More and more women are starting to take up the sport of fly fishing. Female anglers appreciate spending time in the great outdoors and the finesse of casting technique, along with a chance to find solitude or to connect with their friends or spouses.
Read on for Jans Team Member, Bambi Wilson’s, expert recommendations on top women’s fly fishing gear choices.
Fly Fishing Accessories for Women
Starting from the top, Bambi recommends the Simms Trout Trucker Hat for women anglers. The dark underside of the brim on this baseball style cap reduces glare, and the adjustable back won’t catch on your hair. Plus the trucker style of this hat is very cool – who says you can’t be fashionable while casting for trout?
Polarized sunglasses are a must-have to protect your eyes from the sun and also to help you see through the glare on the water. Even on overcast days, polarized lenses make it easier to spot the fish so you can gauge where you want to cast a line. Bambi’s favorites are the Kaenon Georgia. These women’s specific sunglasses fit under a baseball cap without putting pressure on the bridge of the nose – very important since those pressure headaches can ruin your day on the river.
Fly Fishing Clothing for Women
The Patagonia Overcast Long Sleeve Women’s Shirt is a lightweight sun protection shirt that does it all. You can fly fish in it, you can hike in it, you can even cruise around town in it and still look stylish. This women’s fly fishing shirt offers UPF 30 sun protection, and the collar can flip up to cover the back of your neck to prevent sunburn. Bambi likes to wear this shirt over a tank or sports bra so she can take it off and catch a few rays during lunch.
If you happen to be fly fishing when the temperatures are colder and need some extra insulation, consider the Patagonia Capilene baselayer tops. These women’s long sleeve shirts offer perfect next to skin performance since they are moisture wicking, quick drying, temperature regulating, and breathable.
For warm days, a lightweight wicking short can be the best choice of fly fishing clothing for women. Though some like the convertible pants/shorts, Bambi prefers to simply wear pants if it’s cold in the morning and change into shorts when the temperature rises, rather than dealing with heavy, bulky zippers around her knees.
If she’s wearing waders, Bambi likes the Simms Headwater Stocking Foot Waders. These women’s specific waders have stockings that are designed for ladies feet, so you won’t be dealing with a whole bunch of excess neoprene inside your boots. This means more comfort on the river and less chance of getting blisters. For the end of a full day of fly fishing, Bambi recommends bringing along a pair of Ugg boots to get cozy by the campfire.
Fly Fishing Bags for Women
Vests and chest packs can weigh on your shoulders, make you look bulky, and give you bad tan lines – Bambi opts instead for the Fishpond Waterdance Guide Pack, which sits on your hips and won’t bounce around. This fly fishing pack has two water bottle (or beer) holders on the sides for easy access, and it makes the fly box easily accessible as well. The large back compartment can hold sunscreen, a sandwich, and an energy bar. You can easily hang your tippet off of it and tie your rain jacket onto it as well.
Fly Rods for Women
While there are a few pink colored women’s fly fishing rods, as with the rest of life, looks aren’t everything. The performance is what really counts in fly rods.
“Sage fly rods are all I would ever buy,” Bambi says of her preferred rod choice, which she likes to pair with Sage fly reels. A small Montana-based company, Sage is known for quality gear and great customer service. If you break a rod, they take care of you. Case in point, Bambi had a fly rod get shut in a door a week before she was planning to leave for a Bahamas fly fishing trip, and Sage replaced it in time for her to enjoy her vacation.
For streamer fishing, Bambi uses a heavy 7 wt Sage fly rod. When fly fishing for trout, she’ll use a 5 wt fly rod, while for salt water fly fishing, Bambi’s rod of choice is the Sage Xi3 9 wt. Although she is aware that many women do not share her preferences, Bambi explains that she likes a “stiff fast action rod because I like to feel it when it loads.”
When dealing with so much fly fishing gear, the choices can get overwhelming. And that’s where the experts at Jans can help. Stop into our flagship store on Park Avenue in Park City to discover your own favorites among the top women’s fly fishing gear. Our expert anglers can point you in the right direction, not only in terms of gear, but also with tips on things like where the fish are biting and which fly to use given the current hatch.
Kendall Fischer, Content Writer