Some of you may have noticed the influx of big brown trout pictures that have shown up on instagram within the last couple of weeks. While the conditions as of late have been less than favorable for the angler, the fish are eating. If you’ve gotten fired up about chasing after these big browns, winter fishing requires proper gear: layering correctly will make or break a day on the water.

Gloves and beanies, wool socks, and a good base layer of breathable synthetic or wool followed by a fleece or synthetic down midlayer provides both warmth and keeps sweat wicked away. Cotton base layers are less than ideal because they absorb moisture and hold it in whereas synthetics such as polyester and nylon wick sweat and allow it to dissapate. If you’re wearing breathable waders, cotton baselayers completely defeat the purpose of having breathability built in.


We like mid-weight Patagonia Capilene and Simms Waderwick for a base layer and then follow up with Patagonia Nanopuff jackets, Simms Midstream Insulated jackets, and wader pants such as the fleece-lined Simms Coldweather pant. Synthetic down is a better option than natural down for fishermen – when wet, synthetic down such as Primaloft retains heat whereas natural down doesn’t retain heat when wet.



The final layer is perhaps the most important; an outer hard shell of highly wind and rain repelling Gore-Tex or similar fabric will ensure that you don’t end up soaked. We prefer any Simms wading jacket such as the G3 Tactical Jacket.

As far as safety precautions, always bring extra clothing. Falling in the water and ending up soaked is both uncomfortable and dangerous. A wading belt, patch kits for waders, and a knife should all also be in your kit. Even in overcast conditions, good polarized sunglasses cut through glare and provide eye protection from an errant cast.

Being prepared is all that it takes to keep you out in the weather that puts predatory brown trout on the prowl. If you want to get prepped for winter and learn how to fish these conditions, let us know! We offer guide trips year round. Good Luck!

Jacob Milholland
Cohutta Fishing Company

Cartersville: (770) 606-1100

Blue Ridge: (706) 946-3044