The best river fishing products will help you catch more fish and keep you comfortable in the elements
The best river fishing products will help you catch more fish and keep you comfortable in the elements

Best River Fishing Products

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 the 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 feedback 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.

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

Best River Fishing Products

I often get new anglers who 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 looking for honest reviews on trusted gear that works. 

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.


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 won’t last me more than 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 waders 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 mid-priced waders and even some of the economy waders will do just fine. So here are some tips and recommendations for you.

First, I recommend chest waders over hip 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 fewer 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 damper 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 waders 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 boots built on which are known as boot foot waders. Stockingfoot waders have neoprene soft bottoms like built-in socks that require separate boots to go on over top of them. These boots 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 these waders or the reviews they get because I have tried so many cheap waders over the years and many will leak within days or weeks of regular use.

I recently tried two somewhat known low-end brands and they were horrible. Even though the company kept sending me a replacement pair, all four new pairs leaked within 5 to 10 days on the water. I finally gave up on them.

The other company I bought 3 waders from all at the same time and they all leaked bad and were in the garbage a year later because 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 of 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 a good service and warranty program, which is great if 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

WINTER WADERS – The only time I recommend boot foot waders is in the dead of winter when the water is very cold. Trust me, I’m standing in ice-cold waters sometimes 5 days straight and good boot foot waders are the best for ice cold water.

In Ontario and around the Great Lakes, cold feet usually start around the second week in November, and the frozen feet season goes until about 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 Insoles and some electric heated socks.

The one I prefer and the one that works the best for me is the Thermrup Electric Heated Insole Foot Warmers Washable 5.5-12.5 from Amazon. I have been testing these for the last two seasons and they are the only things that keep my feet warm in stocking foot waders.

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 was guiding 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 too many socks, the same amount of socks I wore the day before in my other waders. My clients still had ice-cold feet still but mine were toasty warm.

Properly 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 are really bad, so get rubber or rubber studded bottom boots and go 1 to 2 sizes up so your feet aren’t constricted and cutting off circulation with the extra socks.

Winter can be some of the best steelhead fishing of the year. I’ve had days of over 50 steelhead landed in January and February without ever seeing another angler. Something any serious winter angler needs to consider is proper layering, and that means from head to toe. I cover all of this and more on my page Winter Fishing Great Lakes Rivers – How To Stay Warm And Dry.

The absolute best waders for winter fishing are the Simms G3 bootfoot Waders. These can be used year-round since they are breathable waders, but serious winter anglers will want to be in a pair of these.


I have had the opportunity to see many different waders in action, and there are times when I own over 20 waders for clients attending my classes and for guide trips. Some of the non-brand-name China-made waders are just crap and might end up causing you lots of unwanted problems. That is why I recommend sticking with waders from brands that have been around and are proven to be good and have companies that are here in North America and that stand behind their waders.

These are the waders that I recommend to clients that are in the market for new waders.

BEGINNER LEVEL WADERS – Caddis Men’sBreathable Stocking Foot Wader
 I have had many clients come out with these waders and for inexpensive waders, these are pretty good for the average angler that is on the river 20 days a year or less.

  • 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

In some places, depending on your size these waders will run around $100 and you can check them out on Amazon

Caddis Men’s Deluxe Breathable Stocking Foot Wader

Another set of waders that many of my clients have been using with good results is the Caddis Deluxe Breathable waders. These also get great reviews online. You can see these on Amazon and they will cost around $150.00

  • Comfortable 2 Tone Taupe stocking foot Breathable waders with double knees, 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.
  • We use only the highest quality breathable material with a durable Polyester 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 a size. For short stouts subtract 3″ from the inseam.

ENTRY LEVEL WADERS Simms Tributary Stockingfoot Waders for Men 

The Simms brand of waders are some of the best in the industry and are often field-tested here in North America. They are often the first choice of many top river guides.

These entry-level Simms waders are what I would buy if I was on a tight budget.

These Simms waders are extremely breathable and made of three layers of waterproof polyester in the upper portion, and four 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 an elastic bottom hem
  • Neoprene stockingfeet with an anti-odor finish

You can check these out at FishUSA.

Simms Freestone Toray Stocking-Foot Waders Or Headwaters

GORE-TEX – The Simms Freestone Waders are popular waders, and I’ve met a lot of anglers who have been wearing these waders for years, and they have lasted with no problems for them.

Made of GORE-TEX’s lightweight 3 or 4 -Layer Pro Shell fabric, depending on which model you choose.

