Keeping Warm

Williams Fork River (Map)

Parshall, CO. Blue River. January 25, 2013.

I am one of those people who have to live in a climate where there are four seasons. I grew up on the east coast and some folks back there would scoff if I said Colorado has four seasons, but I believe we do – maybe just not as pronounced as back east. I enjoy embracing the challenges that each of the seasons brings, but I find it especially exhilarating to be able to be outside in temperatures as low as I encountered this week. I know how short-lived this will be as evidenced with the temperatures in Denver this weekend.


So I have had a few friends ask me what I wear to stay warm for five hours in a river that’s 34 degrees and the air temp at seven degrees. From the inside out – first layer – tight-fitting capilene long underwear, wool socks. Second layer – Goretex or some other synthetic, wicking material for a turtle neck,  fleece pants and alpaca socks. Third layer – heavy fleece jacket, waders. Last layer – Patagonia down jacket, fleece neck warmer, ear band, aviator style hat with cushioned lining that has velcro that fastens under my chin, and then gloves with a flap over fingerless tips and my wading boots. I also have hand warmers in the pocket of my jacket when I need to get a little heat boost after releasing a fish or retying my line.

The reality is that before much longer I will have different kinds of issues to work out, e.g. hats, insects, cool clothing… So I choose to embrace the moment and not think about what the future will bring. I do think about the past because I think we can learn from our mistakes but try not to dwell on them. In the meantime, I will enjoy the stillness on the rivers and fish like it’s the last time.

Thanks Mike Kuberski for the photo of me!

3 thoughts on “Keeping Warm

  1. Skiing tomorrow in the cold and snow and thinking the same thing…enough layers of the right clothes and all will be well. I will be able to enjoy the moment, no better feeling. Fish on, Shelley!!

  2. I’ve found that merino wool is my go to cold weather gear…but it’s also fantastic when it’s warm. Icebreaker is my favorite brand, closely followed by SmartWool. It’s lightweight, never smells, and is warm in both wet and dry weather. Gotta keep the sheep in business, right?

  3. How did those that settled in the Rockies do it all those years ago???? That is, bear the cold, and manage to survive the winters without all these high tech materials, excluding the wool. Are we getting soft??? I know for a fact that working outside in all kinds of weather I’ve found, my hand in particular, I can withstand most weather conditions with minimal protection. Movement is key!

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