Winter has arrived. The Midwest provides lots of fishing opportunities throughout the winter months for both open water and ice anglers. Many anglers like to go ice-fishing, many others enjoy fishing in the open water in rivers below dams. Regardless of where you go fishing, you want to stay warm. If you're not warm, you're not going to enjoy your fishing like you should. However, you don't want to be too warm: you don't want to start sweating, because when you start sweating, that's when you start getting cold. The moisture that the sweat provides will chill you quickly, and when you get chilled, you quit enjoying your fishing. With recent advancements in clothing, it's not hard to stay warm when you're on the ice or in a boat in the late fall, winter, and early spring. Here are some ideas for staying warm in the winter.

Most outdoors-people have heard about layering their clothing. Layering refers to wearing several layers of lighter clothing instead of one big heavy jacket, and layering really does work. By wearing several layers of clothing, you can add or subtract a layer to match the conditions.

Warm Fishing Gear

Mike Frisch wears the clothing that matches the fishing conditions to enjoy his time on the water or the ice even more.​

Layering starts with the layer of clothing next to your skin. This could be the most important layer. You want to wear underwear that will wick moisture away from your skin. If moisture is trapped next to your skin, you'll be cold before too long. I've had very good results with MTP underwear.

Next comes a flannel shirt or hooded sweatshirt. Many folks like the hood, as it can be pulled overhead to prevent wind from blowing down your neck.

A vest is the next layer. Again, you have choices here. The new Guidewear Vest with WindStopper from Cabela's is outstanding. It's windproof and water-resistant and wears really nice.

By now you're getting close to the outer layer. Guidewear is very popular as an outside layer. It comes in a several weights so you can choose the weight that will best fit your needs. I particularly like the parka length models. Guidewear will double as a rainsuit throughout the year.

Oftentimes an open water angler will need to dress warmer than an ice fisherman. Ice anglers are moving from hole to hole a lot, and they're frequently popping new holes: ice fishermen can be pretty active at times, and pretty sedentary at other times. If you're drilling holes, take a layer of clothing off. When you sit down to fish, put that layer back on.

In years past, being outside in the winter was often a test of endurance. Today there is no reason to be cold when you're outside. Keep these ideas in mind and you'll enjoy your time on the ice or in a boat this winter even more.

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