So, this is a topic that has been in debate forever. In my experience, your actions, like your cast and retrieve, will be more important to focus on than your clothing, but when you have that dialed in and are still striking out, stealth is the next biggest thing to work on. Stealth will require many things you may not have thought of before.
Why do you rub dirt on your face when you go hunting? Why do you use unscented detergents, roll around in different grasses, and rub up on trees? To smell like you belong there, to look like you belong there. Same thing with fishing. Why do we try to wear earth-toned colors and fish clear-tipped lines? Why is it imperative to work on your fly's actual entry into the water?
Why is it make or break often? To blend into our surroundings and make our flies look as natural as possible. Shrimp and Crab do not just come raining out of the sky– although that would be rain, I would love to be around for. Why do we get skinny and push our boats with a big pole? To make the most negligible impact on the water and be as stealthy as possible... A related article on that topic can be found here.
Things like the number of false casts, rocking the boat, slamming the cooler, and directing the boat or your body so your shadow goes over the fish will hurt your chances of making a connection. Going slow is your friend. No need to rush; if you must run after some fish, they already know you’re there.
My favorite fishing clothing is something I am comfortable with and can have a full range of motion in. If it protects me from the elements, that’s a bonus. Thankfully, the outdoor clothing market has been making some seriously tough and amazingly comfortable gear for quite a while now. My personal favorites are Reel Skipper and Free Fly.
I have been shopping with Reel Skipper since 2017 and still have and use all the clothing (That still fits). It has held up and is fantastic for water activities and is cute. :) Michelle and Samantha of Reel Skipper have created countless beautiful collections!
Their prints are all ocean/earth-themed and just visually stunning. Gone are the days of sifting through the men’s fishing clothing section for something that might fit you well.
These women have created it all. Being an avid diver and snorkeler, I have always felt warm and protected from the sea’s elements in their clothing. Wading the flats in their leggings has been very effective for me in many different waters, from the Maine seas to the flats in Honduras; I blend right in! Sun protection, anti-microbial, and quick drying are all essential qualities of water clothing for me, and they tick all the boxes.
My next go-to is Free Fly. They use natural Bamboo blended with quick-dry materials for some crazy soft and cozy threads. Bonus: their clothing is naturally odor-resistant and moisture-wicking, and bamboo is renewable, proliferates with minimal water, and requires no pesticides or fertilizers! The clothing this family brings to the table is freaky fabulous. I have said it’s like stepping into a cloud, and I stand by that statement. Fishing, hiking, skiing, traveling, and even sleeping are all joys with Free Fly on your back. I know that Dave is a fan of their shorts himself, and they make their products in many natural earth and water tones, so wherever you fish, they have a pattern or color that can help you blend in!
I hope these tips help keep you more comfortable while staying in the game simultaneously!
In the meantime,
We invite you to take in a few other Flats Nation Podcast Episodes to help "Scratch that Fishing Itch" when working or traveling and you cannot hitch up the Skiff and go, on these links:
Our main podcast page works excellent for your mobile device since it will stream (or be downloaded for offline listening) on your phone/tablet. It can be found by clicking Here.
Our new Flats Nation YouTube Channel can be found by clicking Here and sharing them with family and friends if you find them Entertaining and Educational! We have some great guests in the works and planning stages on a wide range of topics and product coverage soon.
LeeAnne and the Team