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

SERIOUS ANGLER WADERS – Simms G3 Guide GORE-TEX Stocking-Foot Waders

For serious river anglers, or anglers that want the best, or anglers that just want a durable pair of wader that will last a long time then these are them. Check out the Simms G3 Waders.

  • A 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 stocking feet with an 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

Frogg Toggs Steelheader Reinforced Nylon Insulated Boot-Foot Waders

The Frogg Toggs Steelheader Reinforced Nylon Insulated Boot-Foot Waders are a good alternative wader to the Simms G3 Guide Boot foot waders that I recommended for winter wading.

With 1,200 gram 3M™ Thinsulate™ Ultra Insulation in the wader’s boots, these are good for keeping your feet warm in the winter. You can check prices at Amazon.

  • 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 handwarmer pockets
  • Adjustable elastic suspenders with snaplock buckles
  • Adjustable wading belt with locking buckle
  • Cleated outsoles

For anglers that want a boot foot wader for all-season waders check out the Frogg Toggs Hellbender Bootfoot Waders at Bass Pro Shop or at Amazon.


Wading Boots – Wading boots go on your stocking foot waders and provide traction and ankle support like a good hiking boot would and they also protect your waders.

I’ve been using Korkers boots for about 10 years and as a guide that guides on a lot 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 which makes my day on the water safer and more comfortable. I highly recommend them but there are other good boots out there that I have tested and liked. 

Frogg Toggs Hellbender Wader Boots

These are boot foot waders

This is a good entry-level boot that gets good reviews. You can see them at Bass Pro Shop or at Amazon.

  • 100% PVC
  • Imported
  • lace-up closure
  • Lightweight mesh and PVC upper with a felt outsole
  • Padded ankle collar
  • Nylon heel pull
  • Wide wading last for support and stability

Korker Buckskin Waders

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 a 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

Simms Freestone Wading Boots

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 an exclusive 360 lug design for maximum traction.

Other features include rubber randing for added durability in toes and heels, Nylon Speed Lacing System, and a 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

You can check these out at FishUSA.

Korkers Devils Canyon Wading Boots

These are the boots that I have been wearing for almost five 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. You can check these out at Trident Fly Fishing or at Bass Pro Shop.

  • 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
Spring trout fishing in Ontario
Wading in water like this requires good wading boots

Korkers DarkHorse Wading Boots

These are the current wading boots that I am wearing. These boots are heavier than the Devils Canon boot but they offer a lot more angle support.

I recommend these for anglers that need the extra ankle support on rocky and rough terrain.

You can check these out at Trident Fly Fishing.

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 forth 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 anyway, was the fact that once I started guiding I was carrying double or triple what I would normally carry and my vest was so heavy that it started to cause back and shoulder problems.

The upside to a vest for me was that everything was spread out over the outside and inside of the front of the vest and it was well 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 but not the sore shoulders and sore back.

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 seems more jammed in, it’s kind 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 of me and they also got in my view when looking down at things like logs that I’m about to trip over. I also found them too 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 seems 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.


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.

You can check this out at Bass Pro Shops


  • 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

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 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

Simms Headwaters Pro Mesh Vest

Water-resistant construction, and a 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 a 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.


Fishpond Blue River Chest/Lumbar Pack

This is a popular pack with clients and friends and I believe I owned this model at one time back when I used to sell fish pond products in my store. It was too 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

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: 427cu. in. 11″ x 7″ x 9-1/2″.

  • Two generous main compartments
  • Interior pockets
  • Two 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

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

The author with a good wading jacket for steelhead fishing.

One of the best river fishing products an angler might need is a good waterproof and breathable 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 on the river in rain, wind, snow, and even freezing rain, and with proper layering and a good wading jacket I can stay warm and dry even in the worst weather.

I don’t recommend insulated jackets unless you can afford one jacket just for winter and one just 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 fewer under-layers. I also recommend jackets in colors of green, tan, 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.

Frogg Toggs Java Hellbender 2.5 Wading Jacket

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 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.

Check out the Frogg Toggs Java Hellbender 2.5 Wading Jacket

Frogg Toggs Pilot III Wading Jacket

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 Frogg Toggs Pilot III Wading Jacket for more details.

Simms G3 Guide Tactical Wading Jacket

This is the jacket I wear now and I 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 in some pretty nasty weather. It has been the best wading jacket I’ve used.

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 Simms G3 Guide Tactical Wading Jacket for more details.

