GoLite for Fly Fishermen?: I Am Finally Joining the Ultralite Revolution

Finally snow in Colorado! With a late, cold winter this year, I was left wondering if I was ever going to fly fish in the snow. This year, I want to tackle with more success…(and more warmth!) the art of fly fishing in February and March.

Although a huge fan of fly fishing brands like Patagonia, Simms and Redington, when I priced their insulated jackets and shells…

Holy cow! High price tags!

I recently read a great article at Trout Underground by Tom Chandler on winter layering. In it, he briefly mentions that the fly fishing industry is not quite yet on the bandwagon with ultralight gear.

This got me thinking. My brother, an avid backpacker, suggested I try GoLite for fly fishing winter layering.

Passing the new GoLite store here in Colorado Springs, I had made three assumptions. Expensive, pretentious, high price tag, and just another retail chain.

Actually, GoLite is a small, (rapidly growing) company founded in Boulder, CO. (Somewhat close to home, so I could justify giving it a chance. I like to buy local.)

GoLite specializes in extremely light, super warm, affordable layering for hiking and camping. Everything GoLite sells is virtually weightless, soft, puffy—And will bake you.

What was amazing to me—the price tags. The store manager said this is because they sell direct, so their prices are much lower than what you’d expect from a quality gear shop.

Here’s what I nabbed for layering—

Like a fly fishing shell, the Wind River Softshell has and “up and down” zipper (open from the bottom or the top) for controlling heat. Although not created for fly fishing, I was surprised to find discover it had two huge storage pockets perfect for fly boxes, a thumb hole lining, water tight velcro cuffs, and its nicely cut for a woman’s curves. Its stretchy—not “crunchy” like a lot of bulky shells.Its also wind proof and water proof.


For underneath, I chose their 100% recycled poly Cady Synthetic Insulated jacket. A diehard goose down girl (I like to be warm—Reeally warm), I cannot believe how toasty yet breathable this jacket is—Its feather light but really cooks me. IMG_1940

Recycled poly will still keep me warm if it gets wet. And I have been known to fall into a river or two…

Grand total for both? $147.00 dollars. Not bad.

The jacket stores into a tiny pouch, small enough to go into a large fanny pack. Shown here next my favorite coffee mug, pike by Jeff Currier.


One thing about GoLite jackets. I would not fish in one without a shell. The ultra thin jacket fabric looks and feels like its no match for a fly hook.

I am looking more seriously at the whole Ultralight concept now when shopping for gear. As an alternative to the top of the line gear, GoLite is a close second in my book for fly fishing winter layering.


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6 Responses to GoLite for Fly Fishermen?: I Am Finally Joining the Ultralite Revolution

  1. Deborah Jo I agree with you I live in Colorado as well and if I can do business with a “local” manufacturer I will. As you well know layering is always important when outside anytime of year around here.

    I looked at their footwear and GoLite has some great shoes and boots (They look a lot like Keens and I own many pairs of Keens) anyway I would pay extra to shop locally but with GoLite it doesn’t look like I have to worry about that, their prices are very much in line with the gear I buy. Thanks for the info.

  2. Good find, thank you. I look forward to trying their products.

  3. I am in total agreement with you. There are “other options” to the high ticket name brands in the fly fishing scene. We just have to look around for them. Nice find here, Deb!

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