Best River Fishing Products

The Best Must-Have Gear and Products For River Fishing

Best Gear and Products for River Fishing

The best river fishing products are the ones that work, that aren’t over priced and are durable. With all the river gear available today and all the bull crap reviews and online blog articles written by people that I doubt even fish much, it can get very confusing for anglers as to what they actually need and what is actually good gear for river fishing. As a guide for over 20 years who has been on the pro staffs and guide programs for multiple brands, I know what the best river fishing products are because it’s gear I use every single day on the water, and some years that means I’m on the water testing out this gear over 250 days a year.

I’ve also owned a tackle store so between the store, my guiding service, and a few guides on staff I’ve had the opportunity to have tried and used many river fishing products and to also get great feed back from other guides. As a guide I have also had the opportunity to ask hundreds, if not thousands of my clients how they liked some of the gear that they are using. That’s why all the gear that I recommend on this website is gear that has been used and put through real time testing over days and days on the water by myself, my guides friends and regular anglers just like you.

Best River Fishing Products

New to river fishing? What to buy and where to shop

I often get new anglers that want to book a guide trip with me but they want to go out and buy some of the gear before their trip and they have no idea what they need. So I put this page together for them and all my clients or anyone else that is looking for the honest reviews on trusted gear that actually works. 

Shop With Caution – There are tons of great products on the market but there’s also some not so great products too. With all the crap coming out of china and being sold on Amazon and then endorsed by  affiliate marketers that don’t even use the products you really need to be careful who you trust. I have discovered dozens of websites with affiliates marketers are reviewing and recommending products that are crap! It seams like many of these websites and writers will recommend any product, good or bad, from the brand that pays them the biggest commission and they don’t give crap about you or me. ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS MAKING SOME MONEY. That’s the other reason why I decided to add a products page to this website. I wanted be sure my clients and freinds are actually getting good honest advice on good products.

I’ve included a SHOP link to the places that I trust and have used. These are reputable places like Bass Pro Shops, Cabelas and some other local retailers that I know and trust. You can click on the link to any product you are interested in for more information or to buy the product. Some prices may change, some products might be on sale now, and some links might not work over time, so just google search the product if the link doesn’t work. The gear on this page is good for all river anglers regardless of the method of fishing you prefer.

There is specialty gear that may be specific to fly anglers or centerpin anglers or spin fishing anglers so check the Fly Fishing page, the Centerpin/Float Fishing page and the Spin Fishing pages for other gear that I recommend that are specific to those methods.

BEST FISHING WADERS

Next to rods and reels, waders are one of the most important items a river angler needs. Even in the middle of the summer when it’s so hot that I probably could wade without waders I still wear them to protect my legs from being scratched, cut or for protection from bugs like ticks.

Let me just say I HATE WADERS! I mean, I like to wear them but . . . . I’ve used lots of different waders in the past 30 years and as a guide doing over 200 days a year on the river most waders wont last me more then a year or two before I need to start patching them up, that’s why I hate them. I wish someone could make a wader that will last a guide 20 years, but those waders don’t exist yet, and all waders are going to leak at one time or another. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that you can buy waders that will last longer than others, so don’t worry because I’m here to help you out. I know anglers that have $200 waders that have lasted 10 years or more, and with waders, you kinda get what you pay for. The waders I use now are often over $400.00, but those types of wader probably aren’t what you need in order to keep you dry and comfortable. Very few anglers are on the water over 200 days a year like I am so most medium priced waders will do just fine. So here are some tips and recommendations for you.

First, I recommend chest waders over hip waders or over pant waders, especially if you plan on fishing all seasons.

During the warmer summer months you can just fold the chest waders down over the belt and wear them like pants which will keep you cooler. In the winter months they can be worn normally up over the chest which allows you to stay a bit warmer.

Second, I recommend breathable waders over the vinyl or rubber waders or neoprene waders. The breathable waders are better all around waders for all seasons. They are much lighter and feel more like you are wearing a pair of cargo pants. In the winter you just layer up to keep you warm and in the summer you were less layers, even shorts can work and the breath-ability of the waders keeps you dryer and that aids in keeping you warmer and more comfortable year round.

The non-breathable waders are more prone to sweating, and condensation from your warm body on the inside and the cold water on the outside. The more damp you are, the less comfortable you are and the colder you will be especially in the winter. It’s not uncommon for anglers to take off neoprene waders and wonder if they are leaking because they have damp socks and damp pants but often it’s just condensations and sweat. Neoprene wader are also much heavier, bulkier and don’t provide as much movement for climbing banks compared to the lightweight  breathable waders.

Third, I recommend what they call stocking foot waders (as seen in the picture) over waders with the boot’s built on which are known as boot foot waders. Stocking foot waders have neoprene soft bottoms like built in socks that require separate boots to go on over top of them. These boot are like hiking boots and offer far more ankle support compared to boot-foot waders with the rubberized boots built on.

Fourth, avoid the cheap no name waders that you might see on Amazon, I don’t trust the wader or the reviews and I’ve tried so many cheap waders over the years and many leak within days. I recently tried 2 somewhat know low end brands and they that were horrible. Even though the company kept sending me a replacement pair all 5 new pairs leaked within 5 to 10 days on the water. I finally gave up on them. The other company I bough 3 waders all at the same time and they all leaked bad, the company would not offer me a refund claiming that I was doing something that caused all of them to leak, basically they were just crap waders. Even big brand names waders can leak sometimes, but most f the time they will last way longer and are not as likely to leak right out of the box like the cheap ones do, and they are usually covered by good service and warranty program should you happen to get a bad pair. Bottom line, all waders will leak, it’s just a matter of when?

 

Best River Fishing Products for all seasons

BEST WINTER WADERS

WINTER WADERS – The only time I recommend boot foot waders is in dead of winter when the water is very cold. Trust me, I’m standing in ice cold waters sometimes 3 days straight.

In Ontario and around the great lakes, cold feet usually starts around the second week in November and goes until late March or early April.

It’s very tough to keep your feet warm, I’ve tried just about everything to keep my feet warm in stocking foot waders and nothing works except electric heated socks.

