Let’s face it, we fly fishers love to wear hats. Often, when out at a restaurant miles from any trout river, you can spot your fellow fly fishing aficionado by the not-so-subtle sign of a baseball cap.
We know that if you have been fishing for a few years, you already have quite a collection of baseball caps – trusty favorites that you would never dream of giving up.
Today, however, let’s look at some of the alternatives. Whilst your baseball cap might have given you years of service, there might (just might) be a better option available.
For instance, in our opinion the best hat for fly fishing at the moment is the Camo Coll Outdoor Anti-Mosquito Mask Hat. In comparison to your lucky baseball cap, this hat offers great protection from biting insects, and will also keep the back of your neck free from sunburn. If you’re looking for a hat for fly fishing that will actually improve the way you fish, this is it.
Fly Fishing Hats
Whilst baseball caps are great, and have been the hat of choice for fly fishing enthusiasts for many years now, perhaps it is worth considering different styles of hats?
Ultimately, the protection offered by a baseball cap is pretty minimal. Not only does it not cover the back of your neck, but cheap baseball caps block little or no UV radiation, meaning that the hat you think is protecting you is in fact doing no such thing.
A good quality hat is essential for any serious angler. Not only are UV rays stronger in the summer, you’re also getting a 2-3X effect from the reflection from the water. I also suggest getting a pair of high quality sun glasses.
Everybody has different preferences when it comes to the type, color, and brand of hat they choose for fly fishing, and everybody will vociferously defend their own choice. That said, there are some basic things to look for when choosing a hat.
- Sun protection. This is perhaps the most important thing to look for in a fishing hat. Sunburn is no fun, and especially easy to ignore when the wind is whipping off the river, so get a hat with UV protection.
- Durability. It is fine, of course, if your hat gets a bit beaten around over the years, but hats that tear apart in a few weeks are to be avoided.
- Fast drying. There is nothing worse than having a wet hat on your head all day, so look for hats that boast quick drying capabilities.
So, without further ado, here are our own personal favorites:
1. Editor’s Pick: Camo Coll Outdoor Anti-Mosquito Mask Hat
This hat offers good sun protection for your eyes, face, and the back of your neck, and also something that even your favorite baseball cap doesn’t – protection from mosquitoes.
There are lots of this kind of anti-bug available, but in our opinion this is the best. Not only does it keep the bugs out really well, the net stays away from your face and is almost invisible when wearing the hat, keeping your visibility acute.
In addition, of course, this hat comes with a range of great features:
- The hat has excellent sun protection, UPF 50+. This is an important consideration, because some hats that seem to block the sun actually let UV light straight through, meaning you can be burnt even through a hat.
- The hat can be squashed and crushed, and ride for days at the bottom of a bag, and always return to the right shape.
- The hat dries pretty quick, and stays on your head well when using the chinstrap.
- Very few. The huge advantage here is that no bugs will bite you, and you will not get burned by the sun.
The hat has excellent sun protection, UPF 50+. This is an important consideration, because some hats that seem to block the sun actually let UV light straight through, meaning you can be burnt even through a hat.
2. Outzie Wide Brim Fishing Sun Hat
In terms of protection from the sun, this is the best hat available. Whilst you may love your old, tattered baseball cap, what could be better than a simple hat that protects your face and the back of your neck?
As the name suggests, the brim of this hat is nice and broad, and the materials used here block UV rays.
In addition, this hat has some added advantages:
- The hat is one size fits all, and the people we talked to for this review all said that it fitted them well. There is also a chinstrap, so even if the hat feels a little big for you, you can be sure that it will not fall off at the crucial moment.
- The hat is vented, keeping you comfortably cool even on the hottest days. If it turns overcast, however, the brim will snap up to improve your visibility.
- The small bag which comes with this hat, and into which it easily packs, is great for carrying it to and from your fishing spot. It ensures that the hat always stays in the right shape, no matter how far you have to hike.
- Very few. This is not the most stylish of hats, we admit, but it does everything a fishing hat should do, and does it well.
The hat is one size fits all, and the people we talked to for this review all said that it fitted them well. There is also a chinstrap, so even if the hat feels a little big for you, you can be sure that it will not fall off at the crucial moment.
3. Leland Fly Fishing Trucker Hat
We know, we know. We’re trying to convince you to give up your baseball cap, and then go ahead and recommend a trucker cap.
The reason is simple – this is something of an iconic hat, and simply looks great. If you don’t really mind the back of your neck getting burned, and the insects biting you, this is definitely the hat to go for.
It comes with all the standard advantage of a baseball hat:
- It is fully adjustable, so it will definitely fit you no matter how big your head is.
- It has a brim, to keep the sun off.
- You’ve probably seen it before in the all the fishing magazines.
- It looks great even when you are not fishing, and when you are …
- The people we talked to for this review said that this was the luckiest hat around. Fish seem magnetically drawn to anyone wearing it, so if your luck is out at the moment, this could be a great investment.
- Well, it’s a baseball cap, and a bit unoriginal. See our points above.
It is fully adjustable, so it will definitely fit you no matter how big your head is.
So which to choose?
Well, your choice of hat for fly fishing is yours alone, of course. Everybody fishes in a different way, and uses unique equipment. Your hat should be carefully chosen to suit your style and needs.
That said, in our opinion the best hat for fly fishing at the moment is the Camo Coll Outdoor Anti-Mosquito Mask Hat. In comparison to your lucky baseball cap, this hat offers great protection from biting insects, and will also keep the back of your neck free from sunburn. If you’re looking for a hat for fly fishing that will actually improve the way you fish, this is it.