Are you headed somewhere tropical in search of magical salt-water fish? Allow us to suggest a few key pieces that make a world of difference when fly-fishing most saltwater destinations. Below are our thoughts of What To Wear: Saltwater Edition
Neoprene wet wading socks + sturdy boots = comfortable and safe wading! Where you are fishing will be the biggest part to your saltwater footwear equation. If you’re fishing areas with rough bottoms and sea urchins, the you will want a pair of heavy duty wading boots with rigid soles like the Simms Flats Sneaker. Neoprene zip-up booties may work for more sandy/grassy areas.
Lightweight, breathable clothing that offers a high degree of sun protection is a must. And oddly enough full coverage, the last thing you want to worry about is constantly applying sunscreen so you do not get a sunburn. Plus having sunscreen on your hands and handling flies is never a good idea.
Next is the bottoms. We suggest skipping the shorts and choosing full coverage pants, such as the men’s Orvis Pro Sun Skiff Pants or Simms Superlight Pant and women’s Orvis Guide Pants or Simms Mataura Pants.
Whether you’re wading or covering distance of any kind, your pack is an important piece to the puzzle. We suggest quality, waterproof packs that are large enough to hold all of your must need items such as sunscreen, rain jacket, flies, leaders, tippet, water bottle, camera, and snacks. Our favorite is the Fishpond Thunderhead Collection.
Protection From the Elements
Mother Nature can be a b****. Nothing goes as planned when it comes to weather. So as you prepare for your trip and potential hurricane force winds, torrential downpours and relentless beating sun, make sure you have everything you need for any element imaginable.
- Sunscreen – nothing can ruin your trip faster than a sunburn. Bring a waterproof, reef safe sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF. After applying your sunscreen, wash your hands thoroughly (scrubbing sand/dirt and saltwater). Fish will refuse any flies with un-natural scents.
- Buff – it’s easy to forget how much sun exposure you’re getting on your face and neck. We suggest Simms Sungaitor. Quick-drying SolarFlex fabric stretches to fit any size head, even over a cap, and provides UPF 50 sun protection. There are laser-cut holes at the mouth and nose for breathing and air circulation. The cape portion of this neck gaiter is long, so your neck will be fully covered. Easily stowable, the Simms Sungaiter is your sunburn insurance policy.
- Rain Gear – Weather changing quickly in the tropics is always a possibility. A quality rain jacket with hood is pivotal. We suggest Simms Waypoints Rain Jacket (Men’s and Women’s) or Orvis Ultralight Wading Jacket (Men’s and Women’s). All of these options easily pack down so they fit into your pack.
- Sunglasses – Bring the best polarized glasses you can. We recommend a copper base lens with a green mirror for cutting through the shallow flats water and a second pair of grey base with silver mirror for overcast days. Two brands that we personally use are Costa and Bajio.