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Fly Fishing Things

FLY-FISHING CLOTHING      Back to Categories

Fly-fishing clothing--should look good and be functionable.

  flyfishingthings.com/good example clothing and vestFly fishing is an outdoor activity that people participate in every season of the year. Most fly fishing will be done from late spring to mid fall. Hard core fly-fisherman, however, fish year round.

W
hen a person first starts fly-fishing I don't think they give much thought as to how they should dress. Most likely, their first experience comes in the summer when the weather is warm and sunny. Off they go with a pair of jeans, tennis shoes, and any old shirt they have around the house that has been set aside for work or outdoor activity. They probably will take a hat with them. However, if they are blessed with a full head of hair, probably not.

 They might not even have a pair of waders. Because the weather is nice and the water warm, they figure they'll just wade in their jeans and tennis shoes. Trouble is up in the mountains, the weather is cooler, the water colder, and more often than not, the wind is blowing. It doesn't take the person very long to realize that they weren't prepared for the conditions.

It's real important that the fly-fisherman be dressed in the appropriate clothing. Fly-fishing is done in all kinds of weather conditions.   So, what would be the appropriate way to dress to fly-fish?

If there is one concept or word to keep in mind, it would be--layering. To layer oneself means: to be able to add or remove an item of clothing as weather conditions dictate. Let's start from the inside out.

Beginning with what you put on after your underwear is what you should give some thought to.  Socks, for example, should have a cushion sole and be able to wick away moisture if possible, because very often condensation will build up in the foot area caused by the temperature change from the inside of your wader and the outside water temperature. In warm conditions, one sock is enough, whereas in cold conditions, two pairs of socks would be the norm. A wool sock over a neoprene sock is great for cold water conditions.  Another thing to consider is the stocking foot of the wader will provide warmth but also take up the space of two pairs of socks inside the wading boot.  That's why when you try on a pair of wading boots make sure you have the waders on and two pairs of socks. Otherwise, when you need to wear an extra pair of socks the wading boots may become very uncomfortable because they'll be too tight. Socks should also extend well above the ankle.   To keep your pants from riding up your legs when you put on the waders, wrap the ends of the pants around your ankles and pull the socks up over them. The socks will hold the pants in place while you slip the waders up.

Now let's move on to the under layer pants which you wear under the waders.

If the weather is warm and comfortable you're not going to need an under layer of pants. If the weather is cool or cold then you will. I never wear my waders next to my skin. I always wear some type of under garment next to my skin to keep the waders from chaffing. Cabelas has an item called "wader pants" that is made specifically for wearing under waders. During the summer, I will wear a pair of guide wear fishing pants under my waders. They're very light weight and comfortable, and after you've done your fishing for the day, you can zip off the lower leg portion and wear them as shorts. In cold weather conditions, I will wear an under layer under my regular fishing guide wear pants. This will keep you warm in water that is 50 degrees or colder. The most important thing to remember about the under layer of clothing is that it should wick away moisture. A lot of fly-fishing is done in cold and wet conditions so it's important that you stay warm and dry, otherwise you're going to be miserable.

Now moving to the upper body.

The same goes for the upper body as for the lower body. During the summer when warm and sunny conditions prevail, all you need is a fishing shirt up top. I say fishing shirt as apposed to just any shirt because a fishing shirt should be light weight, vent well, long sleeved, and has pockets made for putting fly fishing accessories in them. Most are made of synthetic material and will not absorb moisture; so if the shirt does get wet it will dry out fast.

 I like the color of my shirt to be either white, light blue, dun or olive, because these colors blend with the environment. Think about the color of wading birds. There are white or dun. When a fish looks up from the water, they see a sky that is blue with clouds that are white and/or grey. So if you and your clothing blend with the background, you have an advantage over the fish. When fishing a stream in a forest, olive tones blend well into the background of the trees. The point I'm making; is that besides the comfort and practicality of the fishing shirt; its helpful if it also aids in camouflaging you against the fish. After all that is why were fly-fishing, right? To catch the fish. Bright orange, royal blue and coral are great for the camera, but not for sneaking up on a trout.

Now if the weather conditions are cool,  a layer under the fishing shirt is necessary;  maybe more than one.  Again an under layer shirt that wicks away moisture is important for keeping you dry. I also carry a very light weight nylon wind breaker for when a cool wind comes up that's just enough to make you uncomfortable.  Many times that's all you need to keep you warm.   If it's down right cold, then wear a hooded fleece sweat shirt, or wool sweater or some such item of clothing over the fishing shirt.  Over the top of that goes the jacket or rain gear.   A hooded jacket will keep you warmer than a jacket without a hood.  

During warm and sunny conditions, you should wear a hat with a brim primarily to protect your head from the suns' rays.  A hat with a brim provides shade for the eyes which helps you to spot fish better.  A baseball style hat, which has a brim, can also be worn under a hooded piece of clothing, whereas a cowboy style hat, does not wear well under a hooded item of clothing.  A hat brim keeps rain out of your eyes and off your face.  Finally, a brimmed hat with an attached neck cloth will protect the neck from sunburn.

Moving on to hand protection.  If you plan on fishing in the winter or during cold and wet weather conditions, you'll most likely need a pair of fishing gloves. If you aren't wearing a pair of fishing gloves and your hands get cold, you will discover that the simple task of tying on a fly will become a major chore.  You need to keep good circulation in your hands to keep them warm.  Fishing gloves come in neoprene and wool. Any other material will not keep your hands warm.  I don't like neoprene gloves because they fatigue your hands.  Wool fishing gloves will keep your hands warm even if they're wet!  Lastly, fishing gloves should not have finger tips; that is with the glove on the fingers should be exposed.  Why?  You'll know the answer to that question the first time you try to tie on a fly with full fingered gloves. 

The fly-fishing clothing shown below are examples of clothing that can be purchased from your local fly shop or an outdoor retailer like
Cabelas..

Normal everyday fishing clothing:

 flyfishingthings.com/guide wear fly fishing pants Fly fishng pants like these. 

  
flyfishingthings.com/belt A Good belt example.  
flyfishingthings.com/fly fishing shirt
A fly fishing shirt.
  flyfishingthings.com/socks
Socks that wick away moisture.                                      
     
flyfishingthings.com/shoe casual shoes good for fly fishing
Shoes, sandals or boots appropriate to the invironment you're fishings.

Conditions:
Cold, or cold and rainy, or cold and windy, or cold , windy and rainy.
flyfishingthings.com/fly fishing patsFishing Pants
flyfishingthings.com/fleece underware for cold water fishing Insulating underwear like polar fleece or polypropylene:

flyfishingthings.com/undershirt for cold weather fishingInsulating  under shirt

flyfishingthings.com/insulating socks to wear in cold water fishingInsulating socks

flyfishingthings.com/cold weather fly fishing outer jacketOuter wear that is down filled or Gore--tex.

flyfishingthings.com/fly fishing gloves Glove examples.

flyfishingthings.com/barclava when wind is cold and blowing hard.Face covering for winter fishing or when it's really cold.