Another local guide gave me a tip when we were discussing cold feet, he recommended switching from a stocking foot wader to a good boot foot wader. The day before my boot foot waders arrived in the mail I guided in stocking foot waders that had my feet so cold that I couldn’t feel my toes or my feet. The very next day wearing my new pair of boot-foot waders my feet were actually sweating because I wore to many socks, the same amount of socks I wore the day before in my other waders. My clients had ice cold feet still but mine were toasty warm. Proper insulated winter boot-foot waders, the good ones, will keep your feet warmer than stocking foot waders but here are 2 tips I’ll give you.

Snow sticks to felt bottom boots really bad so get rubber or studded bottom boots and go 1 to 2 sizes up so your feet aren’t constricted with the extra socks.

BEST WADERS TO CONSIDER

Starting at $92.99

BEGINNER LEVEL WADERS
 
Caddis Entry Level Breathable Wader
 
  • Polyester outer
  • Imported
  • Polyester material with CaddisDry breathable technology
  • Front hand warmer pocket
  • Adjustable h-style suspenders
  • Seams are taped, glued and stitched
  • Foot seams are taped inside and out

Click the Shop link for more details.

Starting at $90.64

BEGINNER LEVEL WADERS
 
Caddis Mens Breathable Wader
  • Comfortable 2 Tone Taupe stocking foot Breathable waders with double knee’s, adjustable deluxe suspenders, new Quad pocket and attached breathable gravel guards.
  • Works great in all weather conditions to keep you warm and comfortable while fishing, clamming or working in your pond.
  • We use only the highest quality breathable material with a durable Poyester outer using CaddisDry technology that allows perspiration through, but keeps water out.
  • The feet are double taped glued and stitched to make sure your feet stay warm and dry. Boots should be purchased separately.
  • This family of waders has more adult sizes than any other wader series in our line. Men and women of most body sizes are addressed here.
  • Refer Indications section below for help in selecting size. For short stouts subtract 3″ from the inseam.

Click the Shop link for more details.

$179.99

ENTRY LEVEL WADERS
 
Simms Tributary Stockingfoot Waders for Men
 

 These Simms waders are extremely breathable, and made of 3 layers of waterproof polyester in the upper portion, and 4 layers in the lower portion.

  • 3-layer waterproof polyester in upper
  • 4-layer waterproof polyester in lower
  • Reach-through, lined handwarmer pocket with zippered stash pocket
  • 2 belt loops with 38mm nylon belt
  • Gravel guard with elastic bottom hem
  • Neoprene stockingfeet with anti-odor finish

Click the Shop link for more details.

$399.99

ALL LEVEL WADERS
 
Simms Headwaters GORE-TEX
These are popular waders and I’ve met a lot of anglers that have been wearing these waders for years and they have lasted with no problems for them.
 

Made of GORE-TEX’s lightweight 3-Layer Pro Shell fabric, the Headwaters Convertible Waders are waterproof and durable, yet lightweight and comfortable.

  • Versatile Simms design and GORE-TEX performance at a great value
  • Lightweight GORE-TEX 3-Layer Pro Shell fabric
  • Converts from chest-high wader to wading pants
  • Innovative zip extension system for easy conversion
  • Reinforced fabric in front leg panels for added durability
  • Front leg seam construction reduces abrasion
  • Easy access chest pocket
  • Hourglass-shaped stockingfeet – comfortable fit
  • Durable, abrasion resistant, built-in gravel guards
  • Integrated belt loops with 2″ elastic belt and Simms Trout buckle

Click the Shop link for more details.

$549.99

SERIOUS ANGLER WADERS
 
Simms G3 Guide GORE-TEX Stocking-Foot Waders for Men
 
  • Re-engineered version of Simms most popular waders line
  • Waterproof and breathable 4-layer GORE-TEX Pro Shell fabric through legs for durability
  • Waterproof and breathable 3-layer GORE-TEX Pro Shell fabric in upper
  • Leg seams on front and back – maximum comfort and mobility
  • Anatomically engineered neoprene stockingfeet with hourglass design and microbe-resistant finish
  • Durable, abrasion resistant gravel guards with boot hooks
  • Removable, flip-out Tippet Tender pocket – dual entry zippers and retractor docking station
  • Reach-through, microfleece-lined handwarmer pocket with zip closures
  • Zippered chest pocket with Super-Fly Patch
  • Convertible design – elastic suspenders with reversible YKK buckles
  • Low profile belt loops and nylon wading belt

Click the Shop link for more details.

$249.99

WINTER WADERS
 
Frogg Toggs Steelheader Reinforced Nylon Insulated Boot-Foot Waders for Men

1,200 gram 3M™ Thinsulate™ Ultra Insulation in the wader’s boots helps keep feet warm in chilly waters.

  • Performance waders built for cold weather fishing
  • Rugged and waterproof 4-ply nylon construction
  • 4-ply fabric reinforcement over the knees and seat
  • Zip-out 120 gram insulated liner – holds body heat in on cold fishing days
  • 1,200 gram 3M Thinsulate Ultra Insulation in boots
  • Zippered, flip-out security chest pocket
  • 2 zip-close, diagonal, fleece-lined hand warmer pockets
  • Adjustable elastic suspenders with snaplock buckles
  • Adjustable wading belt with locking buckle
  • Cleated outsoles

Click the Shop link for more details.

BEST WADING BOOTS

Wading Boots – Wading boots go on your stocking foot waders and provide traction and ankle support and also protect your waders. I’ve been using Korkers boots for about 10 years and as a guide that guides on lots of different rivers with different types of river banks and river bottoms and in different weather including snow and ice these are by far my first choice. I easily change the soles for mud, rock sand and snow making my day on the water safe and comfortable. I highly recommend them but there are other good boots out there that I have tested. 

$74.47

Frogg Toggs Hellbender Wader Boot

This is a good entry level boot gets good reviews.

  • 100% PVC
  • Imported
  • lace-up closure
  • Lightweight mesh and PVC upper with felt outsole
  • Padded ankle collar
  • Nylon heel pull
  • Wide wading last for support and stability
  • Speed laces with locking lace clip
  • Durable mesh upper with PVC outskin
  • Replaceable felt outsole
  • Padded ankle collar
  • Heavy duty riveted speed lacing system and wide wading last

Click the Shop link for more details.

