The 7 Best Fly Fishing Shirts in 2023 – Buyers Guide

Your choice of fly fishing shirt you wear is of huge importance, so whether you are looking for your first fly fishing shirt or are just needing another to add to the wardrobe, I will go through what I think are the best fly fishing shirts on the market today.

I’m a firm believer that you need to be comfy on the water when fly fishing. You need to be protected from whatever elements you are fishing in.

Your clothing is one of the few things that you as a fly fisher can control so why not wear what is best suited to you, your fishing, and your budget.

Hopefully, this will make your decision easier and faster.

Image Product Details  
flyfisherpro-table__imageBest OverallSimms Bugstopper Hoody Shirt
  • Quick-Drying
  • Insect Protection
  • Articulated Hood
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest ComfortabilityPatagonia Tropic Comfort Hoody II
  • Versatile Hood
  • Relaxed Fit
  • Thumbholes
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest FitColumbia Men’s Super Bonehead Classic Long Sleeve
  • Relaxed Fit
  • Sun Protection Collar
  • 100% cotton
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest All AroundColumbia Men’s PFG Terminal Tackle Long Sleeve Tee
  • Omni-Wick
  • 100% Polyester
  • Omni-Shade
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest LightweightOrvis Men’s River Guide Shirt
  • Button Closure
  • Sunglass Cleaner
  • Very Lightweight
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest PerformanceSimms Big Sky Vented Fishing Shirt, Long Sleeve 50+ UPF Top
  • Classic Western Styling
  • Sunglass Storage
  • Machine Wash & Dry
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest VersatilityPatagonia Sol Patrol Shirt
  • Lightweight
  • Polyester Fabric
  • Durable Plastic Zippers
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Detailed Fly Fishing Shirts Reviews

Simms Bugstopper Hoody Shirt

Simms Bugstopper Hoody Shirt

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Key Features:

  • Quick-drying
  • Wicking, anti-odor
  • UPF 50
  • Long-lasting insect protection
  • Flatlock seam construction for maximum comfort
  • Articulated hood
  • 100% polyester
  • Weight 204.2 g
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars
  • $79.95


  • UPF 50
  • Allows easy motion and casting
  • Anti-odor finish
  • Lightweight
  • Fits well
  • Insect repellant built into the fabric


  • Can feel a little rough when new
  • On the pricier side of shirts
  • Slightly heavy

Biting bugs will challenge the most dedicated fly fishers. There isn’t much worse than attacking bugs while you try to zone in on the fly fishing.

The Simms bug stopper is a revelation in the field of fishing shirts, being one of the only fishing shirts to have this technology in it.

The insect repellant technology is incorporated into the fabric from the beginning and is expected to last for the fishing shirt’s lifetime.

If the insect repellant factor wasn’t enough the Simms Bugstopper also boasts the famous Simms COR3 Technology. This technology provides outstanding wicking performance for important moisture management and an anti-odor finish to the fabric.

A UPF 50 is certified with these shirts which basically means that 1/50th of the rays will penetrate the fabric.

For an in-depth analysis, be sure to check out the video review here.

For a price of $79, you will get protection from all the natural elements allowing you to concentrate on catching fish.

The Simms Bugstopper is available online through Amazon or on the Simms website

Patagonia Tropic Comfort Hoody II

Patagonia Tropic Comfort Hoody II

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Key Features:

  • HeiQ Fresh durable odor control
  • Versatile Hood
  • Relaxed fit
  • Thumbholes for added sun protection
  • 50+ UPF sun protection
  • Quick drying
  • Fair Trade Certified sewn
  • 235 g
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars
  • $59


  • 100% recycled polyester jersey
  • Runs true to size
  • Lightweight
  • Can be worn as a casual shirt
  • Allows great mobility


  • Lacks more pockets
  • Colour fades after time
  • Sleeves can be a little short for thumb holes if you have longer arms

The Patagonia Tropic Comfort Hoody II is one of Patagonia’s best selling shirts in their sun protection range.

The fishing shirt has been designed with fishing in mind but can double over as a great outdoor shirt or general wearing shirt.

These fishing shirts come in a good selection of colors and have the comfort that Patagonia has become known for.

With a UPF 50, it makes for a great sun protection fishing shirt, and at a very fair price of $59 it should be in every outdoor enthusiast’s wardrobe.

For an in-depth analysis, be sure to check out the video review here.

The Tropic Comfort Hoody II is made from 100% recycled polyester and also has a fair sewn certification, something which Patagonia is moving towards with all its clothing which I think is it great. The certification basically ensures a fair wage for the textile workers.

The Tropical Hoodie is a great fishing shirt and you wont be disappointed witht it.

