I’m seeing more and more fishing-specific clothing in camouflage. Not deer or duck camo, but aquamarine and sky blue camo. Thing is, I’m just not sold that any of that makes a difference when you fly fish. And let’s be honest, powder blue camo is an oxymoron in the context of making a “rugged outdoorsy” fashion statement.
Fishing camo was one of the few things that Charlie Meyers and I disagreed on: He’d always show up for fishing in a muted gray and blue shirt. His jaw would drop when I rolled to the river in bright colors. It got to be a game. He would lecture me on the advantages of stealthy leisure wear, and I would show up the next day looking like I’d hit the local Ben & Jerry’s for its last XXL “Chunky Monkey” T-shirt.
Pictured here is the latest addition to my fishing wardrobe… longboard surfing retro in green and red. I just never have, and probably never will, believe that the shirt (or hat) you wear matters in any way that can’t be better fixed with a smarter, sometimes longer, cast, and a more stealthy approach when you walk along (and in) the river.
Shadows matter to trout, and they happen no matter what you wear. I’d rather see you wear blaze orange and think about not making shadows on a run where the trout are holding in the river, than have you in camo and flailing about the bank. Sure, stealthy colors can’t hurt you. But in fact, sometimes I actually think you’re better off in loud colors, because it forces you to focus on the important shadow factor.
As such, I’m begging all fly fishing clothing manufacturers to please continue producing more options than olive green, drab tan, and dirt brown. I promise, I won’t be the only person wearing them. Loud and proud is the new vogue, and a sign of self-confident anglers who can cast longer, straighter and on-target…
Or fashion Neanderthals. You decide.