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What To Wear Fly Fishing In Summer

When it comes to enjoying the great outdoors, few activities can rival the serenity and excitement of fly fishing. However, as the temperatures rise and the summer season beckons, knowing what to wear can mean the difference between a comfortable and enjoyable experience, or a miserable and sweltering one. From lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing to UV-resistant hats and polarized sunglasses, this article will guide you on the essential attire necessary for a successful fly fishing adventure in the summer months. So, whether you are a seasoned angler or a curious beginner, read on to ensure you are properly equipped to make the most of your time on the water.

Head to Toe Fly Fishing Gear

When it comes to fly fishing, having the right gear is essential for a successful and enjoyable day on the water. From hats and sunglasses to footwear, every piece of gear plays a crucial role in protecting you from the elements and ensuring your comfort throughout the day. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different options available for each category of fly fishing gear and help you choose the best options to suit your needs.

Hats and Sunglasses

A wide-brimmed hat is an absolute must-have for any fly fisherman. Not only does it provide protection from the scorching sun, but it also helps to shield your face and neck from harmful UV rays. Look for a hat with a wide brim that extends all the way around, offering maximum coverage. Additionally, consider one that is made from lightweight and breathable materials, as this will keep you cool and comfortable during those long fishing sessions.

Another crucial piece of gear for fly fishing is a good pair of polarized sunglasses. These sunglasses are designed to reduce glare from the water, allowing you to see below the surface and spot fish more easily. Look for sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection and have a sturdy frame that can withstand the rigors of fishing. Having polarized sunglasses will not only enhance your fishing experience but also protect your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun.

Fishing Vest

A fishing vest is an important piece of gear for any fly fisherman, as it provides both functionality and convenience. Look for a vest that is made from lightweight and breathable material, as this will keep you comfortable throughout the day. Consider additional features such as adjustable straps and ventilation options, as these will allow you to customize the fit and regulate your body temperature.

Pockets and storage are also important considerations when choosing a fishing vest. Look for a vest that has plenty of pockets in various sizes, allowing you to carry all your essential fishing gear. Additionally, consider a vest with built-in retractors and D-ring attachment points, as these will come in handy for securing tools, accessories, and fishing nets.


When it comes to shirts for fly fishing, there are a few key factors to consider. Firstly, opt for shirts made from quick-drying fabrics. This ensures that if you get wet while wading or due to rain, your shirt will dry out quickly, keeping you comfortable throughout the day. Look for moisture-wicking technology, which will help to keep you dry by pulling sweat away from your body.

The choice between long-sleeve and short-sleeve shirts ultimately depends on personal preference and weather conditions. Long-sleeve shirts offer greater protection from the sun’s harmful rays, preventing sunburn and reducing the risk of skin cancer. On the other hand, short-sleeve shirts provide more breathability and may be more suitable for hot and humid conditions.

Sun protection is another crucial consideration when choosing a shirt for fly fishing. Look for shirts with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) ratings, which indicate the level of protection offered against the sun’s rays. The higher the UPF rating, the better the protection. Additionally, consider shirts with built-in collars for added protection to your neck area.


Choosing the right pants for fly fishing is essential to ensure your comfort and protection on the water. Lightweight and quick-drying pants are ideal, as they will keep you cool in hot weather and dry quickly if you get wet. Look for pants made from breathable materials that wick away moisture, keeping you dry and comfortable throughout the day.

Convertible pants are an excellent option for fly fishing, as they offer versatility in varying weather conditions. These pants can be zipped off at the knees to convert into shorts, providing relief on hot and sunny days. Additionally, the ability to convert them back into pants when the temperature drops or to protect your legs from insects is a significant advantage.

Protection from insects is another essential aspect to consider when choosing fly fishing pants. Look for pants that offer bug repellent properties or pants that can be treated with insect repellent. This will help to keep pesky mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects at bay, allowing you to focus on your fishing without any distractions.


