Best Fly Fishing Shirts for Men – Top 8 of 2024 – Buyer’s Guide

Last updated on February 4th, 2024.

Leonard Schoenberger

When it comes to fly fishing, nothing’s more important than being prepared for the elements.

Fishing requires effort and a lot of patience. And considering it’s summer, you need to wear something that helps protect you from the sun while being breathable and comfortable. This is essentially where fishing shirts come into play. Serious fishermen never go on an excursion without wearing one. The best products are manufactured using fabrics that offer unique features. For example, your fishing shirt should be quick drying, must come with UPF 30 sun protection, should have breathable vents, and must have plenty of pockets to store your equipment.   

There are also fly fishing shirts that are designed with built-in bug repellant. A pretty important feature for people fishing in regions where there are a lot of bugs and mosquitos. You see, with lightweight materials such as casual shirts, t-shirts, and whatnot, bugs and insects will easily bite through, causing a lot of irritation. In light of this, this buying guide will focus on the best fishing shirts for men and factors to consider before buying a fly fishing shirt

Back of a fly fishing shirt
A quality fishing shirt offers protection, breathability and dries quickly – Photo: Leonard Schoenberger – © The Wading List

Best Fly Fishing Shirts Quick Overview

Notice: We take part in affiliate programs. If you click on one of the links in the text and end up purchasing a product we earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. We only recommend products we are convinced of. 

1. Patagonia Sol Patrol

2. Simms Bugstopper LS

3. Columbia Tamiami II

4. Florence X Sun Pro Hoody

5. Freefly Bamboo Lightweight

6. Filson Moleskin

7. HUK Camden Coldfront Quarter Zip

8. Patagonia Early Rise

Important Things to Keep in Mind

I think there are a number of factors you should consider before making a purchase. Here are the most important features you should keep in mind when buying a fishing shirt.

Choose the Right Colors

You need to choose the best colors for your fly fishing shirt. Sure, it sounds simple enough and most people would wonder if the color of their shirts will make a difference – we’re here to tell you that it does! Why? Well, you need the right camouflage to trick the fish. Keep in mind that the fish will see you and your silhouette. So you need to blend in. And the best way to do that is to match the color of your shirt with the environment around you. 

So for example, if you’re fishing near a small creek or stream surrounded by overgrowth then wear a color that will complement the background. Remember, this will be your background for the entire excursion. You need to be hidden to fool the fish. If you wear bright colors, the fish will see right through you and will be harder to catch. Here are some tips and tricks to wear the right colors for the right environments:

If fishing near creeks and streams, wear dark or light green with brown undertones. If fishing in open waters, wear sky blue/gray or other light tones. If fishing in saltwater, go with sky blue and/or white

Fly fisherman casting a rod wearing a longsleeve fly fishing shirt
White is a good color for a fishing shirt when fishing in saltwater – Photo: Leonard Schoenberger – @ The Wading List

Your Shirt Must be Comfortable to Wear

Your fly fishing shirt should be comfortable and have the right fit. Remember, you’ll be wearing it for the entire day. Go for a product that comes with the right blend of materials such as polyester or spandex. Moreover, the shirt must also come with dry-fit properties, quickly absorbing your sweat.

In addition, the fly fishing shirt must be breathable allowing your body to cool down and adequately vent the air moving through you. Modern fishing shirts come with built-in air vent meshes at the back. However, you could also opt for a product that comes with air holes designed in the armpits.  

Lastly, I think you should always invest in a fishing shirt that comes with in-built bug repellent properties. This can be a great feature to have especially when you’re fishing in an area infested with bugs and insects. You don’t want insects biting you just as you cast or reel the fish in. It can be frustratingly annoying!

Fly fishermen with fly fishing shirts
A good ventilation is key in a quality fly fishing shirt – Photo: Christian Anwander – © The Wading List

The Shirt Should be Well-Designed

While this can be strictly preference-based, you need a shirt that feels comfortable, light, and easy to move in. While you could go for more relaxed fits, we suggest trying out more fitted fly fishing shirts. The design should at least be the right size in light of your proportions. So always try the shirt on for size before buying it. 

In addition, go for a product that comes with plenty of pockets. However, if you wear a fishing vest then you could opt for a shirt that doesn’t have a lot of pockets. But either way, pockets are always a good thing for fly fishing. But it’s also important that the design of the pockets should be functional. You need something that’s easy to access and designed in a way that doesn’t hamper your casting or get stuck on the line

We suggest opting for a shirt that comes with vertical zipped pockets. Next up, check if the shirt has additional features such as gear tabs.

The Best Fly Fishing Shirt at Different Price Points

Notice: We take part in affiliate programs. If you click on one of the links in the text and end up purchasing a product we earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. We only recommend products we are convinced of. 

Patagonia Men’s Long-Sleeved Sol Patrol® Shirt

Patagonia Men's Long-Sleeved Sol Patrol® Shirt
Sol Patrol shirt

When it comes to comfort and functionality, the Sol Patrol shirt for fly fishing is exactly what you’ve been looking for. Packed with streamlined features and options, the fishing shirt is lightweight and is manufactured with 100% recycled polyester. Moreover, the shirt has UPF 50+ protection, which means the sun won’t bother you. It’s the perfect shirt for long fishing excursions, especially in humid weather. 

