The Elephant in The Sky
I was recently speaking with a colleague about how picky trout can be. How they lock in, and at times, focus on one certain color and that is all they want. All the while they miss the obvious hook that lands them in our nets. With that being said, anglers do the same. We pay attention to, and mega focus on, the activity with disregard for the most dangerous element. It isn't a hook...but rather the Sun. I have put together a simple list of products for protecting your beautiful face and skin as you enjoy the sunnier days ahead. Whether you are on the WNC Fly Fishing Trail or on a flats boat or skiff, these tips will ensure an enjoyable day!
Headwear – Make sure you wear a hat. Trying to avoid sounding too cliché here, but it is important. There are many hats out there today that offer built in UV protection in the fabric or material. Simms offers this in their built-to-last Single Haul line up with UPF 50+ sun protection. While trucker hats look cool, and do offer ventilation, they do not protect the back half of your noggin. Myself being completely bald, made this mistake early last spring and came home with funky tan lines on my dome.
Neck and Face – Sunscreen cannot do it alone! Here comes some simple science, I learned the hard way, as well as many of us. The Sun reflects off of water! Thus creating raccoon faces among us; we've all seen "that guy"!. The Simms Sungaiter provides neck and face protection in one product. Sungaiters or Buff’s block what a hat cannot. There are many similar products on the market but few offer true sun protection.
Shirts – If you did not already know, please do not wear short sleeves while fishing. Now you know. Simms offers sun protection across their entire apparel line up. When you can have a great looking and performing shirt it is a win-win. Whether you are fishing our going out for a night on the town Simms has you covered. Offering UPF 50+ sun protection in their shirts as well. My favorite is the Intruder Bi-Comp Shirt that has the feel of a tech long sleeve shirt but has a professional look and feel to it. Lots of functional pockets for gear storage as well. Many companies offer shirts similar to the Simms SolarFlex line, which perform amazingly. Artist Paul Puckett placed his water color work on a beautiful shirt from Flood Tide Company.
Pants – This is an area where the market can improve. Many companies are making light weight technical pants that function for fishing. However they can still get down right warm, especially when you are on a small mouth bass float trip in July or the dog days of summer. Simms Arapaima Pant does, I would say, a good job but could get better. How to make it better? That’s above my pay grade!
Feet and Hands – Sperry has figured it out, but it took the industry 20 years to catch on. Simms caught on and did nice work to improve. The Challenger and Currents Boat shoes give great support and grip while keeping the peds cooled. Vented holes allow water to quickly flow out when combining wet/dry situations. For the hands, Simms offers Sun Gloves to keep the digits from burning. Some of the more common places I see folks getting cancerous spots removed is the hands. We always forgot our hands!
Skin Cancer is a serious tissue issue! Checking into these great performance products will ensure an enjoyable day on the water and for your future health. Give us a call or email if you have any questions. Of course, you can learn more about all these fine products in our online fly shop.