Women Fly Fishing Gear; The Struggle is Real
As an active woman in Colorado, I am constantly faced with the endless challenge of finding comfortable & well fitting gear. I am tall and slender with super long arms and hardly any curves. Women come in all shapes and sizes but I have found that companies opt for a “one size fits all” model. Big, baggy and basically uncomfortable and unflattering options are what we have. I didn’t think it was that bad until my husband took a photo of me fishing and I looked like a giant potato wading in the river. That had to change asap. Plus, when you look good you feel good and when you feel good the more fish you catch. I’ve also noticed that ladies gear tends to be made at a lesser quality than men’s. We take this sport seriously and we demand better quality products. Sometimes that means you spend more money, but its worth it in the long run.
I’ve tried out lots of different brands and finally found the perfect gear set up. The biggest game changer for me was when I stepped into my Patagonia Spring River Waders. They have a massive size chart for women ranging from petite to full. In total there are 18 different sizes. I love my waders they fit well, have special design elements for women and they work just as hard as men’s waders. Not looking like a baked potato is an added plus.
Waders are nothing without their soulmates, the boots. I just transitioned from Simms boots to Patagonia and its hard to say which one I like more. Choosing a specific boot brand really just depends on the shape of your foot. If you’re like me and have wide Fred Flinstone feet I would suggest Patagonia’s W’s Ultralight Wading Boots. They are true to shoe size and are so light. No more bulky heavy feet for me, which is nice because I am prone to tripping.
Lots of anglers use vests for their terminal tackle but I love using a pack. I have 4 fly boxes, tons of tippet and leaders, weights, indicators and so much more to carry around. I’ve tried vests, backpacks and sling packs. I finally figured out that a waist pack works best for me. I use the Umpqua Ledges 650 ZS waist pack. It evenly distributes weight and has a ton of space for everything you need for a day of fishing. Its like having a giant sporty fanny pack, and I love my fanny packs.
Finally, the fun part…clothes! There are a ton of shirts, leggings, pants, jackets and sweaters for all your layering needs. I wet wade in my leggings and also wear them under my waders. Gotta stay comfy. Its super important to have good long sleeved shirts, even in the summer time to protect your skin from the sun. My favorite are the Minturn Angler/Patagonia hooded tech shirts. They keep me cool and fit me perfectly. I have a lot of the Patagonia button down flannel shirts too. Another brand I love is Columbia. They have awesome fishing shirts with a great fit and nice colors. If you need something more girly there are some cute leggings and bags made by Fishe Wear.
These are just a few of the companies and products I have found that work for me. Your best bet is to go into the shop and try some stuff on to see how you like it. Make sure that when you try on your waders and boots you walk around, crouch down and move like you would on the river. Same goes for your vest or pack. That way you aren’t disappointed with your purchase. Being a woman in a male dominated sport can be intimidating and frustrating. If we can support the companies that are solving the issues we have with gear and clothes we will be promoting the very thing we have been asking for. Stop by Minturn Anglers and check out our selection for women. Everyone at the shop is super helpful and if we don’t have something you want we can get it for you.
Hope to see you ladies out there, out fishing the guys!!:) – Chelsey Christy