The feeling that many women have while wearing no makeup is similar to what an angler feels like when they forget their hat. They left a little piece of themselves at home. Anglers need to feel comfortable when they’re on the water. Fishing is frustrating enough so a lack of proper equipment can limit productivity.
Hats can be more than tools to block the sun. For some, a hat is as much as part of their livelihood as their last name. We all have people in our lives that we can’t remember the last time they weren’t wearing a hat.
In fly fishing, hats can help anglers find fish. A darker underside of a brim helps to see into the water. It can act as a second polarized lens.
Multiple fishing hats are necessary. One type of hat isn’t going to be enough to get you through an entire season. As anglers, that’s no problem. No one is more obsessed with gear than outdoorsy folks!
Selecting a Fishing Hat for Sun Protection
Protection from the sun is something that all anglers should take seriously. Too much sun can turn a weekend fishing trip into a one day trip. When considering a hat, find one specifically designed for fishing. Baseball caps may be the most convenient and stylish, but they don’t protect as well.
Fishing hats have specific fabric weave, color weight and stretch. These hats are more dense and offer more protection. Some hats may have an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating. A rating of 15-24 is good, 25-39 is very good and 40-50+ is going to be best. While you will pay for this added protection, it does make a difference in comfort! There are many places to find these types of hats. Outdoor stores like Dicks or websites like Simms, Backcountry and Orvis all had a wide selection of quality products.
What Hat is Best for Fishing in the Rain?
There is something to be said about keeping dry while fishing. Keeping away from the elements isn’t always going to be possible, but the more protection the better. Rain jackets and waders can keep your body dry, but it’s always a challenge keeping your head dry. Wearing a hood limits visibility. When picking out the spot you want to hit on the water, it’s obnoxious trying to keep a hood out of the way.
The Frogg Toggs Waterproof Breathable Boonie Hat (Link to Amazon for price and more reviews) is a great option. Frogg Toggs specialize in creating waterproof products. It made of breathable Polypropylene material, and has a wide 3″ brim and an internal comfort band.
It has a neck cinch as well as one on the back of the head that keeps things snug in the middle of a storm. The best part of the hat is its ability to be packed. It can easily fit in a pocket of a jacket or be clipped to a backpack.
The Outdoor Research Seattle Sombrero (Link to Amazon – hundreds of reviews and latest price) is widely considered one of the best rain hat options on the market. This hat has the Gore-Tex construction that allows the head to breathe and stay dry. It also can be packed down to fit anywhere that you may desire. It’ll keep the water visible and allow you to continue to fish to your heart’s desire.
Best Color for a Fishing Hat
In general, tans and browns are going to best your best bet when choosing fishing clothing. Trout can see colors well up to 12 feet away. When wading and bank fishing, be sure to wear earth tone colors.. You need all the help you can get when trout fishing, so be sure to stay away from white, red, yellow and orange.
Read more about what colors to wear in this article. The Best Shirt for Fly Fishing I detail how to select a great fly fishing shirt.
The clearer the water, the more challenging the fishing will become. Also, as mentioned earlier, a darker underbrim will give you a view deeper into the water.
Which Fishing Hats Keep Me Cool
A wide brimmed hat is going to keep you cooler on the hot days. Also, something that you can dip into the water is an added bonus. The Columbia Bora Booney Sun Hats (Amazon Link) are a popular choice for anglers. They pack tighter and retain water well to keep your head cool. This hat will block 98% of the dangerous rays from the sun. There are vents along the sides of the hat that allows for a small breeze and less moisture build up.
Any sort of hat with a neck guard is going to keep away the sunburn. While they may not be the most attractive hats, they do serve a purpose. Simms makes a high quality hat with a removable neck block called the Simms Sunshield Fishing Hat. (Links to SIMMS Website Highly Recommended) These hats will run you around $30.
