Now that it's October, the leaves have started to change and the rains are cold and constant. If you're planning on being outside in Northern Michigan it might be time to check your rain gear. For me, rain gear is so much more than a waterproof barrier, this time of year it becomes almost invaluable as it blocks wind and traps heat. It keeps me organized with smart pocket designs and tool attachments.
If you think it might be time for new rain gear, do yourself a favor and wash what you have. Most folks forget that nearly all rain gear is designed to be put in the washer and cleaned. With the right soaps, you'll be amazed at how well your rain gear works again. I recommend Nikwax soaps designed for technical gear over any generic liquids or powders. Typically I try and clean my gear at least once a season (spring, summer, fall, winter). Because Gore, Toray, and other waterproof membranes are breathable they have to be porous. When worn and sometimes abused, those pores get cloged and functionality suffers. Most Jackets also have a DWR (durable water repellent) on the face fabric which wears off periodically. This DWR is what causes rain to bead up and run off, when this no-longer happens your jacket will still keep you dry however your outer fabric will absorb some water and get a little heavier.
If it truly is time for some new rain gear we have some great options at the fly shop. Take a look at two of our favorites I've highlighted in the videos below.