$149.99

Korkers BuckSkin – Felt/Kling-On Wading Boots for Men

Designed to give anglers the ability to prep for any fishing location and situation, BuckSkin Wading Boots from Korkers® combines traditional styling with innovative outsole technology.

  • High-performance wading boots with innovative interchangeable outsole system
  • OmniTrax Interchangeable Sole System – lets you switch soles to fit the situation
  • Comes with traditional felt outsole and Kling-On Sticky Rubber outsole
  • Rubberized, anti-abrasion synthetic uppers
  • Hydrophobic materials throughout boot speeds drying – fights spread of invasive species
  • Minimized stitched seams – fewer potential failure points
  • EVA midsole with integrated drainage system featuring large ports and internal channels
  • Durable metal lacing hardware
  • RockGuard 420D Synthetic material front and heel of the boot – additional protection
  • Removable insoles

Click the Shop link for more details.

$139.99

Simms Freestone Wading Boots for Men

Simms® Freestone® Wading Boots for Men feature CleanStream™ design utilizing abrasion-resistant and water-repellent synthetic uppers to minimize water absorption and wet-weight for comfort and durability. StreamTread™ outsoles by Vibram® feature exclusive 360 lug design for maximum traction. Other features include rubber randing for added durability in toes and heels, Nylon Speed Lacing System, and full neoprene lining for comfort and warmth. Compatible with HardBite™ carbide and Alumibite™ Studs (sold separately). Color: Brown. Average weight per pair: 3 lbs. 2 oz.

  • CleanStream™ design
  • Abrasion-resistant and water-repellent synthetic uppers
  • Minimized water absorption and wet-weight
  • StreamTread™ outsoles
  • Rubber randing for added durability in toes and heels
  • Nylon Speed Lacing System
  • Full neoprene lining for comfort and warmth

Click the Shop link for more details.

$199.99

Korkers Devils Canyon Wading Boots for Men – Felt/Kling-On Soles

These are the boots that I have been wearing for almost 5 years and they have been great. An incredibly lightweight and versatile fishing wading boot, the Devils Canyon Wading Boots for Men from Korkers® fits like a glove and delivers athletic and agile performance.

  • Versatile and lightweight wader
  • OmniTrax® Interchangeable Sole System – switch soles to fit the situation
  • M2 Boa® lacing system for a glove-like fit
  • Quick-drying hydrophobic materials
  • Durability enhanced midsole
  • Rubberized RockGuard™ 420D anti-abrasion synthetic material
  • Reduced seams
  • Recessed triple-stitched uppers
  • Molded toe cap
  • Integrated midsole drainage ports and channels
  • Stretch neoprene upper cuff – athletic glove-like fit
  • Includes Kling-On and Plain Felt Soles

Click the Shop link for more details.

Vests Versus Packs

River anglers don’t use tackle boxes. Walking through the bush with a tackle box just doesn’t work very well and sometimes you’re standing waist deep in the river and you can’t bring your tackle box with you so needing to go back and fourth to shore for your tackle box makes no sense.  Vests and packs simply hold all your terminal tackle like your hooks, pliers, weights, leader lines, flies or bait and maybe even lunch and a phone or camera. All that stuff is with you and accessible at all times because you wear them.  Long before packs were around anglers were using vests and many still use vests even now.

I started using vests and used them for 20 years before I switched over to packs. The switch wasn’t because I don’t like vests, in fact I actually prefer a vest over a pack. The downside for a vest, for me anyways, was the fact that once I started guiding I was carrying double or triple what I normally would carry and my vest was so heavy that it started to cause back and shoulder problems. The upside to a vest that I liked was that everything was spread out over the outside and inside of the front of the vest and it was organized and easy to access. Many vests often have a large pocket or two in the rear that can be used for big items like water bottles and lunch. I liked the spread out organization of a vest.

When I switched to a pack I tried the over the shoulder sling type ones, and the chest packs but I still found them too heavy on the shoulders so I switched to a large hip pack and it’s been great for my back and shoulders and I have been using hip packs for over 10 years now. I swivel the pack around so it sits at the small of my back when I’m fishing where it’s out of my way. When I need something I slide it around to my front and open it up.

The downside I find with my waist pack is that it carries less gear, plus there’s no room for lunch, and I feel that everything seams more jammed in, it’s kind like of like a junk drawer. However, with less gear than I would carry, other anglers might find it perfect for them and I know a lot of anglers and guides that prefer them over a vest. I tried about 6 different chest packs but I really didn’t like the chest packs at all. I found the chest packs got in my way all the time being out in front on me, and also got in my view when looking down at things like logs that I’m about to trip over. I also found them to high on my chest when looking down to find something in it, It was almost like stuff was right up in your face all the time.

With this said, what is best for you isn’t what is best for me and after speaking with many anglers and other guides about their vests, chest packs and waist packs it seams to be more of a personal preference for most anglers. These are some of the better vests and better packs that I know of or used in the past.

BEST FISHING VESTS

$39.99

White River Fly Shop Aventur1 Mesh Fly Fishing Vest

Poly mesh body construction adds cool, lightweight comfort for warmer weather.  With 10 external pockets, including a large back stuff pocket, 4 internal pockets, a built-in rod holder, and multiple accessory attachment points, this vest keeps you well-stocked and ready for anything. Sturdy polyester and cotton construction, with a softly padded collar for all-day wear. Clipping front closure.

  • Poly mesh body for cool comfort
  • Unique flip-down fly holder pocket at left chest
  • 10 external pockets, including a large back stuff pocket
  • 4 internal pockets
  • Built-in rod holder
  • Multiple accessory attachment points
  • Sturdy polyester and cotton construction
  • Padded collar for all-day wear
  • Clipping front closure

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$89.99

Fishpond Flint Hills Fly Fishing Vest

Traditional, functional, and affordable. That’s the Flint Hills Fly Fishing Vest by Fishpond®. This one-size-fits-most vest is stylish and comfortable, too. Constructed of cool, light mesh fabric, vest sports padded, weight-distributing shoulder straps for all-day comfort. There are six—count ’em—zippered front pockets and a large “easy access” back pouch for a raincoat or gear storage. Other features include gear attachment tabs, cord loops, and a D-ring net lash.