Another great option for a fishing hat is the Tactical Bucket Hat from Under Armour (Link to Amazon). As an owner of this hat, I can vouch for its quality. The hat is a bit stiffer than traditional bucket hats, but it feels as if it will last longer. The best asset of this hat is the sweat band. It does a great job of keeping your face dry even on the warmest day.
The fourth recommended option would be the DDYOutdoor Summer Outdoor Sun Hat. This hat has a UPF 50+ rating. The best part about this hat is that it retails for only $15 on Amazon. It has a neck guard as well as a face guard that will keep you protected from all of the elements.
Which Fishing Hats Keep Me Warm
Like many things in life, the most rewarding things are what you work the hardest to achieve. Fishing is no different. Winter fly fishing requires a great deal of extra effort from keeping your guides free from ice and paying careful attention to see the slightest bites.
Staying warm can make this whole process a bit easier. The debate for which fishing gloves are best has yet to be solved. However, there are a few beanies that are going to keep you warm despite the conditions. The Simms Basic Beanie is affordable and can be worn away from the water. Perhaps the most popular option is the Simms Trout Camo Beanie (Links to Simms) This hat looks good and can be found for $30.
Two of the warmest hats on the market are the Simms ExStream Windbloc Beanie and the Simms Ultra-Wool Core Beanie (linked to Simms to read more) These hats are going to cost quite a bit, but they were made for fly fishing. They have the more weather resistant outer shell. They are $50 and $35 respectively. It’s worth the extra money to ensure quality.
Best Hats to Wear for Bug Protection
While bug resistant fishing hats are nowhere near flattering, they do make life easier. Most water is going to be surrounded by insects. Bug spray or a Thermacell won’t do a good enough job with keeping all of the bugs away.
One of the best bug hats would be the Bugstopper Net Cap made by Simms. This hat is $40, but the mosquito net can be removed if it’s not needed. You know you’ll be getting a high quality product when you purchase something from Simms.
Another solid option is the Outdoor Research Bug Bucket hat. This retails for only $15 and the bug netting can easily be hidden inside the crown. Also, the brim is not as wide on this hat so it works well in all types of weather.
I highly recommend SIMMS products. Located in Montana arguably the heart of fly fishing in the USA. The folks own what form and function mean for a fly fisher.
Why Do Anglers Put Flies in Their Hats
Anglers happen to be very reflective people. Whenever they find a spot that produces fish, they keep it a secret and go back as often as they can. If they find a lure that works consistently, it becomes their obsession. For fly anglers, a hat can show these prized lures. Some anglers use successful flies to the end of their life. When they need to be retired, they go on to the hat. An angler’s hat full of flies can tell many stories. It’s a great idea for anyone who is getting into fly fishing. Take pictures and keep your memorable flies in your hat.
Fishing Hat Accessories
Hats are an important feature for any angler, however, there are a few other essentials that can help keep you comfortable on the water.
The first being a buff. Buffs are a necessity for anyone who spends time in the outdoors. They’re maneuverable and can be used as anything from a handkerchief to a hood. BUFF tm Brand is the leader when it comes to keeping the sun and wind off your neck. The UV Buff is ideal for warm conditions and keeping the sun away from your neck, ears and nose..
I Highly recommend the BUFF Brand. Whats even better is that they are on Amazon. Check out the latest prices and more reviews BUFF-UV Headwear
The 100% microfiber Polyester is super soft, quick drying and breathable. Wearing a BUFF in the winter can also keep you warm in the winter and doesn’t itch like many of the other neck guards from other companies.
Another necessary accessory for anglers is a light. Whether it’s early morning fishing or mousing in the evening, a quality headlamp makes a world of difference.
It doesn’t require you to pull out your cell phone and keeps you hands free. Any headlamp from Black Diamond is sure to do the trick. The Black Diamond Spot (link to Amazon to read more and check the latest price) has 325 lumens which is plenty to fight off the darkness.
If you want spend a bit more money the Petzl Actik Core Headlamp is rechargeable and has 350 lumens.