The Ultimate Hot Weather Fly Fishing Hat? It's Probably Not What You Think

Category:
boonie hat
fly fishing stuff
fly fishing's ultimate hat
military boonie hat
outdoor wear
Added Date:
Wednesday, 16 Jun, 2010
Summary
As someone who had his first bout with skin cancer at the age of 18, I'm uniquely qualified to write about the necessity of sun protection. Which largely begins with a hat. Over the years, I've mucked around with a lot of different warm-weather hats (including a brief flirtation with a French Foreign Legion desert hat that guaranteed a bare minimum of interaction with the opposite sex), and I've come to some surprising conclusions about the state of fly fishing headgear. Which is that it basically sucks.
 
Content
As someone who had his first bout with skin cancer at the age of 18, I'm uniquely qualified to write about the necessity of sun protection. Which largely begins with a hat. Over the years, I've mucked around with a lot of different warm-weather hats (including a brief flirtation with a French Foreign Legion desert hat that guaranteed a bare minimum of interaction with the opposite sex), and I've come to some surprising conclusions about the state of fly fishing headgear. Which is that it basically sucks.

First: Baseball Hats Are For Losers

I'll be blunt. The Ultimate Fly Fishing Hat
is not a baseball hat. In the solar radiation department, baseball hats qualify only as Poseur Headwear
- a pathetic attempt at man-portable shade that leaves fully 3/4 of your head, neck and shoulders vulnerable to the sun. Their only saving grace is their stickiness in the wind and - for those reluctant to experience the outdoors without advertising somebody's product - they feature logos. Frankly, when Sage is willing to pay my dermatology bills, I'll consider a Sage baseball hat. Otherwise, I'm sticking with the sun hat that offers the best possible combination of protection, cost and function - and advising the Undergrounders to throw off the inadequate sun protection of their baseball hat oppressors.

And The Winner Is...

So which hat delivers real protection, but doesn't require delicate treatment - or bring tears to your eyes if lost? What is fly fishing's Ultimate Warm-Weather Hat? Ladies, gentlemen and Undergrounders, we give you: I can almost hear the puzzled looks. The Boonie? The floppy-brimmed hot weather hat of the US military? Yep. Here's why.

It's the Right Size & Shape

At the Underground, we're all about sun protection, and the Boonie offers the perfect brim - not so big that you're constantly whacking it against something (or threatening to enter Sombrero territory, with all its attendant fashion risks), but more coverage than a bucket hat. Since the military realizes it's bad form to be seen when someone's trying to shoot you, Boonie hats also offer a low visual profile. That's good on the detection front, but also means your $10 investment is less likely to disappear into the teeth of a strong wind (most Boonies come with a chinstrap in case things really blow up). And frankly, they're comfortable. Mine are 100% cotton, and once they're on, I forget they exist. They're also washable, and - despite being cotton - dry surprisingly quickly. In other words, there's a good reason the US armed forces have kept Boonie hats around since Vietnam; the damned things work. Of course, modern, high-tech versions of the Boonie are available at pretty much any outdoor store, but frankly, they just aren't the same. They're expensive and made from synthetics, and I don't like the feel or the cost. Since the "real" thing lasts forever and costs 1/4 to 1/6 the modern variants, I'm going with the original.

It's Portable

There's nothing worse than a fishing hat that demands babying; if you can't wad it up and jam it in your vest, it's not a fishing hat, it's a pain in the ass. And yes, personal experience tells me you can wad up a Boonie hat and stuff it in your vest, and even forget it for a couple weeks (try that with a straw hat or Stetson). Drive over it? Stuff it in a suitcase for that trip to the Bahamas? Wad it up and throw it at that charging Grizzly? When you're done, pick up the hat, dust it off, and you're back in the solar protection business. In the larger sense, the phrase "cheap, effective and rugged" has largely disappeared from the modern lexicon, so when I see something that fills that yawning void, I buy it.

