These are our fly fishing Experts' top tips for choosing and using your fly fishing clothing and accessories.
THE RIGHT SET OF SHADES
Polarized sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun’s glare that’s reflected on the water. George “Squid” Sideris, retired fly-fishing buyer and Jans Expert for over 30 years explains, “The horizontal filter in polarized sunglasses removes that glare so we can see better and keep our vision sharp, which will help in hooking fish. Plus, we all need eye protection when the fly is whizzing by our eyes at 70 miles an hour.” Polarized sunglasses also allow you to peer below the river’s surface into the fish’s world and see where they hide from predators and wait for food. Quality polarized sunglasses help you find a target so you know where to cast your line.
DRESS FOR SUCCESS ON THE RIVER
Weather changes quickly in Utah, and wearing the right clothing is important when you’re fly-fishing. Mountain Recreation Expert Chris Wistner suggests wearing lightweight, quick-drying clothing and packing extra layers.
-Top layers: Chris recommends shirts that are lightweight, heavily vented and built with fabrics with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 30+. Look for features that include convertible sleeves and zippered front pockets for added convenience. For extra warmth, pack a 3-season wool or fleece jacket for mild conditions, or a stormproof, all-weather jacket for unruly wintertime fishing.
-Bottom layers: Lightweight, quick-drying pants with lots of pocket room are essential for any fly fisherman. Be sure to avoid bulky features that will bunch up under your waders. For inclement weather and extra warmth in cool temperatures, be sure to wear a fleece or wool first layer.
-Waders: Waders made with multiple layers of GORE-TEX or other fully waterproof material will ensure that water is kept out. Micro fleece pockets and neoprene booties will keep you warm, while built-in gravel guards will extend the life of your waders.
ACCESSORY CHECK LIST
We recommend packing five essential items for a day of fly fishing, regardless of the season:
- Polarized sunglasses
- Magnifying glasses if you are over 45; a rack of PBR if you are under 45
- Water-hydration pack or stream filter
- Sundries: lip balm, sunscreen, bug juice, snacks and cigars
- Big landing net for positive reinforcement
With fly fishing-specific clothing evolving, Jans Mountain Recreation Expert Larry Culley recommends investing in two high-performance technologies as you’re shopping for new fly fishing clothing.
Insect repellent: Fly fishing companies have developed insect-repelling clothing that requires no toxic bug spray or chemicals. Using nature as inspiration, clothing manufacturers found a synthetic repellent that mimics the bug-repelling qualities given off by chrysanthemum flowers, so fly fishermen have a non-toxic alternative to bug spray.
UV-resistant: Some companies have developed UV-resistant fabrics that work better than sunscreen. The latest gloves, neck gaiters, shirts and pants contain UPF (ultra violet protection factor) of 30+, and shield your body from intense sun rays while you’re in the water. The UPF doesn’t wash out and holds up even when it’s wet.