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Sight-Fishing? Care About What You Wear!

April 3, 2017

I absolutely LOVE to sight-fish. To say it's a blast is almost an understatement! There's nothing quite like stalking your quarry, presenting the fly, watching the fish react, then (hopefully) hooking that fish. It's not just totally visual and off-the-charts exciting, but to me, it's the most supremely-satisfying form of fishing. When dealing with wary fish and tough conditions, coaxing a bite takes precise skill, technique, and plenty of stealth. On the stealthy side, what's one thing you can do to tip the odds more in your favor? Choose your clothing wisely!



When sight-fishing, I like to match my clothing (particularly larger items like my shirt and pants) to my surroundings whenever possible. If that's not possible, then I'll just wear something more subdued so I'm not totally sticking out. I take this especially seriously if the water is very clear and shallow. If a fish is tracking the fly or even just cruising along, an attention-grabbing color or one that looks totally out-of-place might alert the fish to your presence—especially if the fish are close. If you can see the fish, they may see you too!


Have I successfully sight-fished while wearing something less-than-stealthy? Sure. I'm not saying it can't be done—nothing could be further from the truth. However, I like to maximize my possibilities for success, and that means keeping a low profile as best I can with what I have available. Even if it gives me just a slight edge and allows me to catch, say, two extra fish per month, I'll take that!


From pants to face masks to hats, my closet of fishing apparel currently includes mostly natural color schemes that are appropriate for different scenarios. Off the top of my head, I know I have grey, light blue, dark blue, army green, and tan-colored garments on-hand. I have other colors too, but if I know I'm going to be sight-fishing, I'm reaching for one of the most subdued choices. The small selection I mentioned also gives me the ability to match different surroundings and sky conditions. Cloudy or partly-cloudy skies? Grey can be a good choice. Clear skies? Light blue or dark blue works well. Will it be brushy behind or around me? Green, camo, or tan blends in well.


Photo Courtesy of Simms Fishing Products


Simms is one company that really knows the importance of being stealthy. Not only do they offer a wide variety of garments and colors, but their Solarflex Long-Sleeve shirts are available in grey and blue cloud patterns that let you melt right into the sky above you. Necessary?  That's debatable. Cool? Heck yes—and a smart, creative idea to boot. If you truly want to blend in under certain conditions, these may be the ultimate shirt choices—period. Give them a look here.


Photo Courtesy of Simms Fishing Products 


Sight-fishing is totally awesome, but to really be consistently successful at it, you have to take several things into account. It's a bit more demanding than just blindly casting for a bite, but if you take the time to be careful about both your gear and presentation, great success and enjoyment can be had!




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