Priced So Even an Undergrounder Can Afford One (or Several)

You can find Propper Boonie hats for as little as $10 each - far less than you'd pay for those pathetic, "I want skin cancer" baseball hats that litter fly fishing's landscape. If you're cheap (and we are), you're already a winner. If you're less cheap but still forgetful, you can buy several Boonie hats, stashing them as insurance against those little bouts of CRS (Can't Remember Shit) that increasingly plague us as we age. For example, for the price of one Simms wide-brim hat (embarrassingly named the Solar Sombrero), you could buy four rugged boonies, sticking one in your fishmobile, one in the back pocket of your best, one in your gear bag... You get the picture. As Josef Stalin noted, quantity has a quality all its own, and that's as true for sun hats as it is for T-34 tanks.

Camo? Did You Say Camo?

Sure, khaki tan and olive drab hats will suit the majority of us, but for the real small-stream Rambos, Boonies come in a dozen different camo patterns, including the digital multicam now favored by the US Army. Woodland Camo? Urban Camo (actually a good winter pattern)? Bright Orange (or Purple or Pink) Camo? Solid navy blue? Black? Vintage tigerstripe camo? For $10-$14, any of the above can be yours.

The Bad News

We're not blind. We realize the US Military style Boonie hat doesn't actually flatter most people. In fact, it only really looks good atop the chiseled features of highly trained Delta Force Commandos, and that's because they're carrying powerful automatic weapons and chunks of high explosive. (No, you tell them they look stupid.) Still, once you've broken one in - faded it, dirtied it, added a few hard-won sweat stains - style considerations fade, and in fact, things start looking a lot better. And don't overlook the Potentially Violent Crazy Fisherman
effect. To another fisherman - contemplating crowding you off the only rising trout on the whole river - a faded Boonie hat suggests ownership of a sniper rifle and a certain familiarity with shallow graves. Problem solved - thanks to your Underground-recommended sun hat. (Don't forget us when the holidays roll around.)

The Details

My first Hard Earned Lesson
? You gotta buy your Boonies to fit - they aren't adjustable. Buy one size bigger than you measure. My head measured out exactly to a size 7 1/4 (a medium), but the 7 1/2 (large) fits a lot better in the long run (you'll find a sizing chart here). Not only are Boonie hats available in multiple colors and camo patterns, but they're also made by a lot of different manufacturers and in slightly different styles. Mine are 100% ripstop cotton, but many on the market are 60/40 nylon/cotton. I honestly can't tell you if one performs better than another, though as I get older, I've developed a real appreciation for cotton in non-rainy environments. (You can buy supposedly waterproof Boonie hats here.) Most Boonie hats come with an adjustable chinstrap, screened side vents and even a sewn-on web loop (supposedly you can stuff branches in the loops for camo purposes, though that seems a little extreme for most fly fishing scenarios). Naturally, an online search for "Boonie hat" produces thousands of entries. I bought several from The Command Post (disclosure: no financial interest whatsoever) and was happy with the service. If anyone has any other bargain hat hunting tips, feel free to add them to the comments. In the meantime, we recommend getting the hell out of the sun, and one of the best first steps in the solar radiation prevention department might just be a Boonie Hat - the Official Warm Weather Hat of The Trout Underground.

But Wait, There's More

Coming down the pike is another odd Underground post about other useful military-surplus gear - our Salute To Good Cheap Stuff That Typically Comes In Olive Drab. Like this post, it's largely guaranteed not to bring tears of joy to the eyes of high-end outdoor headwear manufacturers, but frankly, that's just a bonus. In the meantime, feel free to thank me profusely for my informational largess. At the Underground, we're a lot like BP; we care about the small people. See you in the shade, Tom Chandler.
 
