Casting in Comfort
How to Dress for Fishing in any Climate
By Walt Lyman
Let’s face it – the last thing you probably think about when planning a glorious day fishing, is how you look. But not thinking about what you are going to wear can end up taking some of the fun out of your day if you get caught unprepared for the elements. Whether the weather forecast calls for a hot sunny day or you’ll be braving a frosty morning, conditions can change without warning and you need to be prepared.
We’ve enlisted the help of our buddies from Wild Fish Wild Places, fishermen extraordinaire Denis Isbister and Dreu Murin, to provide you with their advice on how to dress to get the most out of any fishing trip. Here’s what they said about various conditions:
In extreme heat and sun conditions we wear “compression pants” Under Armour style leggings under our REEL Lifestyle board shorts for complete protection. Days of exposure in hostile environments like the Amazon will leave you fried regardless of how much sunscreen you apply. The light breathable pants keep you completely protected and cooler.
Cold in the morning and hot during the day is what we deal with on most of the fishing trips we go on. For these conditions we utilize a set of waterproof breathable bibs over our REEL Lifestyle board shorts and a waterproof breathable jacket over our hoodie. When it heats up you peal the top layers and are still protected if some weather shows up.
Cold weather fishing requires more layers and more preparation. If boat fishing we have found long wool “wader” socks that come up and over the knee with Muck boots, fleece wader pants and a good set of insulated waterproof bibs. Your top layer should be a tight fitting thermal, heavy hoodie and insulated waterproof jacket to be prepared for all of the elements. If you are using waders to fish in these conditions the same layering process is key. We’ve been stranded in the middle of Alaska when the float plane couldn’t pick us up for a couple days and we were safe due to the meticulous layering process.
Here are some more tips to keep in mind:
Dress in Layers:
Always carry a few layers when you head out fishing. Weather conditions often change without warning and multiple layers will protect you against the elements. Layering is especially important in remote environments and boat outings. You can become stranded and find yourself facing prolonged exposure to the cold.
Keep the following layers in a dry bag and you are ready for almost anything:
- Base Layer– You can skip this one in the summer but consider a pair of wicking thermal underwear to keep your core warm in cold weather. During the hot months, skip the long underwear and throw on a REEL Lifestyle tank top or t-shirt.
- Mid-Layer– Wear a long-sleeve and pant layer to remain comfortable in moderate and fluctuating temperatures. The long-sleeve will protect against sun damage and help you remain comfortable on the chilly evening boat ride home. Add a standard hoodie like the zip or pull-over version we have and you are set.
- Heavy Layer– Hardcore anglers will fish through the worst of weather. Add a heavy layer like the Sherpa lined hoodie to insulate and remain warm. Put waders on over everything to remain dry and you can fish through most anything mother nature has to offer.
Sunglasses are about much more than tinting your field of vision to make your eyes more comfortable. In the fishing world, sunglasses will improve your fishing vision and provide a critical layer of protection for your eyes. Think of them like a hard hat on the job site. Hooks are flying through the air and your eyes are at serious risk of injury when uncovered.
There are so many options on the market it can seem overwhelming. Which are the best? Start with a quality pair of polarized sunglasses. A copper or amber tint is a good general tone that covers a good chunk of light scenarios. Ideally, you will have interchangeable lenses, multiple pairs or a photocromatic pair that adjusts automatically based on natural light. Regardless of your choice, wear them at all times while you are fishing. It might save you a painful trip to the hospital.
Don’t Forget Your Hat
The hat is as much a tool as a fashion statement on the water. Wear a hat with a good brim to shade the sun and improve vision. Hats also protect your face and ears from some damage. Take it to the next level in extreme sun and wear a face guard like the Buff in our storefront. You will prevent over exposure and the potential for future skin damage.
Rep a Brand and Look Great
Pick your favorite fishing brand and wear it with pride. At REEL Lifestyle, we provide options that are both functional and great looking. You can wear our stuff on the water or around town, in the heat or the cold. Wear it hard and wear it out while you chase your favorite fish.