Diving into the open water for a day of fishing is your ticket to freedom, adventure, and the thrill of the catch. As an angler, you're no stranger to the exhilarating anticipation that comes with each cast and the patience that defines every successful fishing trip.
However, a day spent fishing isn't without its unique set of challenges and obstacles. Preparation is key, and it begins with the right mindset, the right gear, and the right equipment.
At Free Fly, we're committed to helping you navigate these challenges. Our mission is to ensure you're well-equipped for your fishing adventures, and in this guide, we'll delve into the essential considerations for planning your next outing.
Weather and Fishing
Before you cast your line, it's crucial to get a read on the day's weather. After all, Mother Nature has a mind of her own. There's no one-size-fits-all approach to dressing for a fishing trip. Of course, some fundamentals must be respected, but your fishing outfit should match the situation you expect to find yourself in.
While this may mean reviewing a few factors, the most crucial consideration is the weather.
Fishing in Hot Weather
When the sun's out, and the heat is on, smart planning is your best friend on a fishing trip. It may be tempting to bring a large bag of equipment with you, especially if you are traversing some rocky and hilly terrain, but exhaustion and heatstroke are genuine and dangerous risks.
The most dangerous challenges regarding fishing in hot weather are the heat, exposure to the sun, and overall humidity. Always account for more humidity than listed on weather forecasts, as fishing near certain bodies of water, especially in the heat, will contribute to more evaporation and humidity.
Choose clothing that protects you from the sun's rays, wicks away moisture from sweat and water particles, and keeps you cool. For example, women's fishing shorts and men's fishing shorts are designed to be durable and light to prevent the restriction of movement while keeping you light and cool on your feet.
Fishing in Cold Weather
Cold weather? No sweat. Fishing in cold weather—provided that it is a clear day—may be favorable to fishing in hot weather, as you can remove layers of clothing at any time if it gets warmer.
Cold weather requires you to plan to bring clothing that provides warmth, insulation, and additional protection from the elements. The most important thing to remember is to layer your clothing. Start with a warm, moisture-wicking base layer, add a comfortable mid-layer, and end with a protective outer shell that safeguards you from water, snow, and other elements.
Fishing in Wet and Windy Weather
After considering the temperature, the elements are just as powerful, whether cold or hot; strong winds, rain, or storms can significantly hamper your enjoyment of the angling experience. We also understand that certain fish may be more susceptible to strike during rainy weather, for example, but the first thing to remember is to check whether it is safe to go out in the first place.
Wet and windy weather in the cold requires you to pay extra attention to your accessories, boots, and outer layers. Free Fly's men's Cloudshield Rain Jacket and women's Cloudshield Rain Jacket are excellent examples of what you should look for. You'll want to prioritize a lightweight outer shell that gives you a full range of motion while protecting you from the elements, no matter how bad they get.
What to Wear Fishing: Materials and Features to Consider
Not all clothes are created equally when planning your angling adventure. While less extreme days may not be as demanding on your wardrobe and gear, sweltering, cold, humid, wet, and windy days will test your preparedness and the quality of your fishing outfit. When looking to assess or improve your gear, here are some fundamentals to keep in mind:
Materials and Fabric
All fishing outfits should be planned, as they must all contain similar properties, regardless of the layer position and the weather outside. The fabric should have moisture-wicking properties, be durable and waterproof (DWR), and be able to regulate body temperature.
Fabrics must conform to many scenarios, as fishing brings some nuanced challenges. For example, a cold and rainy day doesn't mean you can't be any less agile when trying to maneuver terrain, outcroppings, hills, and slippery ground. It is crucial to wear insulated clothing, but they should bend and breathe to allow you to enjoy your experience while keeping you safe.
When choosing your clothing, remember to select properties that will complement your fishing experience. For example, tight-fitting clothing restricts movement and may increase your body temperature over the many hours you spend near a body of water. This means that choosing the right fit, and following proper washing instructions, are more critical than ever.
