First Post from a Newbie! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: First Post from a Newbie!

05-05-2001, 08:44 AM
Another newbie to fly fishing here! I was fortunate to have met Juro last week at the Blue Northern Trading Company in Ayer MA and he was most generous to spend a LOT of time answering my questions after he was admiring the Chota STL+ boots I eventually bought. A truly nice guy! (Hope I didn't prevent you from getting to the post office before they closed) But he also seems representative of all the people I have met so far that are "into" fly fishing - knowledgable and willing to share. That's one of the many things I love about this sport. It's not only thoroughly enjoyable to do, but the people envolved are great too. Hope to some day join in on one of the Conclaves.

I will be doing my first 3 day FF school in Vermont in a couple of weeks and I want to make sure I am comfortable and prepared. I've heard that it's not a good idea to wear blue jeans under waders because of their inability to wick moisture.

Now for my first question to this fine board:

What do most of you guys wear under your waders? (Sounds like the old "Kilt" question!)

05-05-2001, 12:15 PM
Depends on the waders and the time of the year.

In the old days, :) , of neoprene waders I would just wear a pair of light sweats or long underwear. The 5 mil neoprene was enough to keep warm in the coldest of conditions. In the summer I would just wear a pair of shorts.

But with breathable waders because they do not insulate you, it is very necassary to dress for the wheather. In the winter time I wear 3 layers beneath my waders-a pair of tight thin polypro underwear, like the cheap ones at REI; above that a pair of fleece lined midweight long underwear, I like the ones made by SIMMS; and above that a pair of fleece Polartec sweats. When the water warms up some or if I will be doing lots of walking or spending not a whole lot of time in the water, I will usually shed the middle layer. In the warmer waters I will usually stick with just a pair of shorts.

The only part of body that I am continuing to experiement with is my feet. I have yet to find the perfect combination that keeps my feet warm on the coldest of days in the coldest of waters. So far I have settle on a pair of Smartwool socks and over that a pair of heavyduty wool socks.

05-06-2001, 08:12 PM
one of the things I always found to help cold feet is to insulat ethe bottom, if there is room. a layer of felt, or closed cell foam works wonders. Tom D

05-06-2001, 08:44 PM
Welcome Ralph, glad you made it!

I also wear everything from shorts to heavy fleeces with polypro long underwear depening on the conditions.

From one extreme to the other:

Winter steelhead - we can take it from a steelheader like Ryan (north fork) that 5mm neoprene is best suited to winter. If wearing breathables, then both polypro and fleece is best IMHO.

For cold freestone streams in spring, a similar layering of polypro and light fleece - seems best. I have a pair of pants made with that microfleece (non-pilling) fleece I bought at REI that I love for every cold water application other than winter steelhead. They are comfortable with or without a polypro liner.

I always wear comfortable cotton socks on the feet, regardless of how hot it gets on the flats.

I found a very thin polypro long underwear that is made from a material that feels very comfortable next to the skin at kittery trading post in Kittery Maine. It has a weave to the material like the old traditional long-johns (but smaller texture) which aids wicking in addition to the material. Fleece retains less than 5% of the water it is exposed to so they say. I know one thing fleece dries really quick once you remove the waders.

Most moisture comes from condensation created from the difference in temperatures inside and outside the membrane. It is also caused by sweat when temps are high. Therefore in temperature ranges that do not emphasize condensation, it's fine to wear jeans. When the conditions are prone to generating lots of condensation / sweat - it's not a good idea because of the lack of wicking effect of cotton.


05-06-2001, 08:47 PM
A pair Of PolyPTo socks first then the wool will stay warmer than all wool. You can find these in some ski shops or dedicated out door clothing shops