. Georgia’s hot, humid summers make it hard for anglers to acclimate once winter roles around. At Alpharetta Outfitters we have a few tricks to keep you warm on the water this winter!

Fly Fishing Cold weather

Don’t let cold, rainy days like this keep you off the water. Some of the biggest trout caught on our public waters happens in this weather! Think streamers, sink tip, and articulated streamers.

 

Cold weather fly fishing

Just in case you need a reason to get out instead of watching some college football.

 

Cold weather fly fishing

One more reason… just to be safe.

Layer, Layer, Layer!!!

Fly fishing in Georgia during the cold months is unlike many other fishing destinations. When you book a November trip for the South Platte in Colorado you know it will be cold all day. However, in Georgia it will be hovering around freezing at the start of the day but come mid-day it will be in the fifties or even sixties. Our biggest tip is to dress in several small layers that you can shed as the day progresses. Sweating is our number one enemy in the winter. Once you get to your spot and cool off all that sweat you generated will start getting cold. Simms, Patagonia, Free Fly and many other brands now offer sweat wicking base layers. These shirts use special fibers that lift the sweat off your body while a traditional cotton t-shirt will just keep the sweat on your skin.

 

Simms Mid-Layer

Wearing a breathable, quality mid layer will keep you warm but not too warm when covering water. Nothing is worse than generating a good sweat then stopping to fish a section of river and getting a chill.

 

Fly Fishing in Cold weather

When the day warms up a vest is a great option. Your core will stay warm but not quite as warm as if you had a jacket on. This Patagonia Bivy Down Vest uses 100% recycled down and it’s surface is treated to repel light rain.

 

Cold Weather Fly Fishing

For truly fridge conditions a quality insulated jacket will make your time on the water enjoyable. With shorter days the chances of fishing in a cold, shadowy area versus a warm, sunny area are higher. Good insulated jackets aren’t cheap but they will keep you warm and last for years. The Simms West Fork Jacket is designed especially for our lady anglers. The sizing is roomy to allow for extra layers under it but still cut for the female frame.

Don’t Forget the Extremities

When you are prepping for your first cold weather trip, layering your top half is usually the only thing on your mind till you take the first step into waist deep water. Suddenly that 40 degree water feels like it’s cutting through your waders as if you weren’t wearing them at all!

Cold weather fly fishing

Keeping your legs warm is just as important as keeping your core warm. Fleece-lined leggings are highly recommended for both men and women. Never wear blue jeans under your waders! Cotton is the enemy if you want to stay warm. Wool is also a great material for wearing under waders, especially on your feet.

 

Georgia Fly Fishing

Don’t forget about your head. A wool or synthetic beanie will keep you warm even when wet. Once again avoid anything with cotton!

 

Besides good clothing we also recommend keeping a thermos of coffee in the truck or boat. Warm fluids are incredible pick me ups when your mindset starts dragging. This is also a good time to dust off the Coleman stove and make a hot shore lunch. Cooking outside isn’t as hard as you think. We don’t recommend searing a pork shoulder but browning some ground meat for tacos is quick and much healthier than a cold sack of fast food. Besides the stove a simple assortment of basic spices, kitchen utensils, and heavy duty cooking pan are all you need to make a chef’s feast.

cold weather fly fishing Georgia

Forgot the stirring spatula but the back side of a chef’s knife works. We always use the tools at hand!

 

The Set Ups

We made a short list of products we recommend to keep you warm on the water while fly fishing in Georgia this winter. We broke it up so there’s a section for our lady anglers and male anglers. We are very excited to offer new lines of products designed especially for all the lady anglers out there. Simms, Orvis, Patagonia, and Free Fly are among the growing number of vendors recognizing our ladies need for quality clothing designed to fit them without sacrificing the quality goods they’ve been making for our male anglers for decades.

Ladies

Base Layer – Simms Prima Loft Flannel Shirt

Mid Layer – Pataogonia Nano Puff Vest

JacketĀ – Simms West Fork Jacket

Feet – Simms Midweight OTC Socks

Post Fishing Drinks -Patagonia Marsupial Fleece Pullover

Men

Base Layer – Midweight Core Quarter Zip

Mid Layer -Patagonia Early Rise Snap Shirt

Jacket – Simms Midcurrent Hooded Jacket

Feet – Simms Midnight Guide Sock

Post Fishing Drinks -Patagonia Diamond Quilted Bomber Hoody

 

On a final note, always check the weather before you leave the house. Winter rains can add up quick with back to back days dumping several inches. If possible, always check the specific location you plan to fish. If you are going to be fishing the East Fork of the French Broad look at Brevard, NC; don’t assume the Athens, GA forecast is in the ball park.

Old faithful – The Weather Channel

The Government – Weather.gov

Reliable Alternative if Weather Channel is too mainstream for you – Weather Underground