These fish were taken on the olive deer hair flies that are in the middle of the picture of all the flies. Thanks Fatcat Flies!
Stanley Taylor owner of Fatcat Flies, makes killer deer hair patterns and streamer patterns. I cant wait to try my new assortment on some big fish!!! Check out his Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/fatcatflies
Dress to keep yourself warm and dry. Keeping your skin surface free from dampness is one of the biggest keys to staying warm. The selection of these items is very important, but what you wear under this outer layer is also very important. Any moisture trapped within your clothing will conduct heat away. This means that you not only have to keep the precipitation out, but your clothing also has to have the ability to disperse your own perspiration. When dressing for cold or wet weather fishing; dress from the inside out. The layer of clothing next to your skin is the one you will feel all day!
Your inner layer should be made from synthetic material for maximum comfort. It should be soft and designed to wick moisture away from your skin. Never wear cotton clothing under your waders! Cotton retains moisture and has very little insulation value when damp. Nylon, acrylic and polyester do not retain as much moisture as cotton or silk. Wool is the only natural fiber that will keep you as warm as synthetics. However wool is more expensive and often less durable. Dressing with layers of Synthetic material can further customize the wicking of moisture away from your body.
Pay special attention to the layers that cover your legs and feet. These extremities are the ones that will be immersed in cold water. When water temperatures are below 50-degrees double layering is recommended. Water temperatures below 40-degrees demand heavier double-layering. Two layers of fleece or even three layers are recommended when the water is in the 30's. Pay special attention to your socks. Water runs down hill and some of your body perspiration will collect at your feet. This happens much less with breathable waders, but is still a factor, especially if you are hiking between pools. There is no way for wader feet to breath inside your wading shoes. Wader feet are still made from insulating, but non-breathable neoprene. Bootfoot breathable waders will keep you the warmest. Thick wool/nylon blend socks that have a knitted loop pile on the inside which gives them the capacity to retain a lot of loft, even with the squeezing pressure of your waders around them. They act as a reservoir for migrant perspiration but help keep it away from your skin. Remember, all socks are made from knitted yarns which tend to wash-out as you launder them, thereby loosing loft and insulating qualities. Replace them often for maximum comfort.
All of your favorite fly fishing apparel companies carries products that are made to keep you warm and comfortable during winter fishing. Check to see what materials these products are made from, and select what you want accordingly.
As I watch my 5yr old cut out what he wants for Christmas, I think about what I need to get to stay warm this winter while I'm fishing. Most companies are starting to release their Winter/Spring 2014 lines. Always think about keeping your hands, feet , and head warm. A good liner sock that wicks away moisture away from your foot with a wool sock that will absorb and insulate will help keep those feet from becoming ice blocks. Another way to keep your feet warm is to put aside those stocking foot waders, and get a pair of bootfoot waders. The bootfoots help keep in the warmth. You loose a lot of heat thru a stocking foot. For your hands, you want some polar fleece that will stay warm when wet, and also will block out the wind. Fold overs are great because you can keep your fingers covered while fishing, walking, or even taking a break. An extra pair is also a good idea. Your hat can make or break your day. You will want something that blocks the wind, and also provides warmth and can cover your ears.. Also it needs to be water resistant, because some precipitation will get on it even though you will have a hood.
All your major companies and some small businesses will be carrying everything you need to keep your extremities warm. Visit The Angler's Den in Pawling, NY, or your local fly shop today and take a look at what you can add to your list!
Back in the late 1970's, a group of people decided to turn the East branch of the Croton into a river that would become a great place to enjoy excellent trout fishing. Bill Elliott, along with the DEC, and Trout Unlimited, turned a put and take river, into an excellent fishery in a very short time. We still enjoy the fruits of their labors today. The following is from a Facebook post that Bill wrote:
Michael Gann liked the ideas I came up with so he worked with me to get the department to move away from the normal stocking and go with the introduction of just fingerlings. I knew in my heart that because of the fantastic food supply available to these young Trout that they would flourish in their new home. In less than 3 years we were catching Browns that averaged over 18 inches and a few so much bigger than that. It was not easy to get the State to go along with something truly foreign but with working through the local Sportsman clubs and people like Michael, we got it done.
The key to this success was based on several things that all had to work together, the first thing was making sure that the river held the food supply needed to grow the fingerlings. The East branch had that and more, the second was once enacted we had to have the new regulations enforced or all our efforts would have been for naught. This was a problem I did run into with the local game warden telling people that if the poached the stream he wouldn't arrest them, he liked things the way they had been in the past, I got him removed. His replacement wasn't much better at first but after meeting me several times on the water and then seeing how well the fishery was growing he came on board with the new stocking program. I in no way did this all by myself, over the years that it took I received a lot of help from other chapter members and people who wanted to see my dream come true. This fall I will get to see just how well it still is doing.
A repost from my Facebook Page.
I also spent a truly enjoyable day with Hendrickson Spinner (Frank) a young man with a very bright future ahead of him. I made it back to see the river that took up so much of my time almost 40 years ago and had the pleasure of spending the... day with a truly fine young man who loves the East Branch of the Croton as much as I. I let the day pass and spent the time catching a few Trout and all the time relaying my stories of days past on that beautiful stretch of water. I came away with a new friend and the knowledge that with men like Hendrickson this river will have a bright future. a few photo's from that day.
by Bill Elliott