  • Adjustable shoulder and waist strap design
  • Cool, light mesh fabric
  • Padded weight-distributing shoulder straps
  • Six zippered front pockets
  • Large back pouch
  • Gear attachment tabs, cord loops, and D-ring net lash

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$129.99

Simms Headwaters Pro Mesh Vest

Water-resistant construction, and total of 20 pockets for gear and lures. This Simms fishing vest has it all, with 4 chest and 4 waist pockets, 2 large horizontal and 2 large vertical interior zippered pockets, a zippered back pocket, and an open-back cargo pocket. On the front, there’s a chest pocket for fly or foam patch storage, a rod holder, and reel seat sling.  Padded ribbed collar, 2 built-in retractor clips, 1 net carry, and 2 tool attachment D-rings. 100% nylon ripstop outer with 100% polyester lining.

  • 100% nylon ripstop outer
  • 100% polyester lining
  • 20 pockets total
  • 4 chest and 4 waist pockets
  • 4 large interior zippered pockets
  • 1 zippered back pocket
  • 1 cargo pocket
  • Left chest pocket with hook ‘n’ loop closure
  • Rod holder with chest tab and reel seat sling
  • 2 retractor clips, 1 net carry, 2 D-rings

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

BEST FISHING PACKS

$79.99

Fishpond Blue River Chest/Lumbar Pack

This is a popular pack with clients and friends and I beleive I owned this model at one time back when I used to sell fish pond products in my store. It was to small for me as a guide, but for the average angler it should be perfect. With its streamlined profile, eleven interior storage pockets and two zippered main compartments, the fishpond® Blue River Chest Lumbar Pack is the perfect alternative to a bulky vest. The zip-down ”fly bench” provides a 6” x 9” rippled foam work/storage area for quick and easy access to your flies while on the water. Flexibly designed as a chest or lumbar pack, the Blue River stays out of the way while casting. Colorful accent webbing serves as a convenient place to attach tools and accessories. 10.5” x 8” x 4”.

  • Zip-down “fly bench” work area with rippled high-density foam
  • Padded neck strap with climbing cord loop for net attachment
  • Padded and zippered main compartment for secure fly box storage
  • Four additional zippered compartments
  • Five internal storage pockets
  • Accent webbing and climbing cord loops for attaching tools and accessories

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$99.99

The fishpond® Waterdance Guide Pack,

Here is another pack I once used and sold to a friend when I realized it was also to small for my needs. It can be worn as a chest or lumbar pack. It has 2 generous main compartments and interior pockets for extra gear storage. The pack sports 2 mesh water bottle holders and padded, breathable air mesh backing for comfort. Crafted of Cyclepond™ lightweight fabric, the Waterdance boasts an adjustable compression strap system, webbing, and cord loops for tools and accessory attachments. A signature, zip-down fly bench features replaceable foam. Capacity: 427 cu. in. 11″ x 7″ x 9-1/2″.

  • 2 generous main compartments
  • Interior pockets
  • 2 mesh water bottle holders
  • Padded, breathable air mesh backing
  • Cyclepond lightweight fabric
  • Signature, zip-down fly bench with replaceable foam
  • Adjustable compression strap system
  • Webbing and cord loops for tools and accessory attachments

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$129.99

The Fishpond® Gunnison Guide Pack

This is similar to what I use now. My pack is old and is no longer available and when it dies this is a pack I would consider using next. This pack is created for anglers who demand extreme organization for serious amounts of gear. This 10L Fishpond fishing bag will easily carry your essentials for a day on the water, including your personal items and water bottles. It’s made of Cyclepond Fishbond fabric with a zippered main compartment for secure fly box storage. There’s a zip-down fly bench with 2 pieces of foam, as well as an exterior hook ‘n’ loop attachment for foam, tools, or accessories. An integrated slot keeps your net within easy reach. 2 zippered hip belt pockets, an interior zippered pocket, a stash pocket, a clear fishing license slot, and a key hook keep everything in its place. The Fishpond Gunnison Guide Pack has sturdy Hypalon pull tabs and reinforced accessory loops. Dimensions: 14″ x 9″ x 7″. Weight: 2 lbs.

  • Made of Cyclepond Fishbond fabric, 420D
  • Zippered main compartment for fly box storage
  • Zip-down fly bench with 2 pieces of foam
  • Exterior hook ‘n’ loop attachment for foam or tools
  • Integrated net slot
  • 2 water bottle pockets
  • 2 zippered hip belt pockets
  • Interior zippered pocket, stash pocket, license slot, and key hook
  • Hypalon pull tabs and cord loops for accessories
  • 10L capacity

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

Wading Jackets

One of the best river fishing products an angler needs is a wading jacket. A good wading jacket can be the difference between being warm and dry on a bad weather day or being cold and miserable. I’m often out rain or shine or in snow and freezing rain and with proper layering and a good wading jacket I can stay warm and dry even in the worst weather.I dont recommend insulated jackets unless you can afford one for winter and one for warmer weather. During the winter I layer under the jacket which keeps me warm and during the spring and fall when it’s warmer I just were less under-layers. I also recommend jackets in the greens, tans or greys so you blend into the background better.

I’ve used some inexpensive ones that I really liked and did the job fine and also some more expensive high end ones. These are some recommended jackets.

BEST WADING JACKETS

$99.99

I wore an early version of this jacket for years and it did the job. The Java Hellbender™ 2.5 Wading Jacket for men from Frogg Toggs® combines the classic features of a wading jacket with the lightweight performance of Frogg Toggs’ exclusive Java material. The Hellbender is crafted of an ultralight durable polyester with waterproof breathable Dripore™ Technology.

  • Ultralight, durable polyester that’s waterproof and breathable
  • Dripore Technology
  • Full-cut design
  • Adjustable hood
  • Expandable chest pockets with drain holes
  • 4 zippered tippet and accessory pockets
  • Full-zip front closure with storm flap and rain gutter
  • Adjustable shock cord waistband with foldaway rod holder
  • Adjustable neoprene and Lycra sleeve openings
  • 3 accessory D-rings

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$139.99

Built with DriPore® Gen 2 breathable technology fabric, an ultralight, very durable 100% waterproof material used in waders, the Pilot III Wading Jacket features 100% waterproof sealed seams, neoprene cuffs, and roomy drop-shoulder design to allow you a full range of motion. Gear storage accommodations include 2 flapped chest pockets with drain holes and keyhole patches, 2 lower hand-warmer/storage pockets, and an internal zippered chest pocket for sensitive items.

