A friend of mine likes to say, “If I only went fishing to catch fish, I would have stopped years ago.” Fishing is about so much more than what you catch. We all know fish are delicious, and healthy too - all lean protein and fatty acids. But fishing is good for the mind, body, and soul too. It gets us out in the fresh air. It gets a little needed sunshine on our faces and Vitamin D in our blood. It’s good low-impact cardio, or more, depending on where you do it (and if you’re using a fly).
More than that, it’s an excellent stress-reliever. Getting out on the water in the dewy morning quiet is the perfect antidote to modern life. Unplugging for a few hours improves our attention span and helps us human goldfish think better. Fishing turns everyone into a philosopher. You can fish alone with your thoughts, or if you fish with friends and family, it gives you a chance to hang out with them with very little distraction, turning quantity time into quality time.
Here at Outdoor Equipped we believe in “open-air living”--a commitment to celebrating time outdoors, no matter the weather forecast. Don’t just go outside when the sun is shining; get out in the rain, the snow, the blowing wind and choppy water. It may seem like a paradox, but being outdoors in miserable weather makes us less miserable.
Anorak Jackets and Warm Raincoats
Whether you’re heading out to catch fish in freshwater or salt, from a boat or a pier or a quiet spot by a stream, protect yourself from the weather with a good rain jacket. Helly Hansen’s Mandal Rain Jacket is a fine double-welded durable rain jacket for cool, rainy days on the pier, with a hood and zippable pockets to keep you and your phone dry all day. Their longer-cut Woodland Rainwear Coat provides more coverage, with a rain visor on the hood and raglan sleeves that shed water and allow for a wide range of movement. The stylish and versatile Woodmont North Face Rain Jacket works perfectly for casual use, seamlessly transitioning from the fishing hole to dinner plans, extra breathable and with plenty of snap-flap pocket space.
For colder weather and fishing trips out on the wind-swept water, though, you’ll need something warmer. Designed for Scandinavian fishing crews on the icy North Sea, Grundéns Men’s North Sea Anorak and Women’s Sedna 462 Commercial Fishing Jacket come to play, with lots of insulation underneath their waterproof shells. The North Sea has 320g poly twill fleece and the Sedna 462 utilizes a poly/cotton blend beneath their waterproof PVC outer layers. Their hoods are soft and warm, fitting snugly over your head, spitting in the face of all Poseidon can muster. The neoprene cuffs are a particularly nice touch, keeping your arm dry even if you stick your hand in the water to grab your catch.
Huk Long Sleeve Top and Pullover Hoodies
Huk specializes in comfortable, breathable clothing for anglers of all stripes. Their Waypoint Hoodie is perfect for warm or brisk days out on a sunny deck. Transforming recycled plastic bottles into soft, lightweight fabric, the Waypoint keeps you protected from the sun - with +30 UPF - and helps protect our waterways from plastic pollution. The resulting material is hydrophobic, making it good for both outerwear or layering, and creates an endothermic reaction close to the skin, pulling excess body heat away from the body to prevent sweating. It’s particularly well-suited to those days out on the water where the sun’s warmth and cooling winds wrestle for the upper hand.
Fishing Pants and Rain Bibs
Keep your lower half dry in the weather with a good pair of waterproof pants like Helly Hansen’s Gale Rain Pant. A good, straightforward waterproof pant, it slips on easily with an elastic waistband and adjusts to your footwear with adjustable hems at the ankles to create a good watertight barrier. It’s also available in a bib option, similarly adjustable and with the addition of a closable inner chest pocket. For a more serious Class 2 bib designed for work at sea, Helly Hansen also offers the high-vis Alta Rain Bib, with heavy-duty zippers and a storm flap at the hems and double-layering at the knees for working wear.
Fishing Waders, Fishing Boots, and Light Fishing Shoes
Xtratuf Boots, aka the Alaskan Sneaker, is the go-to waterproof boot among Alaskan and Pacific Northwest fishermen. The Xtratuf Legacy 12-inch Fishing Boot is extremely tough and durable, made with triple-dipped latex over neoprene. The triple latex is chemical-resistant on top of being waterproof, and the insulated foam neoprene inner and sole give the Legacy flexibility, warmth, and moisture-wicking that lesser rubber boots can only envy. Working boots to their core, their slip-resistant Chevron outsoles are designed with the wet, rolling deck of a fishing boat in mind. Complete with protective heel and toe caps , the Legacy is also available in a 15-inch steel safety toe edition for extra protection.
Another great fishing boot is the Muck Boots Forager Tall Waterproof Boot. What I love about these is the nifty adjustable closure system and gaiter. With a pull of the cord, you can seal out water and debris at three different height levels. It’s really clever, and the Forager also includes an antimicrobial wicking footbed and top-cover insert so you can seal your feet in, nice and toasty, without worrying about them stewing in sweat. If you’re going to be fishing in really cold weather, like if you’re the special breed of fisher who’s cutting holes in the ice for your aquatic dinner, it’s hard to imagine a better boot than Muck Boots Arctic Ice Tall Boot. This thing has amazing traction thanks to its Vibram Arctic Grip outsole and aggressive, cleat-like lugs. Heavy-duty waterproof neoprene to a full 16 inches high outside, inside it wraps your foot up in soft, warm fleece.
For something a little more casual that can still handle a wet day on the boat, there are several great options. For women there’s the Grundéns Deck-Boss Ankle Boots. Terrifically light and prioritizing comfort, the Deck-Boss features a shock-resistant, wide toe box and anti-microbial cooling liner. But don’t underestimate it; the Deck-Boss is absolutely waterproof and its outsole siping will keep you on your feet on wet surfaces.
Or, to heck with it, let the water in. For warm-water fishing, we’ve got the Huk Men’s Brewster Solid Slip-On, with 360-degree drainage ports to let water escape from any angle. Light and comfy, the Brewster makes a great companion on or off the deck of a boat.
Go Out To Where the Fish Are
It’s been said that calling fishing a hobby is like calling brain surgery a job. Whether you take it quite that seriously or not is up to you. But don’t let the weather stop you from finding your fishing spot. Grab your rod and tackle, throw some food and drinks into a duffel or backpack (we’ve got a number of weatherproof options, including the Grundens Shackleton 105-liter duffel), suit up to stay comfy in the weather, and get out there. Tight lines, my friends!