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Destinations
 (2)
This is a small town with a big heart, a veritable fisherman’s paradise. Located near the fish-filled Madison River, and surrounded by the waters of Ennis Lake, the Ruby River, Hebgen ... moreLake, Quake Lake, Henry’s Lake, the Big Hole River and scores of smaller streams, the town boasts what many consider the best trout fishing in the world. As well known for its wranglers as its anglers, Ennis has succeeded in maintaining the look and feel of its original, gold town roots. Warm and hospitable, the area offers a wide variety of accommodations ranging from simple campsites, rustic motels and gracious hotels, to full-service, luxury resorts. Fly shops are numerous, stocked by local experts ready to advise and assist, while guides can be booked for trips throughout the area.

Boredom is the only thing unavailable in Ennis. Throughout the summer season the city hosts a series of events, including its renowned 4th of July Celebration Parade and a genuine, old-fashioned rodeo. In August, fly-fishing luminaries from around the US, flock to Montana to compete in the Madison Fly Fishing Festival. Athletes also find their way to Ennis to compete in the city’s Madison Trifecta, two shorter races followed by a full Marathon at 9000 feet, the highest elevation run in America. For the true sportsman, October falls in with the annual Hunter’s Feed. What’s caught, typically elk, moose deer, pheasant and bobcat, gets cooked on the streets and served up to hungry spectators.

Flanked by three grand mountain ranges, The Tobacco Root, Gravelly and Madison, Ennis is scenic and entertaining – truly an authentic, fly fisher’s haven.
Fishing Waters
 (1)
Maclean’s famous story, A River Runs Through It, is set on the now famous Blackfoot River. Despite this, Robert Redford’s 1992 movie version was largely filmed on the Gallatin as he ... morefelt the scenery and fishing were more cinematic. The river originates high in the mountains of the Gallatin Range inside Yellowstone National Park and flows for 115 miles until it intersects with the beginning of the Missouri River at Three Forks. Inside the Park, where it runs for more than 25 miles, floating is not allowed and there are restrictions on fishing. Once it exits the park, it crosses a forty-mile expanse of mostly public lands, and runs parallel to a highway that makes it quite accessible. Because the river is narrow for much of its run, float fishing is restricted from Yellowstone Park to the confluence with the East Gallatin River. No wonder this river has a great reputation for wade fishing!

Unimpeded by dams, the river provides consistent, easily waded flows from mid-summer through mid-spring. Rainbows predominate with an estimated 1400, 8+ inch, fish per mile from the West Fork confluence at Big Sky to the mouth of the canyon. Browns are abundant accompanied by occasional cutthroats, brook trout, white fish and graylings. New to the lower most band of the river are northern pike. Never known for trophy trout, the river offers excellent dry fly fishing and beautiful surroundings. Since the fish are recognized as indiscriminate eaters, the Gallatin has come to be known as an excellent river for those learning to fly fish.

Like much of Montana, the River played a significant role in the state’s history. First explored by Native American hunters, by the early 1900’s, the area eventually became known to fur-trappers and gold prospectors. By the turn of the twentieth century logging rose in importance to the local economy as loggers famously rode the logs down river to prevent them from jamming. The towns of Bozeman and Three Forks are most closely associated with the River although given the importance of Maclean’s legacy, Livingston should also be considered as part of its history and heritage.
Game Fish Opportunities:
 (2)
The Jefferson River is an important part of a system of rivers that combine to form the majestic Missouri. Starting at the confluence of the Big Hole and Beaverhead rivers near Twin ... moreBridges, Montana, it winds 77 miles in a northeasterly fashion to Three Forks. Here, it meets with the Madison and Gallatin rivers that together converge into the Missouri River at the Missouri Headwaters State Park. Like so many other rivers in Montana, the Jefferson, named by Clark in honor of the U.S. President, runs deep with history. In fact, the Jefferson River is a segment of the larger Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, administered by our National Park Service.

When thinking about the Jefferson, a Class 1 river for recreational enjoyment, most observers view the river in three distinct sections. Characterized by slow, meandering flows, the upper third works its way through a broad, arid valley. Along this braided, 44 mile long floodplain, you will encounter working farms, dense cottonwood stands, flowered meadows and a variety of wildlife until you reach the town of Cardwell. Throughout the next 15 miles, its waters flow through a narrow, steep canyon where the water can be deep, slow and contained. As a result, the stretch from Cardwell to the Sappington Bridge has comparatively fewer trees, swamps, meadows and wildlife.