Fishing Gloves

I wear gloves most of the year regardless of the temperature. What anglers don’t realize that we guides know is that the tops of your hands are always exposed to the sun.

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 because not only does it make my hands slippery when holding 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 your 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.


Simms SolarFlex SunGloves

I have two pairs of these, one pair I leave on my boat and the other I use on the river. They are good sun 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 Simms SolarFlex SunGloves for more details.

Glacier Glove Alaska River Windproof Flip Mitt

These are my best winter mitt. They fold back to let your 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 when needed.

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 a 2mm neoprene palm for maximum warmth and improved grip. Color: Black.

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

Click Glacier Glove Alaska River Windproof Flip Mitt for more details.

Simms Guide Windbloc Foldover Mitts

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.

  • 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 Simms Guide Windbloc Foldover Mitts for more details.

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 lose it at the end because either they didn’t have a net to help them out or they had a net that was just too 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 the anglers that drag their fish up on shore, unhook them, and then find their camera for a hero shot are killing some fish without even knowing it. Recent studies show 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 net is important but doesn’t have to be a major expense as seen in these nets that I both recommend and use.


An angler holding a nice steelhead while his FishUSA Premium Trout & Steelhead Landing Net sits in the water in front of him.
An angler holding a nice steelhead while his FishUSA Premium Trout & Steelhead Landing Net sits in the water in front of him. Image courtesy of Gooses Steelhead Fishing Guide Service in Pennsylvania.

The FishUSA Premium Trout & Steelhead Landing Net is one of the best nets I have tried recently. Other nets include.

Fishpond Confluence Net Release 2.0 I think I find 2 or 3 nets 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 they need to be secured properly.

But you don’t want it so secure that you can’t easily release it when you need it. That’s where a magnet release comes in handy and I highly recommend them if you know how to set them up properly. 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

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 lightweight hooded sun-shirt for both protection from the sun but also from some of the mosquitoes, the ticks, and the fire ants that I run into along the river. My shirts are usually tans, greens, and greys so I blend into the background better.

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.

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
  • 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

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).

  • 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.


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  

Thermometer – Water temp is a crucial factor in river fishing in Ontario. If the river is too warm the fish just won’t bite and you will be wasting your time. As a guide, I check the temps regularly during the hot summer month.

Know what you’re getting into with the Orvis Encased Stream 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 a clear window for easy at-a-glance reference. The 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

White River Fly Shop Cutting Forceps – 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 easily, 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

Montana Fly Company River Steel Wide Body Tungsten Carbide Nippers This is a must-have tool for any river angler. Line nippers or cutters are something I use every 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. The 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

If you want the best wading staff possible this is it. Some of the cheaper wading staffs have issues that may cause you to end up on your butt or going for a swim. This staff by Simms is what most anglers I meet are using.

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.

Why I hate them is that 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.

Simms Collapsible Wading Staff

Polarized Fishing Glasses

When it comes to the best river fishing products I could not exclude polarized fishing glasses. Polarized fishing glasses are one of the most important pieces of gear that all river anglers should use.

Polarized fishing glasses not only protect your eyes from stray flies or hooks, or from branches that might poke you in the eye when walking through the bush, and from bad UV rays, but they also cut the glare on the water allowing you to see more detail below the surface of the water.

As a guide and angler, I could not fish or guide as effectively without polarized fishing glasses. I use my polarized fishing glasses to see bottom structures, depressions, logs, and other types of structures that fish might be holding near.

I use polarized fishing glasses to gauge the depth better when setting up my rig depths and for judging where I should, or shouldn’t cross the river.

Polarized fishing glasses also allow me to see snags that I or my clients need to avoid. Occasionally my polarized fishing glasses allow me to even see the fish. There are many large 20 inch brown trout, steelhead, and salmon pictures on my guide website that is thanks to me being able to spot them. I wouldn’t hit the river without polarized fishing glasses.

This is not a fashion show so a pair of round aviator glasses might look great 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 polarized fishing glasses are ones that are snug-fitting close to the face and almost wrap-around style as seen in the pictures. These close-to-the-face style polarized fishing glasses keep excess light away from your eyes and that cuts the glare on the water much better which allows you to see into the water better.

I also like polarized fishing 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 and end up float down the river.


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A Shelter Valley Creek Brook Trout

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The new website is full of the most up-to-date information, bonus information you won’t find here, more on fishing tactics, and the gear he uses and recommends for river fishing, stuff that you may not find on this website so be sure to check out Trout and today.

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