  • DriPore Gen 2 breathable technology fabric
  • Super-lightweight protection from the elements
  • 100% waterproof and durable
  • Won’t restrict your freedom of movement
  • 100% waterproof sealed seams
  • Neoprene cuffs
  • Drop-shoulder design for full range of motion
  • 2 flapped chest pockets with drain holes and keyhole patches
  • 2 lower hand-warmer/storage pockets
  • Internal zippered chest pocket

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$499.99

This is jacket I wear now and have had it for 5 years and it’s finally time to replace it. That’s a long time for a guy like me that wears it over 100 days a year and some pretty nasty weather. It has been the best wading jacket I’ve tried.

Packable Storm Hood adjusts to fight even the fiercest downpour. Keep all your gear close with the intuitive, ergonomic 9-pocket design: 4 zip chest pockets, 2 zip hand pockets, 1 zip sleeve pocket, 1 internal zip pocket, 1 internal stretch mesh pocket. YKK® water-resistant zipper hardware further increases your protection, and the 2 integrated retractors, 1 fly patch, and 1 net D-ring add endless accessory options.

  • 100% nylon face
  • 3-layer GORE-TEX weatherproof protection
  • 9 pockets: 4 zip chest pockets, 2 zip hand pockets, 1 zip sleeve pocket, 1 internal zip pocket, 1 internal stretch mesh pocket
  • YKK water‐resistant zipper hardware
  • 4‐point adjustable, tuck‐away Storm Hood
  • Watertight Shingle Cuff™
  • 2 integrated retractors, 1 fly patch, 1 net D‐ring

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

Gloves for Summer and Winter

I wear gloves most of the year regardless of the temperature. What anglers don’t realize that us guides know is that the tops of you hands are always exposed to the sun and I know guides that have had to have multiple skin cancers removed from the back of their hands due to all that sun exposure. That’s why I have my hands covered almost all of the time now. I also hate sunscreen lotions on my hands as not only does it make my hands slippery when hold the rod, but I believe the scent gets on the flies and baits and that can deter fish from biting.

During the colder months gloves are needed to keep you hands warm but unfortunately fishing with the wrong gloves can make fishing difficult. The right cold weather gloves will keep your hands warm and maybe dry but still give you all the dexterity you need to fish properly. These are some of the best gloves that I have used and are common with good river anglers.

BEST FISHING GLOVES

$29.99 - $34.99

I have two pairs of these, One i leave on my boat and the other I use on the river. They are protection for the most valuable tool in your kit—your hands. These Simms fishing gloves are lightweight and breathable, with a fingerless style that allows you to strip line and tie knots without removing them. UPF 50 sun protection blocks burning rays, and extended cuffs meet your long sleeves for full coverage. The fast-drying, breathable fabric offers protection from abrasions and fast-moving line while delivering complete dexterity for the small tasks. Reinforced index fingers and open palms improve your grip without losing your rod feel, and pairing snaps help you keep track of them. Simms SolarFlex SunGloves have a professional look and outstanding performance for fly fishing, boating, or watersports. 92% polyester/8% spandex. Approximately 1 oz.

  • 92% polyester/8% spandex
  • UPF 50 sun protection
  • Half-finger style offers full dexterity
  • Lightweight, breathable, and fast-drying
  • Reinforced index fingers and open palms
  • Extended cuffs cover wrists

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$22.99

These are my best winter mitt. They fold back to let you fingers work the rod, reel and line and then fly back to keep your fingers warm. You can add a Heat Pack hand warmer to the fold over part to add warmth.

Mitt fishing glove is designed to fold back to provide you with greater dexterity when you’re tying knots, baiting hooks or handling fish. The Alaska River Windproof Flip Mitt features a warm and comfortable fleece back with 2mm neoprene palm for maximum warmth and improved grip. Color: Black.

  • Fold back design for greater dexterity
  • Fleece back with 2mm neoprene palm

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$69.95

These are the best gloves I’ve used for colder spring and fall days and I know of other guides and anglers that use and Like these. These Simms fishing gloves have a unique fold-over style that quickly gives your fingers freedom without removing the entire mitt. The pre-curved style with 4-way stretch provides increased dexterity; durable sueded overlays in key grip areas ensure a secure hold. Durable Polartec® Windbloc fabric blocks 100% of wind and provides maximum protection from harsh elements and inclement weather. A breathable laminate is imbedded between a durable outer layer and soft inner layer for insulating warmth with performance stretch. Simms Guide Windbloc Foldover Mitts for Men have zoned insulation, and can accommodate heat packs on the wrists for additional warmth.
  • 100% polyester Polartec Windbloc fabric
  • 100% windproof mitts with 4-way stretch construction
  • Durable, anti-pill fabric
  • Heat pack pockets at wrists
  • Pre-curved for increased dexterity
  • Zoned insulation for warmth
  • Sueded overlays in key grip areas

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$69.95

Volt 3v Heated Socks are used to keep your feet warm in your waders when the river temperatures are really cold. They work for me so I recommend them. MORE . . . . .

River Nets

I think a good river net is a very important tool that every angler should have. I have seen many anglers finally get that trophy fish on only to loose it at the end because either they didn’t have a net to help them out or they had a net that was just to small. The net also allows you to safely contain and manage the fish for hook removal and for getting the camera ready. I believe that air kills most fish and these anglers that drag there fish up on shore, unhook them and then find there camera for a hero shot are killing some fish. Not to mention recent studies that a fish dragged up onto the rocks can flip and smash their bodies and head off the rocks and then end up dies hours later from head trauma.  A new is important but doesn’t have to be a major expense as see in these nets that I both recommend and use.

BEST RIVER FISHING NETS

$24.99

I have been using the Frabill Trout Nets for years. I have this model and their oval model and like them both. They are inexpensive, light wieght and work for trout up to 24 inches. In my experience, nets get ripped, get broken or lost, last year I found 6 nets on the paths, or hanging off a branch, or on the side of the river from guys that have left them there or dropped them, so a cheaper net like this and one that does the job is all you really need. There are better nets over $100.00 but other than looking nicer they really don’t work a whole lot better than these Frabill nets.

