The last pair of winter gloves you’ll ever wear…well, maybe. They’re pretty darn good with a few alterations.
Every winter steelhead angler knows the struggle of cold hands on those cold mornings, whether it be on the Skagit or the OP or the Oregon coast, or the Skeena, or wherever. We all have been searching for a garment that will keep your hands warm but also allow for some sensation of feeling to be able to manage your running line properly. We have found the answer! Or at least the best possible option at this point in time.
In the rainy and cold Pacific Northwest, we need a glove that stays warm in a variety of conditions, especially in wet weather. There are few garments on the market that keep you warm like the Patagonia R1 Gloves do.
These gloves are made of a thin neoprene and are much more like diving gloves than fishing gloves. They keep you fairly dry but more importantly, they insulate when wet…unlike their competition. They still retain enough feeling to comfortably make casts but they are certainly not perfect in that regard.
The gloves come with full fingers in tact but we have found that if you cut the tips off the important fingers used for knot tying, you will stay warm but still are able to tie on a fly without taking your gloves off. I cut off the thumb, index, and middle finger, which works well. For the dedicated steelheader, I would snip the ring finger too for the sake of holding loops of running line.
Throw in Patagonia’s “Ironclad Guarantee” and you will never be disappointed. They will take care of you if you are unsatisfied and if these gloves aren’t for you, they will help with a replacement. These gloves are made in a Fair Trade Certified sewing facility in which the company pays employees a living wage, elevating their standard of living.
Experiment for yourself, at $45/pair, it’s not such a big deal to get a little creative with these gloves.