Tested – Simms Gloves

Cold hands are the curse of cold-weather fishing. Even if you’re not willing (or silly enough?) to fish alpine areas in winter, if you’re going to chase salmonids, you’ll inevitably end up being out in conditions where staying warm is a challenge. As I mentioned a few articles ago, I’ve pretty much compiled a cold weather fishing kit to meet this challenge… except for gloves.

The dilemma with gloves for flyfishing, is finding a pair that allow dexterity while also keeping your fingers warm. Until now, the best I’d owned were a pair of fleece ‘half gloves’. These kept the back of my hands covered and reasonably dry, while keeping my palms and fingers completely free. But in extreme cold, these gloves weren’t enough and the only alternatives in my collection that provided uncompromised warmth – neoprene gloves or full gloves – were simply too clumsy for effective fishing.

If you want to keep fishing effectively when it gets really cold, you need good gloves.

In these circumstances, it’s a relief more than anything to have discovered this Simms glove system: namely the Guide Windbloc® Half-Finger Mitt, coupled with their Ultra-wool Core 3 Finger Liner (a totally separate glove that can be worn inside the mitt if necessary or on its own). During the coldest week of fishing I’ve experienced: days of frequent gales, snow and zero or near zero temperatures in the Snowy Mountains, this system worked. I had that rarest of combinations: freedom of movement and full sensation in my fishing fingers, plus warm hands, and right through the day.

A slow figure-8 retrieve and feeling for the slightest resistance, was no problem with the Windblocs and liners, even with steady snow falling.

Simms says the Windbloc® mitt is ‘…100% windproof. By embedding a breathable micro-porous laminate between a durable outer layer and lofted inner fibres, we created… a balance between insulating warmth and performance stretch.’ The mitt’s construction is also curved somewhat to fit the natural shape of your hand. (And there’s a wrist pouch for a hand-warmer, though in practice I didn’t need this.)

The Windblocs alone were excellent, but for a boost in really bitter conditions, the Ultra-wool Core 3 Finger Liners can be worn inside. Their slim design, tight weave and merino wool material (which wicks moisture away from the skin) were also useful on their own during rare moments of less severe weather.

To fish effectively, tying on flies needs to be easy, regardless of the conditions.

Ultimately, these gloves – separately or combined – proved the answer in the worst conditions Australia can turn on. They kept me fishing comfortably and effectively, long after my previous glove options would have sent me back to the car or cabin.

Available at The Flyfisher….