As you already know if you’ve read my previous posts I am an avid flyfisherman. There is nothing that I like better than standing in a freezing cold stream casting for trout and other types of panfish. Over the years I have bought all kinds of clothing, some worked great and others made it almost impossible for me to move my arms freely. To prevent you from making the same mistakes that I did, here is some advice that will hopefully help you buy the right clothes for fly fishing.
Never underestimate the importance of a good pair of waterproof boots. I happen to think that they are more important than your waders. You will be standing in water and it will be cold, and the last thing you want is to try and fish with freezing feet. Not only is this extremely uncomfortable, it can also be dangerous to your health. Along with ensuring the boots are fully waterproof, you also want them to come with plenty of traction. This way you can safely navigate the wet and slippery terrain.
Even though I said boots were more important, I do own a pair of waders. There are several styles to choose from, but I prefer ones that are chest high. Mine also come with a belt so I can just as easily wear them as pants when the temperature starts to rise. You can also find waders with attached boots, but I still prefer to purchase my footwear separately. I do own a pair of wader that came with socks. This way I have complete waterproof protection and can still wear the boots that I prefer. The main advantage to choosing waders that come with boots is that it can be a little easier on your wallet since you don’t have to buy additional footwear.
There are hats that are designed specifically for fly fishing, but personally I just wear a baseball cap. I already know that it will fit my head perfectly, and the bill does a great job of shielding my face from the bright sun. When it comes to choosing a hat or even if you wear one it will be a matter of personal preference.
Some fly fishermen prefer wearing a shirt with a lot of pockets and that is perfectly okay. You just want to make sure that the material is comfortable, and that the shirt is not too big. You want to be able to move freely, but you don’t want it to be loose enough that it interferes with your casts and retrievals. I usually just wear an old long or short sleeve t-shirt depending on the weather, along with a fly fishing vest. My vest came with several pockets so I can easily keep my gear organized, and it also has a mesh liner that helps to wick moisture away. This way I can stay cool and dry, even during the heat of the day.