When it comes to dealing with the wintertime elements on the river, there is not a more important piece of kit than a good pair of gloves. If the fingers go, the day’s done. We need sensation and dexterity to accomplish everything while fly fishing. Trying to tie knots with numb fingers is no fun at best, impossible most of the time. So to equip yourself to withstand the coldest, dampest, nastiest days, you’ll need a well designed and thought out pair of gloves. That’s where the new, updated and improved Simms Extream series comes in. There are three versions of this glove: the Half-Finger for slightly more mild conditions. The Flex Glove for the really gross days. And the Fold-Over Mitt, which is my favorite for all-around winter action.
These gloves have been around for a few years, but the latest version is a big step forward in design and function. All three are shielded with highly water-resistant Polartec Power Shield material. This is a highly pliant, yet amazingly resistant fabric. While not waterproof, it will withstand the wet very well. And it completely cuts out wind chill. It also insulates well, so as long as you keep the gloves on, they will help with warmth regardless of the conditions. The liner material wicks moisture away from the skin is incredibly warm as well as very comfortable.
With the Fold-Over Mitt, there is an added versatility. When hiking from spot to spot, sitting the boat or crouched over a spontaneous riverside campfire, the mitten can be covering your fingers, which are free to rub against each other, creating friction heat. When it’s time to tie knots and fish, the mitten snaps behind the glove to keep it out of the way. The thumb also has a fold-over fingertip cover. I prefer to leave the thumb exposed until the mitten folds over and then rub all five fingers together. It’s amazing how fast you can create heat in there!
One thing to keep in mind with any of these gloves is that fit is really important. I recommend erring on the slightly small side when trying them on. They will loosen with time, but more importantly, you want any glove or base layer to have a skin-to-skin fit.
Check them out here!