  • 9″ x 20″ hoop size
  • Coated 3/16″ mesh bag is fish-friendly
  • Comfortable non-slip rubber grip
  • Lanyard with heavy-duty clip

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$27.99 -$36.99

Frabill Steelhead and Salmon Wade Net

This is the net I use for Steelhead walk and wade trips. It gets mixed reviews but I don’t count fish jumping out of the net as being the nets fault, and my guess is half the reviews are angler error and not the net. I think that for an inexpensive net that has landed hundreds of steelhead for me it’s worth the price. I would agree it’s not the best net if you use treble hooks as some bad reviews state, but any net with such small holes would be the same. For any bank fly or float angler it will do the job just fine especially if you know how to use a net properly. If you try and lift a 30 pound salmon out of the water with it, it might rip, and I have seen $150 high end nets rip to. If you just want to secure the fish at the side of the river while you remove the hooks than it will do the job as it has for me for many years.  It’s compact and light weight which is perfect for bank anglers. Hoop size: 19″ x 25″.

  • Classic teardrop net for stream fishing
  • Includes lanyard with clip
  • Tangle-free, 15″D micro-mesh net bag
  • Fish-friendly flat-bottom design
  • 7.5″L rubber-coated handle

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$14.99

 
I thin ki find 2 or 3 nest at the side of the river every year. They get caught on branches or just fall off as you’re walking through the bush so the need to be secured, But you don’t want it so secure that you can’t easily release it when you need it. That’s were this comes in handy and I highly recommend it. Just fasten the carabiner clip to your jacket or vest and the other to the net or use a zip tie to secure the net to it so it will never fall off.
 

White River Fly Shop®’s aluminum magnetic net release clip incorporates the strength of two 12 lb.-power rare earth magnets to securely hold your net until you need it. A stretch lanyard provides ample reach.

  • Rare earth magnets
  • Stretch lanyard
  • Clips to vest

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

Sun Shirts and Bug Shirts

I included these other fishing products for you to consider because they might help make your day on the river even better. During the summer I always wear a light weight hooded sun-shirt for both protection from the sun but also from some of the mosquitoes, the tics and the fire ants that I run into along the river. My shirts are usually tans, greens, and greys so I blend in to the background better.

BEST RIVER FISHING SHIRTS

$30.00 - $50.00

Sun Shirt Hoodie

The Columbia® PFG Terminal Tackle™ Long-Sleeve Remember, the best colors for the river are ones that blend into the background, in Ontario that’s usually greens, browns and tans. Part of the Performance Fishing Gear line of clothing, this hoodie is made of performance fabric for ultimate sun protection and quick-dry comfort. This men’s Columbia lightweight hoodie has Omni-Shade™ UPF 50 sun protection to safeguard your skin, as well as Omni-Wick™ moisture-wicking technology to keep you dry. A high neckline keeps your neck protected on the water, and the streamlined hood is thin enough to fit under a ball cap or fishing hat for added neck and ear coverage. The Columbia PFG Terminal Tackle Hoodie for Men has an athletic look and carries bold brand graphics on the left sleeve. 100% polyester. Machine wash.

  • 100% polyester
  • Lightweight, hooded, long-sleeve fishing shirt
  • Omni-Shade UPF 50 sun protection
  • Omni-Wick moisture wicking
  • Breathable, performance fabric dries quickly
  • High neckline for added protection
  • Streamlined hood fits under hat for neck and ear protection

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$39.99

The AFTCO® Samurai 2 Long-Sleeve Hoodie is the perfect pullover for sun protection on the water, with a lightweight hood and AFBLOCK® UPF 50 to guard against burning rays. The long-sleeve fishing shirt features AFTCO branding on the left chest and sleeve, with a longer torso length for plenty of coverage. AFCOOL® moisture-wicking dries quickly and AFGUARD® stain release helps block the dirt and grime of fishing. There’s even an odor-fighting treatment to inhibit bacteria growth. The AFTCO Samurai 2 Long-Sleeve Hoodie for Men has raglan sleeves and an active fit for easy range of motion. 92% polyester/8% spandex. Machine wash.

  • 92% polyester/8% spandex
  • AFCOOL moisture-wicking is fast-drying
  • AFBLOCK UPF 50 sun protection
  • AFGUARD stain release treatment
  • Odor-fighting treatment
  • Long sleeves and longer hem for extra coverage
  • Active, modern fit

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$79.95

The Simms® BugStopper Long-Sleeve Hoodie is super lightweight and breathable, and it keeps biting bugs from ruining your day on the water. This Simms fishing hoodie is made with a built-in insect repellent that is proven to repel mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges (no-see-ums). The active ingredient in Insect Shield® is so tightly bonded to the fabric fibers that it retains its repellency throughout the lifetime of the garment. COR3™ technology is moisture-wicking and fast-drying, with an anti-odor treatment and UPF 50 sun protection. An articulated hood provides additional protection for your head and neck. Flat-lock seams resist chafing, and a generous cut through the arms and shoulders allows complete range of motion for casting. The Simms BugStopper Long-Sleeve Hoodie for Men is lightweight and breathable for anglers or anyone else needing sun and insect protection outdoors. Made from 7.2 oz. 100% polyester. Machine wash cold separately. Tumble dry low. Low iron. Do not bleach, dry clean, or use fabric softeners.

  • 7.2 oz. 100% polyester
  • Infused with Insect Shield long-lasting repellent
  • Flat-seam construction resists chafing
  • COR3 fabric wicks moisture, fights odor, and provides UPF 50 sun protection
  • Lightweight, articulated hood
  • Arms and shoulders allow full range of motion

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

BEST RIVER FISHING ACCESSORIES

$30.00

The Columbia® Freezer Zero™ II Neck Gaiter packs a powerful performance into an ultra-light design. Made of a polyester/elastane blend, this neck gaiter boasts Omni-Shield™ advanced repellency to resist rain and stains, Omni-Wick™ for quick-drying performance, Omni-Shade™ UPF 50 for superior UV protection, and Omni-Freeze ZERO™ sweat-activated super cooling. Laser cut venting allows air to escape, while a logo at the top adds subtle style. Take the Columbia Freezer Zero II Neck Gaiter along during your next outdoor excursion.