In addition, the Sol Patrol shirt also has moisture absorbent properties, which means you don’t have to worry if you sweat a lot. It’s also quick drying and is designed with hidden snaps in and around the collar region. There are two big, zippered pockets. The zippers are corrosion-resistant. The pockets are big enough to comfortably store small to medium fly boxesOverall, I can say that the Patagonia Sol Patrol has become one of my go-to fishing shirts since it ticks all the boxes of a great fly fishing shirt.



Hooked into a Fish while Fly Fishing for Striped Bass
Wearing the Patagonia Sol Patrol during some striped bass fishing off Montauk, NY.

Simms M’s Bugstopper Intruder BiComp Fishing Shirt

Simms M's Bugstopper shirt
Simms M’s Bugstopper

One of the most annoying things for fly fishermen are bugs and insects. The last thing you would want are insects constantly biting you while you cast and fish. Well, this shouldn’t be a problem anymore if you opt for the Simms M’s Bugstopper fly fishing shirt. The shirt is top-tier and comes built-in with bug repellent properties. I think the insect repellent can really make a difference on certain days. In addition, what I like is the fact that the insect repellant technology is for life, you won’t have to change or replace anything, ever. 

Besides its bug repellency, the Bugstopper has all the features you’re looking for in a quality fishing shirt. What I like about the chest pockets is their slim silhouette. Of course, these don’t hold big fly boxes like fishing shirts fish flap pockets. Still it’s no problem to store an extra tippet spool or a small dry fly box for example. The icing on the cake is the UPF50+ protection which makes this shirt a great choice for tropical saltwater fishing.



Black bass in the hands of a fisherman wearing a fishing shirt
Our author Jim Schmiedeskamp wearing the Simms Bugstopper shirt during some bass fishing. Photo: Jim Schmiedeskamp

Columbia Men’s PFG Tamiami™ II Long Sleeve Shirt

Columbia Men's PFG Tamiami II
Columbia Men’s PFG Tamiami™ II

Many fishermen will think of Columbia when thinking of fishing shirts. And that’s for a reason, since they produce some of the best fishing shirts in the game. Problem is that their lineup is so vast that it’s hard to pick one. In my eyes, the Tamiami II Long Sleeve is one of the best options out there. For around $50 you get a quality fishing shirt that features excellent moisture wicking capabilities thanks to a vented back and sleeves that are soft enough to roll up when it gets too hot.

For my taste the chest pockets are just big enough for small items such as tippets, forceps or a nipper. The Columbia has a rather wide fit (which is great for fly fishing since it gives you lots of freedom of movement for casting) and comes in more than 20 colors.



Florence X Sun Pro Long Sleeve Hooded

Florence X Sun Pro Hoody
Florence X Sun Pro Long Sleeve Hooded

Here comes my favorite new saltwater fly fishing hooded shirt: the Florence X Sun Pro (read our in-depth review here). The man behind Florence X is two times world surf champion Jon Jon Florence. Now what do surfers and salt water fly fishermen have in common? They need quality protection from the sun (for a long time). This is where the Sun Pro Hooded shirt comes in. Not only does it feature a UPF 50+ rating but the clue about this shirt is its collar design which basically combines the best of both worlds of a hood and a face mask.

This means that on really bright days, you’ll be protected all around assuming you’ll be wearing sun screen and a pair of fly fishing sunglasses. As you can see on the photo below I went for white as a color which is the best way to go for hot saltwater conditions as it reflects a lot of light which in turn means you won’t sweat as easily. The Sun Pro is also highly breathable and dries very quickly.



Wearing the Florence X Sun Hoody for some saltwater fishing in Montauk, NY. Photo: Christian Anwander



Free Fly Men’s Bamboo Lightweight Hoody

FreeFly Men's Bamboo Lightweight Long Sleeve
Free Fly Men’s Bamboo Lightweight Hoody

If you’re looking for something soft and comfortable or want to try something other than stiff fly fishing shirts, then the Free Fly Men’s Bamboo Lightweight Hoody can be a nice change of pace. It’s really lightweight and made with a blend of polyester and bamboo viscose. The materials mimic cotton and offer superior performance thanks to the shirt’s enhanced breathability, comfortable movement, and vented design. I’ve grown fond of the Bamboo Lightweight Hoody and have started to also wear this shirt as a casual alternative or as loungewear. 

In addition, the Free Fly Men’s Bamboo Lightweight Hoody comes with UFP 30 sun protection and moisture wicking features. Great for casual fishers. 



Filson Moleskin Shirt

Filson Moleskin Shirt
Filson Moleskin

After showing you some of my favorite fishing shirts for warmer weather, I want to throw in a shirt that’s great for spring and fall fishing: the Filson Moleskin. You can either wear as the first layer on your skin and add a fleece or a wading jacket or you can wear it over a thinner baselayer. What’s great about the moleskin is its wind-resistance which comes in hand in those spring and autumn months when the sun tends to still be warm but once the breeze picks up, you can easily get cold.

