August 9th, 2014 berrybrothersguides



I was out on the river yesterday guiding a father and his daughter. When I arrived at my car in the access parking lot at the end of the day, I noted that the temperature was ninety five degrees at 4:30 PM. The day had been grueling, despite the good fishing. I had done everything that I could to handle the weather and it paid off.


I had worn long tropical pants and shirt. They gave me a lot of coverage to protect my sensitive skin. I am of Scots Irish heritage and have the complexion of a red head. I look for garments that have an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30. This is all aimed at preventing skin cancer. When you are outside as much as I am, this can be a life threatening situation.


I also want these garments to be loose fitting, fast drying and have lots of pockets. I require that my shirts have two button flap pockets. You don’t want to spill the contents every time you bend over to release a trout. I want my pants to also have pockets that can be securely closed either with Velcro or a zipper. What is it that I carry? Well I have a wallet, a pocket knife, my IPhone (in a waterproof case), car keys, a bit of change and a cigar lighter. During the day, on the water, I clip a pair of hemostats with a pair of nippers attached to a pocket flap on my shirt, so they are always handy. I also seem to have a spool of tippet, a container of split shot or a strike indicator in one pocket or another.


The new trend in summer fishing shirts is a movement to a long sleeved t-shirt. They are made from a highly breathable, light weight synthetic fabric and feature an SPF of thirty. Some of them have a hood for extra sun protection on the back of the neck. Many also are a bit long in the sleeves with thumb holes for sun protection on the back of your hands. I am not fond of them because they don’t have adequate pockets (there are a few that feature one too small zippered pocket) or a suitable place to park my hemostats.


For head protection, I favor a soft weave straw hat with a broad brim for maximum sun protection. Straw hats do not like to get wet so I carry a broad brimmed Tilley for days that threaten rain. Even with these broad brims I get too much sun on my face. The best bet is to wear sun screen and apply it liberally several times during the day.


The new trend is to wear a Buff. They have been described as a circular bandana. They are long and stretchy and can be pulled up over your chin, nose and ears to provide maximum sun protection. This is rapidly becoming the summer accessory of choice for many serious fishing guides. I bought one and my only complaint is that, when it is pulled up, I look like someone dressed to rob a gas station.


I always wear sun gloves. I got the order from my doctor years ago and follow it religiously. I always keep a spare pair in my car because I tend to lose one of them. As a result, I have a couple of extra left hand gloves.


For foot wear in the boat I choose wading shoes. They can get wet and are quite comfortable. I used to wear sandals but I got the crazy cross hatch sun burn on my feet.


Aside from dressing carefully, I also take precaution on a hot day to get out of the sun at lunch. The preferred spot is a picnic table, in the shade, near the river, where I can catch a breeze. I make sure that my Yeti cooler is jam packed with cool soft drinks and bottled water. If possible, I park my car in the shade so that it will be not so hot when I am ready to head home.


Finally I try to choose my time for the lowest temperatures possible. It is always cooler in the morning particularly when there is a dense fog on the river. Your best alternative is late afternoon. Mid day is generally the hottest part of the day. To be sure I check the hourly weather forecast on my computer or IPhone. It lets me know by the hour what the temperature will be and lets me plan my day for maximum comfort.


Despite these precautions, it will still be hot! If you prepare carefully, you will survive it and maybe catch a few trout.

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