What to Wear Fishing

Geoff Stadnyk in Fishing Guides on

What to wear fishing depends on the weather as well as what type of fishing you’ll be doing. For instance, you will dress differently for fly fishing than you would for ice fishing.  The most important thing is to wear something appropriate that is comfortable for your situation.

Before you go on your next fishing trip, you might want to read first this article that we have about the causes and remedies when you feel dizzy during fishing.

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Weather Plays a Big Role in How to Dress to Go Fishing

What to wear fishing varies depending on what the weather is like. Let’s look at what we recommend wearing for different kinds of weather.

What To Wear Fishing In Hot Weather

Lightweight UPF Clothing

Two of the biggest considerations to what you wear fishing in hot weather are preventing sunburns and wind exposure. In addition to using a good sunblock on your exposed skin, you should cover as much of your body as you can with light UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing. UPF clothing is made to reduce your exposure to ultraviolet light specifically.

When purchasing clothing that is not rated for UPF, dark fabrics usually give better protection than lighter fabrics. You should choose denser weaves of fabric. Choose nylon and polyester over natural fibers for the best protection.

Choosing UPF clothing is especially important for people who are sensitive to the sun or have thinner skin like older people and children. Some medications can make you more susceptible to burning in the sunlight.

If you are on medication with a warning about being in the sun, a UPF fabric may give you some ability to spend more time outside. However, you may still want to discuss long periods outdoors with your doctor or pharmacists to make sure you are doing all you can to protect yourself.

Be sure to check the UPF rating of the fabric when buying garments. A material labeled UPF 50 + allows less than 2 percent of UV transmission to get through it.

Cover As Much Skin As Possible

Try wearing long pants, with a long-sleeved shirt, and a hat with a wide bream to give you added protection from the heat. Do not forget to protect your eyes with a pair of good sunglasses. Consider gloves to protect your hands.

What to Wear in the Rain

What you wear fishing in the rain should give you the best protection from the elements and dry quickly.

Breathable Waterproof Jacket

A breathable waterproof jacket with a high collar and a hood is a great place to start when purchasing what to wear fishing in rainy weather. There are many sport rain suits available on the market specifically made for fishing in the rain. A couple of examples are the Frogg Toggs All Sport Rain Suit and the Huk Kryptek All Weather Bib and Jacket.

Suits like these are made to be a hundred percent waterproof to keep you dry while fishing. You will stay drier and yet still be able to move around because of the materials from which they are made.

Waterproof Shoes

what to wear fishing

Be sure to wear a sturdy pair of waterproof shoes or fishing shoes to keep your feet dry and help prevent slips and falls.

What to Wear in Cold Weather

Fishing can be very productive in cold weather, but without proper gear, it can be miserable. So what kind of clothing should we choose for fishing in cold weather?

Fishing Dry Suit

Probably one of the safest and warmest options for cold weather is a complete dry suit that has sealed gaskets around your sleeves and your neck. Drysuits are made to withstand freezing water in case you accidentally fall in. They work to keep your body temperature from falling too low and to keep as much water out of the suit to help keep you drier.


Using layers of clothing in cold weather is an excellent option because you can add or remove clothing as the weather dictates throughout the day.

Paddling Pants

Paddling pants can also be a great option on less cold days or changing as the day warms up.

What to Wear Fly-Fishing

When you think of fly-fishing, you probably think of the waders and wading boots, but a lot more goes into preparing for a day of fly-fishing than that.

Warm Pants or Long Underwear

You will need something to keep you warm under those waders when immersed knee-deep or better in the cold lake or river. Most lake water is somewhat more frigid than the air temperature, so you will need to have something like a warm pair of pants or even long underwear to help keep your body temperature in normal ranges.

Thermal Socks

For the same reason, you need something warm inside your waders; you will need warm thermal socks on. The water temperature will be several degrees lower than you may expect, which can cause you quite a chill if your foot is like ice all day. They should go up over your calf to help keep your lower legs warmer.

Breathable Undershirt

A base layer shirt or undershirt can help keep you from being too cold when the wind is blowing, and the water is spraying over you. Try to choose something lightweight and breathable.

Next, you will want a shirt over the undershirt to give you extra protection from cooler weather. The day may start chilly and by late afternoon feel miserably hot. Layers are nice because they can be removed or added as needed.

Light Sweatshirt

You will probably want to have a light sweatshirt to give you added protection from the sun.


Sport fisherman hunting predator fish. Outdoor fishing in river during sunrise. Hunting and hobby sport.

Your waders should be breathable and made well to hold up to hours in the water. Along with your wader boots, these are the best protection you have from the water, so choose both carefully. Your boots need to be not only waterproof. But comfortable to stand for hours.

Fly Fishing Vest

A vest may be another accessory you will want to have for fly fishing. They are an excellent place for carrying tools to remove hooks and such while you fish.

Fly Fishing Hat

What you wear fishing should include a hat to protect you from the sun. Perhaps a pair of sunglasses to help keep the sun out of your eyes will be beneficial too.

In Summary

When choosing what to wear fishing, make sure to choose comfortable clothes that allow you to move and bend as much as possible while still giving you the protection you need.

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.

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