At Sappington Bridge the river once again becomes a circuitous, rambling river, rich in swamp life, colorful fields, large cottonwood groves and productive agricultural land. The presence of significant agriculture has resulted in competition for water use. During dry years, the river was tapped generously for irrigation, dropping water levels to the point where fish populations were adversely affected. Recent improvement in riparian management has tended to alleviate these issues. Primarily known as a brown trout river, rainbows, mountain whitefish, burbot and northern pike can also be found here. Less well known and less discovered, the Jefferson offers the opportunity to catch large fish in a scenic, un-crowded environment.
 (5)
The Madison River is arguably one of the best trout fishing rivers in all of southwest Montana, if not the entire world! It’s certainly the most talked over, written up and frequented ... morein the state of Montana – which is considered by some the capital of fly fishing. Anglers will find plenty of great access sites to wade or float along the Madison’s banks and reservoirs (including Hebgen Lake and Ennis Lake). Rainbows, browns, cutthroats, and more abound in this majestic fishing stream.

//

The Madison begins its course almost twenty miles into Yellowstone National Park. Within the Park, fishing rules apply: no live bait and catch and release only. Once outside the Park the river meanders past working ranches, stately conifer forests and cottonwood lined banks, interrupted by riffles and quiet runs that contain large rainbow and trophy brown trout. Flowing alongside Yellowstone’s West entrance road, the river enters Hebgen Lake, created by Hebgen dam, until it reaches Quake Lake, a bit downstream from the dam. At this point the river is commonly called either the Upper Madison or the Lower Madison, although in fact, they are one and the same.

Upper Madison – Quake Lake to Ennis Lake
Directly below Quake Lake the river roars into 5 long miles of Class V whitewater with steep gradients and large boulders along the way. As the rapids decline, the magic begins. For the next 53 miles, often referred to as the 50 Mile Riffle, the cold river runs north and the fish jump high. Annual runs of spawning trout make their way from Hebgen Lake, rainbows in the spring and browns in the fall. Known the world over for its “hard fighting” trout, it’s not unusual to pull a 25” brown from these upper waters. In deference to the purists and fly-fishing enthusiasts, it’s wading only from Quake Lake to Lyons Bridge. Boats may be used to access the river, but if you’re going to fish, your feet must be on the riverbed. Fortunately, the Hebgen Dam releases water throughout the year, leveling its flows and relieving it of spring runoff issues and summer shrinkage.

Lower Madison – Ennis Lakes to Three Forks
A short section of the river between Ennis Dam and the power station maintains relatively low water levels and provides wonderful opportunities for wading. Past the power station the river regains its muscle and for 7 miles winds through Bear Trap Canyon. Hiking trails offer the only entry, great for those that like to walk and seek the solitude of a designated wilderness area. Floating is permitted but requires a lengthy shuttle and the ability to work through Class III-IV whitewater. Once out of the canyon the river flows in shallow riffles until it reaches Three Forks and joins the Missouri. From Warm Springs to Greycliff, the river is easily accessible for drifters and wading.
Trips
$
1,595
-
$
2,290
/ Angler
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
2 days
Our 2 day and 3 night fly fishing packages include comfortable accommodations at our Alder, Montana fishing lodge, three home-cooked meals each day, and all ranch activities. They ... morealso include private access to the Ruby River with a guide and your choice of a day on the Madison River or the Beaverhead river. Guided day fishing trips include a Montana fly fishing guide, lunch, and refreshments.

On occasion, water levels may require that we alter the rivers fished. To maintain a high level of personal service, we limit our guests to 10 per week. Please contact our Montana fly fishing guides if you need a custom package or wish to arrange special rates for your fly shop or club.

Notes

Montana accommodation tax is not included.

