If you’re like us, there’s not a whole lot that will keep you off the water. From freezing winter temps on your favorite trout streams to cold rainy days chasing steelhead in the Pacific Northwest, warm hands and quality fly fishing gloves are a must.
There are plenty of options on the market to choose from, including half finger, full glove with fold-over “trigger” fingers, to warmer choices like half finger with fold-over mittens. Once you’ve honed in on a style of fly fishing glove, you’ll have a number of material options to consider from fleece to wool to soft-shelled synthetics. We did the work and found some of the best fly fishing gloves the industry has to offer, so you don’t have to.
Simms Fly Fishing Gloves
No stranger to designing equipment for the toughest conditions, Simms has several offerings in contention for some of the best fly fishing gloves on the market. If you prefer fingerless gloves, like me due to increased dexterity, you’re in luck. Prefer a fold over mitten style? Simms has you covered.
Simms Headwaters Half Finger Glove $29.95
The Simms Headwaters Half Finger Gloves are made of a high-stretch and wind-resistant Polartec fleece. I have a pair of these that have served me well through some cold Colorado winters in addition to wool gloves (see below). If you often strip streamers in cold weather, these are a great option as the fleece is water repellent and keeps your hands warm even when they’re wet. My biggest complaint with the gloves is that the fleece acts far too much like a fly patch with small flies. If you’re in the market for a pair of lightweight, packable, and most importantly warm gloves, be sure to give the Simms Headwaters Half Finger Gloves a try. While I prefer the half finger style, the Headwater series is also available in a fingerless and foldover mitt.
Simms Wool Half-Finger Glove $29.95
Traditionally, anglers have turned to wool clothing and accessories for its insulating properties and natural water resistance. Quite possibly the biggest advantage of wool, and wool gloves, in particular, is that it offers warmth and insulation even after being completely soaked through. Sure there are other wool gloves on the market but the quality and fit of the Simms Wool Half-Finger gloves are unmatched. These low profile gloves are 100% wool, come with rubber gripped palms that are great for casting, rowing, camp chores, and more.
Simms Guide Windbloc Series $54.95
The last fly fishing glove offering from Simms on this list are the Guide Windbloc Series Half Finger Gloves that are made of a four-way stretch fabric and come pre-curved in the natural shape of a hand for increased dexterity. These gloves also come with heat-pack pockets in the wrists to ensure warm hands all day long without affecting your grip and dexterity. Like the Headwaters series, the Simms Guide Windbloc Series gloves also come in a foldover mitt style.
Orvis Fly Fishing Gloves:
Like Simms, Orvis offers several styles of fly fishing gloves in a variety of materials. fingerless, trigger finger and convertible mitts are available in fleece and softshell materials.
Orvis Fingerless Fleece Gloves $29.95
The Orvis Fingerless Fleece Gloves are made in a four-way stretch fleece to ensure the perfect fit. These gloves also have a synthetic suede palm for enhanced grip. There’s sure to be a good fit for all anglers as these unisex gloves come in unisex sizes small through extra large. Like the fleece offering from Simms, these gloves retain their insulating properties when wet.
Orvis Pro Insulated Convertible Mittens $79.00
The last pair of fly fishing gloves in this review is the Orvis PRO Insulated Convertible Mitts that are designed to keep angler’s hands nimble even in the coldest of weather. These gloves are made with the same fabric and insulation found in the Orvis PRO Insulated Hoody for optimal warmth and synthetic suede on the palms for a better grip. There’s also a convertible thumb and folder over mitten with elastic keeper to reduce snagging. I typically prefer a true fingerless glove but fold-over mittens are great for long walks to and from the car and when you need a little extra warmth.
Another glove to mention that isn’t necessarily a specific “fishing” glove but due to their unique design, the FRDM gloves are worth a mention for anglers. The FRDM gloves allow users access to their hands or fingers without removing their gloves. Giving you a good amount of dexterity and warmth. The Vigor Liners ($26.99) are a nice lightweight addition to your kit. While the Hybrid Lightweight Glove model ($45.99) is best suited for the everyday angler and it doesn’t break the bank.
How will you stay warm this winter?
Winter is quickly approaching (and underway in some places) which unfortunately means layering up under waders, hats, gloves, and more. I typically don’t like to fish with gloves until it’s absolutely necessary since they can be cumbersome but Simms and Orvis have taken steps to make fly fishing gloves more manageable. If you plan to spend time on the water this winter, I’d recommend picking up a pair of fingerless gloves for milder days and a pair of foldover mittens for when the weather really turns south. These tried and true options are sure to meet the needs of any angler looking for a quality pair of fly fishing gloves.
Article by Evan Garda, he is on the Content Team here at Fly Lords. He can be found chasing trout throughout the west with his trusty fly rod. Check out his adventures at @evangarda.