As nighttime air temperatures start to consistently dip below freezing, there are several things anglers can do to make their lives easier.
Be sure to bring your waders and/or boots inside where it’s warm. Not only are frozen boots an absolute pain to try to get on in the morning, but wet waders in the morning are a cold start to the day. It’s also much more comfortable to allow any sweat or condensation inside or outside the waders air out and dry overnight. As a side note, if you find your boots frozen in the morning, dip them in the stream to melt the ice quickly, so you can put them on more easily.
In addition, I like to bring my rod, reels, line, and any other gear that could possibly get wet inside to dry out overnight. It’s not certain that leaving these damp items freeze overnight will hurt them, but it definitely will not help.
I like to bring my flies and fly boxes inside as well. Damp flies will freeze overnight rather than dry out. If these flies are placed back into boxes, they will let water or moisture into your boxes that could rust your hooks. There’s nothing worse than a fly that cannot be used due to rust.
These things sound like common sense, but they can easily be forgotten during this time of year. It does take a little extra time to tote gear back and forth from the car after each day on the water, but it’s better for your gear and much easier to deal with the following morning.