Made from a thick cotton fabric, the Moleskin can take some beating. A neat little feature of the Moleskin are its expandable chest pockets which make it a great fly fishing shirt. Adjustable cuffs come on top. I really love the fabric, especially when worn on your skin. The cut is rather wide (keep in mind that Filson’s cut is already rather wide in general).



Filson Moleskine Shirt during some fall fly fishing
Christian wearing the Filson Moleskine Shirt during some fall fly fishing in upstate New York. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger

Huk Camden Quarter Zip

Huk Camden Quarter Zip
Huk Camden Coldfront Quarter Zip

Talking about cold weather fishing shirts, here’s one of my favorite base layers for the colder months: the Huk Camden Coldfront Quarter Zip. What makes this a great basis for your cold-weather adventures is its very stretchy material which guarantees freedom of movement. I like wearing the Camden for winter fishing when I have to do a lot of hiking to get to the river and am sure I’ll be sweating. If you wear breathable layers on top of it you’ll profit from its great moisture wicking capacities.

I also like wearing the Camden Quarter Zip around camp on the evening of a summer fishing trip. Another plus for longer excursions in my eyes is the fact that this shirt comes with anti-microbial characteristics which in reality means you won’t smell as easily even when your fishing is exhausting.



Wearing the Huk Camden Coldfront Quarter Zip during some winter trout fishing in Montana.
Wearing the Huk Camden Coldfront Quarter Zip during some winter trout fishing in Montana. Photo: Shane Rickert

Patagonia Men’s Long-Sleeved Early Rise Snap Shirt

Patagonia Men's Long-Sleeved Early Rise Snap Shirt
Patagonia Early Rise Snap Shirt

The Early Rise Snap by Patagonia is perhaps one of the best designs the company has launched. The fly fishing shirt comes with a great design and even better functionalities. With lightweight and enhanced fabric technology, the shirt provides relaxed fitting and is easy to move in.  

In addition, the Early Rise Snap comes with superior wicker performance and quick drying functionalities, helping your body remain nice and cool even during the hottest of days. Plus, the shirt has two large, buttoned pockets on the chest with a zippered compartment in each pocket, enough to store a variety of fishing accessories and equipment. 



Bottom Line

So there you have it! Ten of the best fly fishing shirts money can buy. However, always opt for a product that’s in line with your requirements. Go for a shirt that provides maximum value for money, one that comes with a blend of all the best features and materials. 

fly fishing shirts
Testing the best fishing shirts for our big review – Photo: Leonard Schoenberger – @ The Wading List


What makes a good fly fishing shirt?

A good fly fishing shirt should be lightweight, quick-drying, and breathable to keep you comfortable during long days on the water. Many fly fishing shirts also offer sun protection and have features like vented backs for added breathability, roll-up sleeves for versatility, and multiple pockets for storing gear.

How important is sun protection in a fly fishing shirt?

Sun protection is crucial in a fly fishing shirt as anglers often spend hours in direct sunlight. Look for shirts with a high UPF rating (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) – a UPF rating of 30 or higher is considered very good, blocking out 96-97% of UV rays.

Is it better to choose a long-sleeve or short-sleeve fly fishing shirt?

This depends on your personal preference and the conditions you’ll be fishing in. Long-sleeve shirts offer more sun protection and can also help protect against bugs. They can be rolled up if you get too hot. Short-sleeve shirts might be more comfortable in very hot weather, but offer less protection.

What type of material should I look for in a fly fishing shirt?

Many high-quality fishing shirts are made from synthetic materials like nylon and polyester because they are lightweight, dry quickly, and can be treated for UV protection. Some shirts also have mesh ventilation to increase breathability.

Do fly fishing shirts come in women’s sizes and styles?

Yes, many outdoor and fishing gear companies offer fly fishing shirts in both men’s and women’s sizes and styles. Women’s shirts are generally cut a bit differently to provide a more comfortable and flattering fit.

What is the best brand for fishing shirts?

Patagonia, Columbia, Simms, and Huk are renowned brands for quality fishing shirts, offering durability, UV protection, and moisture-wicking features.

What clothing colors are best for fly fishing?

Neutral tones like earthy greens, blues, and grays are ideal for fly fishing as they blend with natural surroundings and reduce the chance of spooking fish.

Can I use regular shirts for fishing?

While regular shirts can be used, fishing shirts offer added benefits such as UPF protection, moisture-wicking, and ventilation, making them more comfortable and practical for extended time on the water.

Why You Should Trust Our Reviews

Leonard Schoenberger and his team spend plenty of days out fishing. Their goal is to test and review products for you so you can make a solid purchase decision and improve your fly fishing game. We always express our honest opinions, never get paid for reviews and are proud of our editorial independence.

Notice: We take part in affiliate programs. If you click on one of the links in the text and end up purchasing a product we earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. We only recommend products we are convinced of.