There are two things that can really ruin a fishing trip: weather, and the sun. Ask anyone who’s ever forgotten the sunscreen on Day One of a week-long trip to the beach, and even if they otherwise had a great time, they’ll admit their entire trip was one long form of agony.
In recent years flats-fishing wear has shifted from the collared and many-pocketed shirts of yore into a sleeker, more soccer-and-tennis inspired look. Buff sun protection wraps are extremely common, as are the new “technical” shirts with built in SPF. Until recently these shirts weren’t exactly cheap, but thankfully the market has caught up with demand. L.L. Bean’s Coolweave Technical Fishing shirt, at $39, puts the same technology and fit in your hands for roughly 50% less than many of its closest competitors. For 2014 they are also introducing a line of hooded shirts, with the zippered pocket moved around to the rear hip, where it is less likely to chafe.
In all seriousness, this is one of the most comfortable garments I’ve ever worn, and I expect to spend long hours in it during my upcoming carp and striper season. Note the thumb loops on the edges of the cuffs; these do 90% of the work of sun gloves without the annoyance of having to peel a wet, sticky glove off your fingers before changing flies.
Purchase: From LL Bean.