Fishing licenses are not included.

Children are welcome.
$
4,500
/ Angler
Capacity:
1 angler
Days:
On Jul 16, 2018 - Jul 23, 2018
Duration:
8 days
Fishing Waters:
Destination:
The Wind River Mountains have the largest Golden Trout in the world. Catching golden trout is the pinacle in wild trout fishing, and for good reason. Pound for pound they fight better ... morethan any other trout. Secondly, they are the most beautiful trout imaginable. Pictures don’t do them justice. Lastly, they only reside in very remote high mountain pristine lakes. We’ll help you get this elusive fish checked off your bucket list.

TFC is the exclusive guide service for Chamley Outfitting LLC, the finest outfitter in Wyoming. Chamley Outtfitting LLC., has the greatest stock which have been trained to navigate the very rough terrain of the Windy’s. Each animal has been riden by their staff for 2 years or more before a guest ever will. They ensure each animal is very well behaved.

Trips are flexible and we now booking for 2016. Trips are all inclusive except Wyoming license. We eat well, and this trip is a trip of a lifetime!

All food/tents/gear/supplies etc., are packed in by horse. Base camp is a 4-5 hour ride located right between 2 beautiful lakes full of trout! A camp cook prepares all the food for a trip you will never forget!
$
1,075
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
3 days
Experience the Madison River Like Never Before Learn the best spots on the Madison River with 3 great fishing days with Red Mountain Adventures. Eric Shores, with over 35 years of ... moreexperiencing guiding on the Madison River will take you down a journey of the best places to fish.

The journey starts on the Upper Madison River on a guided float trip covering about 8-11 miles of premier fly fishing water. The following day includes a recipe (location flies, and technique) on a do it yourself wade location near the fly fishing town of Ennis. The third day moves you on to where the Madison River dumps into Ennis Lake for a full float day stalking the giants.

