Best Fly Fishing Hat: Bucket, Caps, Bush Hats (2021 Update)

Geoff Stadnyk in Accessories on

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If you have ever seen any old English TV fishing programs from 30 or more years ago, you would have seen fly fishermen dressed in full country style clothing, usually with a deerstalker hat, covered in fly lures. And whilst this is still a charming image of these old fly fishermen, we have come a long way in terms of fly fishing hats now.

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Why Wear a Hat for Fly Fishing?

Aside from personal style, there are only two reasons we wear fly fishing hats. The first being to shelter us from the elements. Keeping our head dry when it is raining, and cool when it is sunny.

The second reason is to help us be able to look out across the water, by reducing the glare of the sun overhead. That’s it, there are no other reasons. People who believe that their hat is a place to store fly lures, and keep small items of tackle, quickly learn the error of their ways once they actually try to do this. Choice of fly fishing hats is these days, more about practically that style. So let’s look at three types of fly fishing hats, why they work, and what’s good about them.

Best Caps for Fly Fishing

We all know what these are, they are the most commonly worn hats in the world. They are suitable for any application where you need a wide peak, to stop the sun overhead from dazzling you. So they make excellent fly fishing hats.

Furthermore, because they fit snugly to the head, with only the front peak sticking out, you can wear them under other items of equipment, such as a rain poncho. Let’s take a look at a few that are suitable for fly fishing.

Leland Fly Fishing Trucker Hat

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This is the most famous fly fishing hat of all time. You see this selfsame hat in many fishing magazines and videos. Nothing special about the design, except for that big Leland logo on the front. It’s 100% made of organic cotton, fits most with adjustable velcrorized strap closure fitting up to XL.

Solid in color, outline of fly fishing man is embroidered on the front crown of cap. It has 6 small ventilation holes placed on each panel crown. In truth, this is the reason people buy this hat for fly fishing, just for the design and logo. It’s a statement.

CozyCorner Men’s Snapback Baseball Cap

downloadThis is actually an extremely good choice of fly fishing hats, especially considering its made of cotton & mesh. It comes in 5 different colors to match your fishing attire with an adjustable velcro strap on the rear of the hat.

Fishing men design, is a “must-have” hat for fishing lover. This hat will definitely protect you from sunshine in summer.

Jumping Bass Cap

fly-fishing-hats_04As trucker caps go, this is a pretty generic hat, nothing special in the actual functionality of it at all. We put it on this list of fly fishing hats for two reasons. Firstly, it looks great. The Grey Mid to Low Profile 6 panel Structured Cotton Rip Stop Pre-curved Visor Adjustable Hook/Loop Tape Closure Q3® Sweatband Contrast Stitching Screen Print on Front Right Side is very detailed and well done.

Firstly, it looks great. The Grey Mid to Low Profile 6 panel Structured Cotton Rip Stop Pre-curved Visor Adjustable Hook/Loop Tape Closure Q3® Sweatband Contrast Stitching Screen Print on Front Right Side is very detailed and well done.

Best Bush Hats for Fly Fishing

If you have seen any of the Crocodile Dundee movies, then you know what a bush hat is. Usually made of felt, wool or cotton, they have a brim that goes all the way around the hat. This makes them a little better at reducing glare than a trucker cap, but it does mean they can’t be worn underneath any other item of clothing. We have a couple of bush hats we think are great for fly fishing hats, let’s take a look.

Scala Classico Men’s Crushable Felt Outback Hat

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This is a very stylish bush hat, one that could be worn even when not fishing! It is made entirely from wool, and this means that it is completely washable as well.

It can also be rolled up or crashed and it will maintain its shape. The only downside is that the dark color will probably mean it won’t be as cool as other hats in direct sunlight. Overall though, we love this hat for fly fishing, it is simply cool.

Dorfman-Pacific Weathered Cotton Outback Hat

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A more rugged look than our other selection in the bush hat category. This is a cotton bush hat, so it is still 100% washable. What we really like about this hat is the strong leather chin chord. So if you are fly fishing in high winds, you won’t need to worry about your hat blowing away. This might sound silly, but if you have ever had to try and catch your own hat with a fly rod, you know how annoying this can be if it happens!

Best Bucket Hats for Fly Fishing

For us, it is in this category that the perfect type of fly fishing hats can be found. The boonie is an incredibly practical hat, which is probably why it’s been adopted as a military hat around the world. It has the all-around brim, giving the same advantages of the bush hat when it comes to guarding from sun glare. But it can also be squashed down easily, meaning it can be worn under other clothing just like a trucker cap.

Rothco Ultra Force Military Inspired Boonie Hat

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This is a very good all round fly fishing hat. It is durable, the right color and is made from hard wearing materials. It has a long chin strap, and plenty of ventilation to keep your head cool in the hot sun. There is not a lot more to say about this hat, it is simply functional in every way.

Extreme Condition Sun Hat

fly-fishing-hats_06For us, this is our top choice of fly fishing hats in the bunch we have taken a look at. Why is this so? Well, it’s dirt cheap at $5.50, so if you lose it you won’t cry too much. It has a great camo design, and comes with a chin strap and air vents.

It also has ventilation vents built in to the sides of the hat, which will really help to keep cool air circulating. We think that if you are looking for fly fishing hats that are simply functional, stylish and won’t break the bank, then this boonie style hat ticks all the boxes and is hard to beat.

Geoff Stadnyk

Geoff started fishing as a child in the gorgeous lakes of Mammoth, while on family vacations. His fishing experience includes the use of fly rod and reel. Guided trips along the Madison and Gallatin rivers in Montana, the Frying Pan and Animus in Colorado, and the Deschutes river in Oregon have all paid off and helped make Geoff the angler and writer that he is today.