Columbia Men’s Super Bonehead Classic Long Sleeve

Columbia Men’s Super Bonehead Classic Long Sleeve

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Key Features:

  • Omni-Shade UPF 30 provides maximum protection for long hours in the sun
  • Four hook and loop closure fly box pockets at the chest and a rod holder loop at the left chest
  • Relaxed fit
  • Extended sun protection collar flips up for better coverage
  • Mesh-lined vent at center back
  • 100% cotton
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars
  • $58.00


  • Vented for comfort
  • Roll-up sleeves with tab holders
  • Rod holder Product
  • Utility loop
  • Enough pockets
  • Very comfortable


  • Cut larger than normal sizing
  • The shirt is a little warm in the all-day sun
  • 100% cotton tens to wrinkle

The Columbia Bonehead fishing shirt is a great all-around fishing shirt. The name ‘Bonehead’ doesn’t do this shirt any justice at all. Why it was named Bonehead in the first place is a little odd.

The fishing shirt has all the necessary qualities that make a great fishing shirt, it has a very fair price tag to it and is favored by many outdoor enthusiasts. The shirt has a formal look to it so it would also make a great social shirt if needed.

With a omni shade UPF 30 sun protection the fishing shirt is great for those long days fishing without a cloud in the sky. The extended sun protection collar flips up for extra coverage where it’s needed most.

The mesh-lined back vent allows a cooling airflow keeping the fisherman comfortable and dry.

Desigend for the fly fisherman, the Columbia Bonehead Classic PFG fishing shirt offers 4 hook-and-loop-closing fly box pockets on the chest and a rod-holder loop.

Be sure to check out the short video review here.

The rod holder loop is a great additional for when you need both hands to handle a fish or take a photo

In most online customer reviews they mention that the shirt tends to run larger than the label says so this is something to take into consideration when buying yours.

Columbia Men’s PFG Terminal Tackle Long Sleeve Tee

Columbia Men’s PFG Terminal Tackle Long Sleeve Tee

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Key Features:

  • Omni-Shade UPF 50 sun protection
  • Omni-Wick
  • UPF 50 for sun protection
  • High-performance wicking fabric for comfort.
  • 100% Polyester
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars
  • $34.95

The Columbia PFG shirt is a very popular online shopping choice. The Columbia company has really started producing some great fishing shirts that compete with other great brands and with a quality and a price of $34 its no wonder they are so popular.

Designed for fishing but bought and used by many for an array of other activities from hiking to gym wear and even just general usage around the house.

These fishing shirts are quick drying and have a omni weather UPF 30 quality which is ideal for those long days in the sun.

These fishing shirts come in a large range of colors and blended colors, they are super lightweight and very comfortable.

For an in-depth analysis, be sure to check out the video review here.

The Columbia PFG shirt is a great technical shirt that provides all the needed protection and comfort a fisherman may need.

Orvis Men’s River Guide Shirt

Orvis Men's River Guide Shirt

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Key Features:

  • Button closure
  • The lightweight blend is cool and comfortable
  • Cotton in the blend keeps you comfortable
  • One secured vertical-entry zipper pocket behind the left chest pocket
  • Spandex allows the shirt to move with you easily
  • Nylon wicks away moisture
  • The pencil hole on the left chest pocket is the perfect spot for sunglasses
  • Sunglasses cleaner hidden in the hem
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars
  • $89.00


  • Can be used on the water and for the office
  • Great lightweight shirt
  • Has nice pocket space
  • Zipper pocket great addition


  • Labeling issues
  • Oversized

On or off the water, you won’t find a cooler or more comfortable lightweight shirt than the Orvis River Guide-style button-up shirt. It will make novice look like a seasoned pro and they will be extremely comfortable.

It has a polyester cotton blend that keeps you comfortable and wicks away moisture in very hot conditions. The UPF 30 factor gives you a certain comfort whist out on the water.

The chest pockets are functional and well-sized the shirt offers mesh vents to ensure plenty of airflow when needed.

Be sure to check out the short video review here.

The pencil hole on the left chest pocket is perfect for your polarized fishing sunglasses, while the sunglasses cleaner hidden in the hem is great to have as well. T

The one stand out in all reviews and ratings is that the shirt can be used for fishing or form part of your office wardrobe.

Simms Big Sky Vented Fishing Shirt, Long Sleeve 50+ UPF Top

Simms Big Sky Vented Fishing Shirt Long Sleeve

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Key Features:

  • Wicking & UPF 50
  • Classic western styling
  • Vented, mesh-lined back panel for cooling
  • Accessory loop in the right chest pocket
  • Sunglass stowage in the left chest pocket
  • Machine wash & dry
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars
  • $80


  • UPF 50
  • lightweight material
  • Great balance between afishing shirt and casual shirt
  • Clip buttons


  • Sizing runs small
  • Fabric lighter than previous designs

The Simms Big Sky has been one of Simm’s best-performing shirts for a while now.

The western-styled design has stayed the same, while the fabric technology has improved making the Big Sky lighter and more durable.