Note: The order or location may change based on where the best spots are at the time.
Outfitters
Welcome to Zach Neville Outfitters. With over 10 years experience, we are one of Bozeman, Montana's premiere fly fishing guide services. We offer float and walk/wade fly fishing trips ... moreon southwest Montana's finest trout waters. Here in Bozeman we are centrally located among The Yellowstone, Madison, Gallatin, Missouri and Bighorn rivers. In addition to this, we have access to some of the best private water in the region. At Zach Neville Outfitters it is our mission to provide you with a fun, safe and educational day on the water regardless of your background or level of experience.
Type:
Fishing
54 comments
Cheap alternative to the buff: http://theanglersculvert.blogspot.com/2011/08/tjs-tips.html
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We're a fly fishing site, so we rarely respond to trolling...
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Guys that live in Ecuador invented the best hot weather hat. It's called the Panama Hat. The US of fallen empire just found another cheap piece of crap to put on it's mercenaries heads so they'd feel important.
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Ok, probably doesn't meet critical standard, but this little bucket cap is adorable, right??
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[...] I posted my homage to the olive-drab and camo boonie hat as the “Ultimate Warm Weather Fishing Hat,” many of you pooh-pooed the [...]
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I've been using a boonie hat for various headwear purposes for 20 years now, and in that time frame have had three. The first one I actually gave to a girl who thought it was cool, unfortuantly she only loved me for my hat. The second one was lost in a kayaking expedition. The third one I've had for the last decade or so, and its still wearing just fine. They definatly hold up, they look better with ... more use as noted, and their highly adaptable. If its a little windy, just flip the sides up and use the chin strap to sort of tighten it to your head, if it really blows strap around your chin and in the worst scenario, stuff it in your pocket. And to really aid in the wildman look, the canvas webbing is an ideal place to tie down a couple of human finger bones: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4059/4630106206_114a0e1ce0.jpg
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[...] an earlier post, I confessed my appreciation for the US military’s Boonie hat – the fly fisherman’s ideal warm-weather hat (at least for anyone willing to endure the icy glare of Fly Fishing’s [...]
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[...] What hat(if any) do you wear? Here's a view on the topic- The Ultimate Warm Weather Fly Fishing Hat? It Might Just Be a Boonie Hat... | The Trout Underground ... I go with a large palm leaf hat on the local rivers, and a ballcap and buff combo at the coast. [...]
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I'm all set, now. Boonied. Link to pic
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Waxed cotton? That sounds kinda hot, and remember – this is a warm weather hat… I hear ya--but the wax is nearly gone and even wearing it on hot days, like yesterday, its not a problem. Its an easy dunk into water and back on the dome. This conversation has me wanting a boonie though. Matter of fact, I'm gonna load up the dogs and head over there in a minute. Good reminder.
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Waxed cotton? That sounds kinda hot, and remember - this is a warm weather hat...
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See, they may *want* to make fun of a Boonie-wearing angler, but they're afraid to. That's the big advantage of a Boonie over a pith helmet...
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I've been eyeing this: http://www.villagehatshop.com/hills_hats_of_new_zealand_the_mckenzie.html I wear a 7 3/4 or 7 7/8, and most XL hats are too small (unless my hair is very short). I also wear a pith helmet. You can dunk it in the water and it keeps you cool for hours. And you'll need to be cool, because every nitwit for miles is going to have something to say about it.
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After a lifetime of working and playing in the sun, I came up with a scary pre-cancerous patch behind my left ear. I began to wear a variety of hats besides the profligate collection of baseball type caps that have built up in most corners of the house. My favorite is a waxed cotton (not much wax left) of similar design. Mash it, twist it, dip it and don it, sit on it, chew on it and it still wears ... more the same. Great essay on 'boonies'. I'll visit the Surplus store in town and get one as a back up. I picked up this one is a shop in Missoula. Still have the rawhide wind strap somewhere, but it stays put. http://woodlandclearing.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=362
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The best hat I ever used was a Trek Mates Everglades cap...lightweight and very breathable which you have to have in the humid southeast. Even the mesh sided, full brim hats are to hot in this weather.
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I dig the ballcap/buff when it's breezy and hot. But I don't like the feeling of breathing through a damp towel when it's still. Regarding the dip-n-dunk: I do that in freshwater, but too much of that in saltwater makes my scalp and neck feel like the brim of a margarita glass. But the salt you absorb via osmosis prevents scalp cramps. I've never had one, yet.
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I dig the ballcap/buff when it's breezy and hot. But I don't like the feeling of breathing through a damp towel when it's still. Regarding the dip-n-dunk: I do that in freshwater, but too much of that in saltwater makes my scalp and neck feel like the brim of a margarita glass. Huh, I woulda thought you'da figured out the “dunk the cotton hat for evaporative cooling” trick by now.I'm with Tom, ... more buff and ballcap rules the day in the salt.