The fabric should be ultra-soft but offer a degree of UV protection. Fishing is a strenuous activity, and getting tricked into thinking you are warmer than you are is effortless. This is why choosing the right gear that insulates you properly, doesn't cause you to overheat, and protects you from the sun can better regulate your body temperature.
Safety Considerations for the Best Fishing Outfit
Your fishing gear, clothing, and accessories should not only keep you warm and comfortable, but they should also keep you safe. Safety is a huge consideration when planning what to take with you, but it can be challenging to remember what risks you should plan for and how to mitigate them.
Here are some common safety considerations to keep top of mind the next time you are planning your next angling adventure:
Although we briefly touched on this earlier, the sun is a serious challenge and can cause severe issues if taken lightly. In terms of clothing, choose ones with excellent UPF ratings that will minimize the damage the sun can do with its harmful UV rays. In addition to sunburn, UV rays cause radiation, and long-term exposure can lead to dermatological and holistic health issues.
The sun can also cause dizziness and dehydration, especially if you're not wearing a hat or sunglasses. Plan your accessories ahead of time to mitigate the sun's effects while also having enough field of vision to enjoy your activities.
Be careful not to trust your initial instincts when faced with the sun, particularly on a cold and clear day. The sun can trick you into thinking you're warmer than you are, causing you to remove clothes or necessary accessories. If you are friendly and sweaty and encounter a breeze, you could develop a chill, get sick, or risk more dangerous problems such as arthritis or pneumonia over time.
When planning the list for your next outing, consider how long you'll stay and your surroundings. For example, suppose you're fishing at night, out in the open, or on the water. Incorporating reflective elements into your clothes, gear, or vehicle can help considerably in more complex situations.
This is also especially helpful on foggy days for both navigation and signaling if you need help. Reflective patches, strips, and strong artificial lights can improve your visibility and help to avoid accidents with another boat or angler.
The Importance of Fishing Footwear
Lacing up your running shoes or hiking boots may not be enough, depending on where you're fishing, how long you stay, and accounting for the elements. Your footwear can absolutely make or break your experience.
Here are some vital footwear choices that you should consider adding to your closet:
Let's face it; you're always going to get wet fishing. Whether it's from the rain, waves splashing, fighting an aggressive fish, or having to venture into the water yourself, you'll need to be prepared for any situation.
This is especially true for anglers who love to wade fish or integrate this technique into their routine. Wading boots provide enough stability and traction when navigating slippery surfaces and riverbeds but are durable enough to keep you safe on rocky shorelines.
When choosing wading boots, look for footwear with felt or rubber soles—which depends on both the scenario and the environmental regulations of your fishing location.
If you know, there is a meager chance that you will be getting in or near the water. Sandals are a great choice—especially for a hot and sunny day. Sandals provide the perfect mix of maneuverability and comfort.
Look for sandals that are water resistant and dry quickly while also being breathable enough to wick away the moisture from the atmosphere or your sweat. Your sandals should securely strap and have non-slip soles to help you negotiate slippery and uneven surfaces.
For anglers that love to enjoy fishing on a dock or in the comfort of their boats, deck shoes provide the ultimate combination of comfort and practicality.
Designed for wet environments, deck shoes provide comfort and traction so you can move around on any surface, even if it becomes slippery. Choose deck shoes with non-marked soles to avoid scuffing the dock or your boat deck.
Should I Bring a Fishing Vest?
Chances are, you've seen them around. Although they have been a staple in many anglers' attire for generations, you may have wondered if they are necessary. Let's explore some expected benefits and why a fishing vest may be right for you.
All anglers, from novice to the most experienced, know that the right gear and equipment make all the difference for a safe and memorable fishing trip. Lugging around your gear, particularly for longer fishing outings, is exhausting and highly cumbersome. Nevertheless, your equipment, gear, and tackle are essential; many items must be on you immediately.