  • 89% polyester/11% elastane
  • Omni-Shield advanced repellency
  • Omni-Wick
  • Omni-Shade UPF 50 UV protection
  • Omni-Freeze ZERO sweat-activated super cooling
  • Laser-cut venting provides breathability
  • Logo at top
  • Ultra-light design  

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$18.95

Water temp is a crucial factor in river fishing in Ontario. If the river is to warm the fish just won’t bite and you will be wasting you time. As a guide I check the temps regularly during the hot summer month. Know what you’re getting into with the fishpond™ Swift Current Thermometer. This compact, easy-handling thermometer quickly measures water temperature from 20-120°F/-10-50°C. Readings are displayed on a classic horizontal scale with clear window for easy at-a-glance reference. Rugged aluminum case protects against breakage around current-swept rocks. Built-in attachment cap for easy connection to a retractor or lanyard. 4-5/8″L” x 1/2″.

  • Compact, easy-handling thermometer
  • Provides quick water temperature readings
  • Measures from 20-120°F/-10-50°C
  • Horizontal scale with clear window
  • Rugged aluminum case
  • Built-in attachment cap

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$9.99

This is my favorite type of forceps with the scissor cutters built in just in case I need to cut off an old roe bag or cut line. Every river angler should have a set of these with them.  If all your fish a really small, say 5″ brook trout you may want to consider and smaller thinner type for removing deep in the throat hooks easier.

White River Fly Shop® Cutting Forceps cuts line, clamps hooks and flies, removes hooks, and smashes barbs. Sturdy and highly durable, crafted of top-quality stainless steel, this compact fly fishing tool features crosscut serrated jaws and lock-together handles to ensure a firm hold. 5-1/2”L.

  • Clamping jaws plus a built-in cutting edge
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Crosscut serrated jaws for a firm grip
  • Lock-together handles hold secure

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$14.99

 
This is a must have tool for any river angler. Line nippers or cutters are something I use ever single time I’m on the river and often multiple times a day. I’ve tried some of the cheaper ones but some don’t cut very well and one day one of my clients gave me a pair of these and it was night and day. These are great.
 

Made of tough stainless steel with super sharp, durable tungsten carbide-tipped jaws, the Montana Fly Company® River Steel Wide Body Tungsten Carbide Nippers are built to handle your line-trimming chores for years to come. Smooth wide-body design affords a firm, comfortable grip with great leverage, allowing you to quickly and cleanly snip any line in your arsenal. Built-in eye gouger saves precious time on the water. Sleek design; eye-catching black-and-silver finish.

  • Stainless steel with tungsten carbide-tipped jaws
  • Super-sharp and durable
  • Smooth, easy-handling wide-body design
  • Affords a firm grip with great leverage
  • Built-in eye gouger
  • Fresh design, black-and-silver finish

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$12.99

No need to detach and reattach essential fly fishing tools while you’re fishing. The Simms® Retractor® keeps your nipper, plier, or tippet spool at the ready, and provides about 2′ of reach without abandoning its position on your vest. Grab, pull, use, retract, and it’s ready to go again. Injection-molded tube fits any Simms wader or vest, and uses a male/female tunnel lock with polyethylene coil to keep your small tools in place. Extremely secure stainless steel pin connector.

  • Fast, easy access to your most-used tools
  • Great for nippers, pliers, tippet spools, etc.
  • Attaches to any Simms wader or vest
  • Provides about 2′ of instant reach
  • Male/female tunnel lock with PE coil
  • Secure stainless steel pin connector

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$39.99

 

I love these and I hate these. These are great for anglers that aren’t very sturdy on their feet when walking or crossing a river. These can save your but from going for an unwanted swim which is why I love them.

Why I hate them is each time you stab the metal end into the rocks it makes enough noise that can alert all the big trout that you are there and you catch less fish. I recommend two things to all my clients and friends that use these. First, try to only use a staff when you’re crossing the river far from where you plan to fish and try not to use it when you’re slowing and quietly working your way into the pool to fish. Second, I’ve had clients glue mini tennis balls or the knobs from a walking cane to absorb the shock and noise on the rocks. Just make sure it still has enough grip.  Weight: 11 oz.

  • Constructed of rugged 3/4” anodized aluminum alloy tubing
  • Measures 52-1/2” fully extended
  • Lightweight
  • Collapsible design – folds down to just 12” for easy transport in included nylon belt pouch
  • Comfortable, contoured EVA grip handle
  • Nylon lanyard with carabineer keeps staff close when you are not using it
  • Double shock cord spring action design
  • Durable carbide steel tip

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

Polarized Fishing Glasses

When it comes to best river fishing products I could not leave out glasses. Polarized sunglasses are one of the most important pieces of gear that all river anglers should use. These glasses not only protect your eyes from stray flies or hooks and from bad UV rays, but they also cut the glare on the water allowing you to see more detail below the waters surface. As a guide and angler I couldn’t fish or guide as effectively without them. I use my glasses to see bottom structure, depressions, logs and other types of structure that fish might be holding near. I use it to gauge the depth better for set up my rig depths and for judge where I should or shouldn’t cross the river. They also allow me to see snags that I or my clients need to avoid. And occasionally the allow me to see the fish so I know what area to target. There’s many large 20 inch brown trout, steelhead and salmon pictures on my guide website that are thanks to me being able to spot them. I wouldn’t hit the river without them.

This is not a fashion show so a pair of round aviator glasses might look great on when you wear them on the street but they suck for the river fishing. Regardless of your style or the best fit for you, what you want to look for in glasses are ones that are snug fitting close to the face and almost wrap around style as seen in the pictures. This close to the face style keeps excess light away from your eyes and that allows you to cut glare and see into the water better. I also like glasses that hold on my ears better so that when I lean over to pick up a fish or release a fish they don’t fall off my head.

I also now use mostly Photochromic glasses that lighten and darken depending on the outside light situations. That way I don’t need a pair of brown, amber or lighter grey glasses for low light times and a darker grey pair for bright sunny days.