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You mean to say you hunt ducks with an M203 Grenade launcher? Very extreme...
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Given all the forces lined up against fishermen actually going fishing these days, I kinda like "Got to Hell Hat."
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With all due respect, Tom, you need to do your hot weather hat-testing somewhere considerably south of Northern California. My head would parboil like a potato if I donned heavy cotton and a 3-inch brim on a dead calm, blistering August day on the Texican coast See, I didn't do any testing on the coast because I was pretty sure it was largely populated with felons and miscreants - like Australia only ... more without the cool accent or the bikinis. You mean to tell me people live there voluntarily? At sea level??
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Pay those decade-old parking tickets, and you wouldn't have to move every six weeks...
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Huh, I woulda thought you'da figured out the "dunk the cotton hat for evaporative cooling" trick by now. I'm with Tom, buff and ballcap rules the day in the salt.
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Those hats are real good, but had my time wearing them. By the way we called them "Go To Hell Hats" Special Forces where the only one's that where aloud to where them and officers hated them. David
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The Navy Seals appear to be sporting my duck hunting attire and using the same stealthy approach I employ. Not sure the shotguns are the appropriate caliber however.
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Tosh, Rice-farmer hats sound hilarious, perhaps rivaling Wayne Eng's "elk rump" hat from a few winters back. Please provide a photo link.
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With all due respect, Tom, you need to do your hot weather hat-testing somewhere considerably south of Northern California. My head would parboil like a potato if I donned heavy cotton and a 3-inch brim on a dead calm, blistering August day on the Texican coast. I've tried them all, down here, and the light-weight synthetics with the rice-farmer brims are the only ones that get it done. From a distance ... more I look like a rod-wielding golf umbrella, but that's better than dead.
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Where's El Nino?...I found your entry interesting thus I've added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)...
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Good choice- you NEED an actual brim- I like my Tilley but I have, and would use, a Boonie when needed- and its true- the imitation boonies are....(maddeningly) unsatisfactory...
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For me it's a matter of function over form, which means I don't care how I look. Never have. My lucky fishing hat keeps the sun and rain off, can be rolled up and crammed in a pocket, used to drink water and coffee out of, and just happens to make me look taller. Another benefit of the wide brim is to keep the ears protected not only from the sun, but from flies gone off course ;) http://unaccomplishedangler.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/p9220741-300x225.jpg
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A flyfishers headgear should be soaked with plenty of sweat and some blood. It should wreak of deet and sunscreen and should under no circumstances be washed ! Don't show up to the river lookin like no LL.Bean catalog model weenie.
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Amend that. I'm going with 50 cal rounds...
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Should work- as long as they aren't the wimpy yellow variety.
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For that "stay away from me on the river" look, I was thinking of going with shotgun shells.
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Now if only I could find prescription sunglasses for $10...
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I bet it's a bucket hat, not a Boonie. For that - and the fact you support the Angels - you're going to hell. Sorry.
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Well, the Buff does give you a bandito look, but they are remarkably comfortable, even when fishing river canyons or from the float tube. I love the coverage. My favorite hat, is actually straw, lifeguard style, but those don't travel well... especially how I travel, which is carelessly.
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I wore my old boonies for a long time after I got out of the Corps but eventually they were all lost/worn out/ given away......... I've had a mishmash of hats over the years ......including a brown fedora I wore fly fishing when Mr Jones first graced the silver screen and man was I ever cool on the river (sweated my butt off but I was cool dammit)........ I got a Tilley in florida last job but wouldn't ... more spend the $ again. I like the license pocket and will wear it till it explodes..... for winter wear I have a filson waxed cotton job that is awesome for 35 degrees and misty but heavy enough to use as a weapon.......You're 100% right that the real issue thing is a whole lot different than the knock offs....... biggest thing is to wear something to protect yourself......... funny I never used to be able to get sunburned through my hair what happened
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Oh, and add me to the sun-abused skin list. Basil cell carinoma on the back of the right hand. Those flats gloves are goofy-looking (o.k. not AS goofy-looking as certain hats) but can prevent a potentially lethal problem.
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Prefer a less Caddyshack look myself. However, since you insist on wearing a boonie you owe it to verisimilitude to jam one of those O.D. bottles of 100 % DEET, 110% carcinogen insect repellant into one of the receptacle pleats.
