It is important to be well clothed for a day of fly fishing. There are a range of items necessary. We will assume for our purposes that we are going wading. This is a basic checklist for those who have not spent much time on the water.
Vests. The traditional fly fishing vest has generally stood the test of time. Vests can be purchased from a modest amount to more expensive models. The vest will be a personal choice of each fisherman.
Packs. A modern development
in fishing has been the use of fanny packs of various designs. Some fishermen like them, others find them clumsy. It is a matter of choice and there is a large range of packs available on the market. Inevitably the biggest problems with packs are the zippers. William Joseph have an interesting magnetic design to overcome this problem, but make no mistake. there is no such thing as a foolproof zipper and it is more than frustrating to bend over in the river and have the contents of part of a pack spill into the fast moving water.
Waders. There are a number of options available for waders. Essentially one prefers breathable waders which are quite robust enough to withstand the rigors of walking and fishing. There are pant waders which, as their name suggests, don't fit much past the waist. Then there are chest waders which permit a fisherman to wade into deeper water. It is a matter of choice but generally in faster flowing water over rocks, it is wise to be careful therefore it would be unsafe to wade much past one's thighs.
We carry basically two ranges of waders. A lower end Hendrix Outdoors wader up to the Orvis Guide waders. These 2 manufacturers give us a most adequate range of options.
Boots. Wading boots. Boots range in price from the $70's up to the mid $175. The key in choosing boots is obviously comfort, but there are other factors as well. The soles range from felt to composite soles. In addition boots can come with studs or without.
A debate at the moment concerns the possibility of wet boots, particularly felt soles, being capable of carrying organisims from one waterway to another. The solution is for the boots to be dried between trips or washed in a manner which will kill any potentially troublesome organism. Felt is an excellent material for gripping on slippery rocks, so there is a reason the industry continues to use it. On the other hand there are other styles of soles which don't absorb moisture in the manner of felt.
Studs are most useful to add grip when walking on slippery surfaces. However they can be problematic if in a raft. The studs may damage the craft.
Polaroid Sunglasses. Sunglasses are important for 2 reasons. First they cut the glare and allow you to look into the water to spot fish. The second reason is that they act as eye protection from a carelessly flung fly.
Hats. Like sunglasses, hats serve 2 purposes. First they provide protection from the sun keeping glare out of your face. Secondly they are a form of protection from flies which might come back into your head from a wind gust or a bad cast.
Packable wet weather gear. Always carry a packable rain jacket when there is any risk of rain. There are many very reasonably priced shells which will provide adequate protection in the event of a rainshower.
Cold weather gear. If you are going to fish in colder weather, wading can become uncomfortable if you haven't dressed adequately under your waders. 2 pairs of woollen socks and long underwear will ensure that you can spend a lot more time in the water catching fish rather than having to recover from the cold on the riverbank.
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