Glasses come in a range of prices and I’ll be straight up and honest with you. I have used cheap $20.00 glasses and they worked just fine. I have also used some pretty expensive glasses like the ones below and they tend to last longer, have slightly better UV protection and Polarization and clarity. I tested 5 pairs of glasses one day standing on a bridge to see which one where best at seeing into the water and seeing details like rocks and even fish. # pairs where cheap glasses and two where expensive. All worked, just the more expensive one’s worked better and gave me a better view of what I wanted to see. Either cheap or expensive, you need them and they are better than nothing.

BEST RIVER FISHING GLASSES

$99.99 - $116.00

Oakley® Drop Point™ 009367 Sunglasses bring clarity, performance, and protection to your active lifestyle. These Oakley sports sunglasses feature High Definition Optics® (HDO®), which meet or exceed American National Standards Institute testing for optical clarity, visual fidelity, and impact resistance. The O-Matter™ stress-resistant frame is lightweight and tough with a medium wrap and coverage. Unobtainium® nose pads and temple tips hold eyewear in a precise Three-Point Fit, and Plutonite® lenses filter 100% of all UVA/UVB/UVC, and harmful blue light. Select styles feature Prizm™ lenses, which are designed to deliver ultra-precise color tuning for any environment. Select styles are Standard Issue series for combat-ready performance. Drop Point Polarized Sunglasses come with a sports-specific Oakley Soft Vault storage case. Made in USA.

  • Plutonite lenses filter 100% UV and harmful blue light
  • High Definition Optics
  • Select styles feature Prizm lenses for ultra-precise color tuning in any environment
  • O-Matter stress-resistant frame is lightweight and tough
  • Three-Point Fit holds lenses in precise optical alignment
  • Unobtainium nose pads and temple tips maintain grip
  • Select styles are Standard Issue series for combat-ready performance
  • Includes Oakley Soft Vault

About Oakley lenses :

Prizm: Designed to deliver ultra-precise color tuning for any environment. By fine-tuning individual wavelengths of color to make everything vivid and vibrant, Prizm sharpens visual acuity to reveal nuances that would otherwise be missed by the naked eye.

Iridium: This special metal oxide coating allows Oakley to fine-tune lenses of any color. The iridium coating regulates contrast, glare, reflection, light transmission, and light absorption, tailoring the lenses to better fit specific conditions.

Gradient: Offers a smooth transition in shading from a darker top to a lighter bottom while still retaining true color perception.

Photochromic: A premium option for select single-lens eyewear designs, it darkens the lens automatically to help you adapt to changing light and always perform at your best. Even when the photochromic lens color lightens, it still filters out 100% of all UV.

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$190.00

Each pair of Costa® Blackfin 580G Polarized Sunglasses feature lenses made of top-quality, scratch-resistant optical glass that provides 100% protection from UV A, B, and C rays. You’ll love the way these Costa fishing sunglasses perform on the water thanks to 100% polarization, a water-repellent coating, and an anti-reflective coating. Costa Blackfin 580G Polarized Sunglasses boast tough TR-90 nylon frames that have tall temples with integral hinges to block light from coming in at the periphery. Manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty.

  • Scratch-resistant glass polarized lenses for ultimate clarity
  • 100% protection from UV A, B, and C rays
  • 100% polarization
  • Water-repellent and anti-reflective coatings
  • TR-90 frames
  • Large fit
  • Integral hinges
  • Manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty

About your Costa lenses:

  • Blue Mirror Encapsulated mirrors deliver superior contrast and color in full sun and eliminate glare (gray base).
  • Amber Excellent all-around lens delivers the brightest field of vision.
  • Gray Maintains color saturation and natural contrast in medium to bright sun conditions.
  • Copper Cuts glare and enhances contrast and color in all conditions.
  • Green Mirror Encapsulated mirrors enhance visual acuity and eliminate glare (copper and amber base).
  • Silver Mirror Encapsulated mirrors enhance visual acuity and eliminate glare (copper and amber base).
  • Sunrise High contrast lens allows maximum light transmission; perfect for low light conditions such as early morning or late afternoon.

Costa 580 Technology
Yellow light is the enemy. The patented Costa 580 lenses incorporate an advanced filtering compound into the lens material that reduces yellow light. This delivers enhanced colors and better visual acuity in all conditions. It’s embedded in the lens, which means it’s warrantied for the life of the glasses.

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

$250.00

My Favorite glasses that I wear on the river and on the streets.

Whether you’re lounging at the beach, playing golf, or surveying the giant swells that the Peahi area is known for, Maui Jim® Peahi Polarized Sunglasses provide the sun-shielding protection to make all your outdoor activities even more enjoyable. These shades feature patented PolarizedPlus®2 technology for unbeatable protection, blocking glare and UV rays from all angles while managing light and boosting colors for unmatched optical clarity. Plus, the SuperThin Glass lens material is 20% thinner and lighter than conventional glass, giving you durability and scratch-resistance without the weight. The smooth, lightweight frames are flawlessly finished, and the Peahi’s built-in, non-slip nose pads along with their head-hugging alloy hinges ensure customized comfort and undeniable style! Includes a protective case and cleaning cloth.

  • Blocks 100% of harmful UV and 99.9% of glare
  • Glare-blocking PolarizedPlus2 technology
  • Color boost for unmatched optical clarity
  • SuperThin Glass lenses


About your Maui Jim lenses:

  • HCL® Bronze Excellent contrast for everyday variable conditions. Great if you love a warm, subtle bronze tint.
  • Maui HT™ (High Transmission) Ideal for times when most lenses would be too dark. More contrast and color for early morning, late afternoon, and foggy days.
  • Neutral Grey The highest available light reduction for rich color and contrast.

Click the Shop Button Link for more details.

The best gear for Ontario river fishing.

Fly Fishing Gear

Fly Fishing Gear –  For all your fly fishing information and gear like rods, reel, lines etc. check out our Fly Fishing Page

Centerpin / Float Fishing Gear

Centerpin/ Float Fishing Gear –  For all your float fishing information and gear like rods, reel, lines etc. check out our Float Fishing Page

A Shelter Valley Creek Brook Trout

Spin Fishing Gear

For all your spin fishing information and gear like rods, reel, lines etc. check out our Spin Fishing Page

Approved Retailers

Check out these approved retailers for all your river fishing needs.

These approved retailers meet our high standards for great customer service, great selection and competitive prices.

Also, if you’re not sure what you need, check out our Best Products page to see what the guides use and recommend.