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3 Critical Layering Pieces For Every Angler

The fall months are prime time for anglers here in Colorado. Cooler weather, hungry fish and generally good water conditions lead to some of the best fishing of the year. And with that cooler weather, comes the need for a comfortable and versatile layering system.

From your waders all the way down to your socks, the right layering materials matter. That Simms GoreTex or Patagonia H2No shell will only do its job when you pair it with great layering pieces that regulate temperature and manage moisture. With the wrong layers, your breathable outerwear won’t perform properly. In fact, we’ve spoken to customers who thought they had a leak in their waders, only to discover that cotton socks were the culprit for trapping that moisture.

As you layer up for great fall fishing, here are the three critical layering pieces to consider:


1. Base Layers

A comfortable layering system begins with what’s next to your skin. For your base layers, we recommend high quality synthetics or merino wool. These options will keep you comfortable in a wide range of temperatures and help manage moisture so that you don’t feel clammy underneath your waders or other outerwear.

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Consider the Simms Lightweight Core, Ultra-Wool Core, or the Patagonia Capilene Midweight pieces for a wide range of fall fishing conditions. If the weather turns very cold, the Simms ExStream Core is a great option. Check out some of our base layers in stock here.

Anglers All crew member, Johnny Trujillo has positive things to say about the Simms Core pieces. “Simms base layers have been great, especially under waders to keep my legs warm on long wading days,” he mentioned.

Don’t forget that your socks and undies are critical too! Ditch the cotton and take a look at the Free Fly Men’s Boxer Brief and the new Merino wool sock options from Simms or Rep Your Water.

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As you’re packing those base layers, remember to cover your head and hands! Hats and gloves will go a long way toward keeping you comfortable on the water. Anglers all crew member, Rachel Therkildsen, commented on her go-to accessories:

“A must-have piece of gear in my bag are the Simms Foldover Mitts,” Rachel told us. “Having access to my finger tips is the only way to tie knots, but while walking from spot to spot in cold weather, it helps to keep those finger tips covered!

“I also like to still wear a billed hat year around,” Rachel added. “Protecting your eyes from above makes finding fish much easier. If it gets cold, I will pull on a knit cap over my baseball hat.”


2. Insulating Layers

With your base layers as the foundation, insulating layers can be added or removed to match the conditions. From a lightweight hoody to a puffy jacket, we recommend packing two or three items of varying weights. This will allow you mix and match for maximum comfort over a wide range of weather conditions.

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When the weather is mild, consider something like the Free Fly Crossover Hoody or Fleece Quarter Zip. When things turn cold, we love to recommend thePatagonia Tough Puff Hoody or the Simms West Fork Jacket.

"I continue to wear my sun hoodies, or Free Fly bamboo shirts in the winter,” Johnny told us. “I just layer over them. My next layer is a vest; I am a big vest guy. I know if I keep my core warm, my hands will follow. On top of that is my trusty Tough Puff Hoody". Check out the new Simms Dockwear Vest.

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Rachel also has great things to say about the Women’s Tough Puff Hoody from Patagonia. “The Tough Puff is a comfortable mid layer that I rely on to stay warm during the fall and winter,” Rachel commented. “Many days I can fish just in that jacket. If a storm blows through, I can easily add a waterproof, windproof shell over the top without the whole system getting too bulky.”

Insulating your legs will also become critical when temperatures drop. For your bottom half, take a look at the Patagonia R1 Fleece pants or the Nano Puff Pants. These are both great options to layer over your base layer bottoms.


3. Outerwear

The capstone on any good layering system is high quality outerwear. Breathable, waterproof options like Simms GoreTex or Patagonia H2No will keep you dry and comfortable from the inside out.

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In mild weather, we love the Patagonia Ultralight Packable Jacket and the Simms Vapor Elite Jacket. When conditions become more demanding, the Simms Guide series jackets and the Patagonia River Salt jacket are all great options. Take a look at all of our in stock jackets available here.

When it comes to waders, be sure and check out our recent blog post with some wader buying guidelines and fitting tips. If you need help finding the right waders, don’t hesitate to come see us at the fly shop or give us a call at 303-794-1104. We’d be happy to answer any questions!