Your vest is like a Swiss army knife. It should have everything you need for dynamic situations. With various pockets, compartments, and customizations—you can keep hooks, flies, tools, lures, and other small items organized so that you always have access to them promptly.
Keeping your items well organized and easily accessible is one thing, but weight distribution is rarely discussed. Keeping your items in a bag, pocket, or nearby makes you less prepared and can slow you down. Vests distribute your gear evenly across your upper body, leaving you a full range of motion in your vision and your lower half to maneuver and react quickly.
Over time, your cast and retrieval process will feel much smoother and more streamlined.
Vests offer the versatility necessary to achieve peace of mind. They are helpful in countless scenarios and will save you the trouble of determining minute details of your trip. For example, choosing a vest with reflective properties will save you the last-minute thought that you forgot to bring strips with you.
Vests are also outstanding outer shells that can be added to a light jacket or before a heavier exterior. You'll have the flexibility to decide if you need the best for more storage or insulation. Vests are perfect for temperature control, especially on spring and fall days when temperatures fluctuate.
Best Fishing Outfit for Fly Fishing
Angling is a highly diverse experience depending on the weather, bodies of water, types of fishing, terrain, and experience. While some garments are necessary in all situations, every kind of fishing will also influence your outfit.
Fly fishing brings a particular set of unique challenges and nuanced obstacles that can change your outfit considerations.
Freedom of Movement
Access to your entire range of motion is vital in all aspects of angling but specifically crucial when fly fishing. If you love to fly fish, you know that maneuvering, introducing, and casting in various positions can be much more complicated than other forms of angling.
The best way to guarantee unrestricted movement is from the gear and outfits you bring along. Pants, shirts, and jackets should be made from stretchable and lightweight material that allows you to move better and provides you with the comfort and safety necessary to have confidence in your casting.
For example, choosing shirts with articulated sleeves can further enhance your movement and freedom.
If we look at other forms of fishing, such as standing on a dock, it is not as strenuous as the requirements that fly fishing places on you, depending on the scenario you find yourself in. Your clothing must always have an element of breathability and durability, but this is amplified when deciding your gear and outfit for a fly fishing trip.
Fly fishing sometimes tests your limits and includes a lot of physical activity or delicate movements. Wading through streams, hiking to remote fishing spots, and navigating and negotiating uneven and rugged terrain are common. Slippery rock shores and river beds also add an extra layer of severity and challenge.
Breathability, in this case, is more than just keeping you comfortable. Cooling you down and allowing water in and out of your shoes and clothing will keep you both safe and relaxed. Remember to opt for clothing with moisture-wicking properties, but look for garments with mesh ventilation panels that promote airflow, stop foreign objects from coming in, and evaporate your sweat.
Although fly-fishing can be difficult, this is usually due to the nature of the situation you find yourself in and not because of a lack of gear. Of course, it's always important to have the right tackle and equipment, but you will not need as much compared to other types of fishing.
Fly fishing forces you to think about the bare necessities and essentials you require, primarily when fishing. For example, if you want to get to the proper spot, bringing a bag full of items is not ideal.
Choose lightweight, versatile pieces that can easily adapt and integrate into your surroundings and movements. Proper footwear, shorts, and shirts that are convertible or can be "rolled up" are important to the dynamics of your environment.
Stay Comfortable and Dry With Free Fly
Planning for your next fishing trip can be difficult, but remembering to bring the right outfits, equipment, and gear will make all the difference. Consider your comfort, safety, and overall experience when deciding what to bring along.
Start with the weather and other elements, and work through your list. Consider other factors, such as your fishing style, environment, and regulations. Select your attire for versatility and durability to optimize your experience and enhance your angling ability.
At Free Fly, we design all of our women's fishing apparel and men's fishing apparel with you in mind. As avid anglers and outdoor enthusiasts, we understand the challenges borne by your needs and situation. We hope this guide arms you with the knowledge to gear up for your fishing trip with confidence.