The right footwear is crucial for a successful fly fishing trip, as it provides traction, support, and protection for your feet. Wading boots are a popular choice among fly fishermen, as they offer excellent grip on slippery rocks and allow you to navigate through rivers and streams with ease. Look for boots with felt or rubber soles, as these provide the best traction on both wet and dry surfaces.

Waterproof sandals are another viable option for fly fishing, particularly in warm weather or when fishing in areas with sandy or muddy bottoms. These sandals offer breathability and allow your feet to stay cool and dry. Look for sandals with durable and non-slip soles, as this will provide traction and stability when walking on various terrains.

Regardless of the type of footwear you choose, it is vital to keep your feet happy and comfortable. Look for shoes or boots with ample cushioning and arch support, as this will prevent fatigue and provide all-day comfort. Additionally, make sure that your footwear fits properly and consider wearing moisture-wicking socks to keep your feet dry and blister-free.

Sun Protection and Insect Repellent

In addition to wearing the appropriate clothing and gear, protecting yourself from the sun and insects is vital for a comfortable and safe fly fishing experience. Sunscreen is an absolute must, as it provides a barrier between your skin and the harmful UV rays of the sun. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating and apply it generously to all exposed areas of your body.

Bug spray is another essential item to have in your fly fishing gear arsenal, as it helps to keep mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects at bay. Look for bug sprays that contain DEET or other recommended insect repellents, as these have proven to be effective in warding off insects. Apply the bug spray to your skin and clothing before heading out to the water to ensure maximum protection.

Additional Accessories

In addition to the essential gear mentioned above, there are a few additional accessories that can enhance your fly fishing experience. Gloves are a great addition to your gear, as they protect your hands from the elements and provide a better grip on your fishing rod. Look for gloves made from breathable and quick-drying materials, allowing you to fish comfortably in various weather conditions.

A buff or neck gaiter is another versatile accessory that can be used in multiple ways. It can be worn as a neck warmer, a headband, or even pulled up to cover your nose and mouth for added sun and wind protection. Look for buffs or neck gaiters made from lightweight and breathable materials, as these will keep you cool and comfortable.

Rain gear is another worthwhile investment, especially if you plan on fishing in areas prone to rainfall or unpredictable weather conditions. Look for rain jackets and pants that are both waterproof and breathable, as this will keep you dry from the rain while allowing moisture to escape, preventing you from getting wet from your own sweat.

Consideration for Different Fishing Environments

The gear and clothing choices for fly fishing may vary depending on the fishing environment you plan to explore. Here are a few considerations for different fishing environments:

High Alpine Lakes

When fly fishing in high alpine lakes, it is important to be prepared for quickly changing weather conditions. Dress in layers to accommodate temperature fluctuations and bring along a warm, waterproof jacket. Additionally, consider wearing pants with built-in bug repellent properties, as mosquitoes and other insects can be more prevalent in these areas.

Rivers and Streams

Fly fishing in rivers and streams requires careful consideration of footwear. Opt for wading boots with felt or rubber soles that provide excellent traction on slippery rocks. Additionally, consider wearing lightweight pants made from quick-drying materials to ensure your comfort throughout the day.

Saltwater Fishing

For saltwater fly fishing, it is essential to choose gear and clothing that can withstand the corrosive effects of saltwater. Look for gear made from corrosion-resistant materials and consider wearing quick-drying clothing that can handle exposure to saltwater. Additionally, make sure to thoroughly rinse your gear and clothing with freshwater after each saltwater fishing trip to prevent damage.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right fly fishing gear from head to toe is crucial for a successful and enjoyable day on the water. From hats and sunglasses to pants and footwear, each piece of gear serves a specific purpose in protecting you from the elements and ensuring your comfort throughout the day. By considering factors such as material, breathability, sun protection, and insect repellent properties, you can choose gear that suits your needs and enhances your fly fishing experience. So gear up, protect yourself, and get ready to reel in some memorable moments on the water.

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