Many wading anglers go with stocking-foot waders, but if you want to stay warm, I’d opt for boot-foot waders. Furthermore, it’s smart to go one size larger than you’d normally wear. Their thick boot shell serves as a more effective barrier between your foot and the water, and the extra space within the boots will hold warm air while you’re walking. Finally, complete the arrangement with a reliable pair of wool socks.
There’s nothing worse than coming untucked or having your thermal shirt ride up, creating cold spots, especially if your bare skin comes into contact with the inside of your waders. Furthermore, if you have to get out of your waders to re-tuck, you’ll lose all the body heat you’ve built up. To fight this, it’s a good idea to but baselayers in tall sizes if you can. The extra length will ensure they stay tucked in, even when you’re bending over a lot.
It’s crucial to keep your core warm when you’re enjoying any outdoor activity during the cold months, not just when you’re fishing. A warm core means a warm body, and layering will help achieve this. For my setup, I like a fleece-lined pullover over my baselayer and a windproof jacket over the fleece. For under your waders, don’t wear jeans. Instead, go with fleece-lined pants.
Finally, remember to start the warming process before you’re streamside. When it’s cold, it’s smart to put everything on before leaving the house, including your waders. Also, don’t forget to crank the heat in your car when you’re about 15 minutes away from your favorite hole to get even warmer.
Often times, a fair amount of small details add up to create a bigger impact than one or two big ones. The small, but helpful, tips outlined today will go a long way towards warming you when you find yourself wading through chilly waters this winter. Keep them in mind to ensure your winter fishing excursions are comfortable and enjoyable.