With a UPF factor sun protection and moisture-wicking factors, the shirt is great to wear all day on the water. The meshed back allows air to pass and cool you down on those hot days.

For an in-depth analysis, be sure to check out the video review here.

The fabric is quick drying so you don’t have to worry about getting wet and the internal stash pocket is perfect to hide those small valuables.

The classic timeless design is favoured by many because you it can also be worn as a casual shirt for work and social events as well.

Patagonia Sol Patrol Shirt

Patagonia Sol Patrol Shirt

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Key Features:

  • Lightweight and a sun-protective shirt for fly fishers
  • The polyester fabric dries quickly when you’re soaked with spray
  • UPF 50+ sun protection ensures safe skin on exposed riverbanks
  • Back vents and targeted mesh lining help keep you cool
  • Roll-up sleeves with tabs keep your shirt dry when you release fish
  • Chest pockets with hidden zippered pocket keep smaller gear secure
  • Durable plastic zippers won’t corrode after getting wet
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • $89


  • UPF 50
  • Great breathability
  • Pockets for storage
  • Rolled sleeves can be secured with tab


  • Sizing issues
  • Strange fit

The Patagonia Sol Patrol shirt is one of those classic shirts that will remain timeless. It is a regular on all fly shop shelves and a popular online shopping choice.

The pocket design is great for all fishing adventures, the UPF factor is a great addition not having to worry about sun block.

The mesh line=ing is great at keeping you cool during those very hot day s on the water.

Be sure to check out the short video review here.

Sleeves that roll up easier and can be secured quickly are great when fighting fish and you don’t want to get your shirt wet.

For some reason, you cant buy it through Amazon but you can straight from Patagonia’s website or from most online fishing stores.

What to look for in a “FLY FISHING SHIRT”

Color Selection

The color of your fly fishing apparel is very important, I think this is a very overlooked subject and one that could make or break your days fishing.

Picture what the fish sees when looking up they will see your silhouette and the background.

This subject has different opinions and everyone is allowed to think how they want but this is how I think about it and make my decision.

If I’m fishing a small overgrown stream or creek then I will match my shirt to the overgrowth as this will be my background for most of the day. If I am on a larger river or even still water I would have more of a skyline background so a cloud grey would work well in these conditions.

Its important to think what the fish will see earing a bright red shirt just won’t work well and the fish will see you before you even have a chance to cast at them.

Color break down

Spring creeks or small rivers choose a greeny brown or ven light camo

Open waters choose a sky grey or lightish color

Saltwater choose your sky blues and whites


The shirt needs to be very comfy and you should be able to wear it all day. Look for a material like Polyester, spandex, and cotton blends all work well.

They also have moister wicking properties which allow you to be active and not sweat too much.

These shirts need to be breathable as well, allowing air to move freely to cool you down. This can be done in either a breathable fabric like polyester or like in the more classic shirts where a breathable back meshed vent is built-in, there can also be vented holes in the armpits to allow extra air to pass.

The more modern shirt designs have a built-in bug repellant technologies which is a brilliant addition to have especially when fishing on those days where the insects are super annoying.


Design is important to look at as you need to feel comfy and move unrestrictedly. So an easy fit, slim design is the best in my mind. I tend to always buy a size up in the shirt as I like mine to be a little baggier.

Pockets are a good thing to have on a fishing shirt. I’m not a huge fan of too many because I have a vest that carries all my gear but they are good to have.

They need to be fucnctional and easy to access and secure, just make sure they won’t catch your line when your casting.

I prefer a verticle zipper on the pocket if there is to be one, its a great place to keep your keys or phone for quick access.

Gear tabs are nice little add ons and can actually hold plenty of gear. These styled shirts would be ideal for the minimalist fly fisher who doest need much on the water.

A integrated sunglass chamois is a brilliant little addition to have and don’t knock it if your haven’t tried it. At first I thought it was a little gimmick but it is actually very handy to have. Most upmarket shirts have one sewm in these days.


Im a fan of the hoodie style fishing shirts and my first choice would have to be the Simms Bugstopper fishing shirt. The Patagonia Tropical hoodie would be in close second.

The only reason I would choose the Simms Bugstopper over the Patagonia is the fact that it has the insect repelant technology in it.

I am a huge fan of both these style hoodies and own and fish them regularly. They both fish and wear very well.

Whatever your preference is in the style of shirt or brand, they all need to fit you well and serve your purpose.

I hope the above information has provided you with some good inside and helps with your next fishing shirt purchase.

Tight lines and happy fishing.

Photo of author

Kyle Knight

I’m a South African based fly fisherman who has been fly fishing and tying for the past 20 years. I enjoy targeting numerous fresh water species ranging from trout, carp and bass as well as our estuary species Grunter, Garrick and Kob. I have a funny thing that I can only use flies I have tied myself to catch fish.

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