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18?! Well I've finally come across someone who has me beat on the skin cancer appearance age. I was 24 when I said goodbye to my first chunk of skin and since then I've been sliced and diced more times than I care to admit. I'm a crater Moon. At this point I've made peace with two frequent visitors. Mr. Basal cell and Mrs. Squamous cell carcinoma. Thankfully A-hole Melanoma has only sent warning messengers ... more to visit but hasn't made a personal visit. Boonie hats......I'll give 'em a try! In the spirit of this entry and anyone that may be reading this. Don't forget a good pair of wrap-around sunglasses. A recent visit to the eye doctor revealed two little benign masses (hard to see at this point thankfully, but annoying) on the whites of my eye. The Doc asked if I was a farmer because it's what he sometimes sees on 65 year old sun dried farmers. When I said no, he started to scratch his chin and I admitted the only thing I could think of----that I fly fishing a lot--- and his answer clicked in place. He said the UV rays reflected off the water are like concentrated lasers to the eye. Just when I didn't think my sun problems could get any worse beyond the big M, now my eyes are in trouble from the sun. Give me another year or two and I'll be known as that chick that fly fishes in full body Ghillie camo.....
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Looks a little on the warm side... How does it do on an all-dayer in the sun?
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Not to be pedantic (though the TU Bylaws actually require it: Section II, Subsection A1, Paragraph C says "Condescend to the readers at every opportunity"), but most floppy brim hats are not Boonies. In fact, a lot of the Boonie hats I've seen aren't even Boonies. I bought a touristy version of a Boonie in Hawaii years ago - and it pretty much soured me on the hat until recently. It looked like a ... more boonie, but the brim was too big and way too soft, and it basically sucked. The real thing is stiffer and cooler and far more compact than a Tilley. Better stuff, and worth the $10 investment...
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The imitation boonies have that "floppy" problem. I was almost soured on the whole boonie category by a Dorfman fake boonie I bought years ago; the brim was too big and too soft, and it did precisely what you suggested. I've never suffered a similar problem with the "real" Boonie hat, where brims are stiffer. Saltwater fishing is a different kettle of fish entirely, and the Buff thing was my solution ... more when I went.
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My choice is the Outback Oilskin Madison River, the only drawback is that it doesnt have a chinstrap. As an insurance against winds I use a wind cord (http://www.noggintops.com/page.cfm?p=162) See you in the hat aisle, SZ
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Another one hear who has had pieces and chunks removed. Still have my old Vietnam boonie but it is somewhat thread bare and a tad small. In the summer I only wear a ball cap to and from the stream but change once I'm there. Bought a booney knock off version a few years ago and the brim is a bit bigger and floppy. Been wearing a wide brim hat with a mesh crown that seems to work pretty well. But thanks ... more for the link. I may order a more traditional boonie.
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I'm partial to the comfort and stiffer brim of the "indiana Jones" style fedoras. I feel like the brim is a bit wider and more protective as well.....Buuuut, being wool, they are a bit more hot-headed than other hats. If I have a boonie style hat with the Anaheim Angels logo on it**, is that a boonie hat or a baseball hat? **For the record, the hat was free at the game and I've probably hiked 50+ ... more miles in it.
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Got mine at an army surplus store probably 20 years ago. It's also where my fishing license lives
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Years ago I tried hard to love a Tilley, but failed miserably. Big and boxy, it was also about 7.5x the cost of a surplus Boonie.
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There's another major benefit of fully brimmed hats that wasn't mentioned: one's ears are protected from forward flying hooks and shot. Bargain Tip: any visitors to San Antonio have loads of choices waiting for them in the Mercado downtown.
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Yup-me too. Various chunks and pieces removed since age 40. The result of being a fair skinned red head and working on the family farm for years. Have had several types of "bucket" hats over the years-all worked pretty well, but my favorite has to be the Tilley my wife gave me. Not as cheap, but durable as hell. Even insured against loss if I suffer a sever case of CRS. Like Don said-not a great look, ... more but beats the heck out of the alternative.
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[...] Continue reading here: The Ultimate Warm Weather Fly Fishing Hat? It Might Just Be a … [...]
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I too have had chunks of me removed by a dermatologist, but I was close to 40 y.o. the first time... About twelve Christmases ago my wife gave me a Tilley. I can't say that I love the look, but it beats being chopped to pieces or worse. www.tilley.com
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Lost mine in one of my many moves since VietNam.
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Oh, I don't know Tom... the floppy hat works great under the hot, burny, cancery sun... just as long as there isn't a stiff wind. The wind grabs that floppy brim and either pushes it up, making it useless, or down, over your eyes... making it again, useless. Get it wet and it wilts... in your eyes. The perfect hat, for me anyway, turns out to be that much maligned baseball cap combined with a buff. ... more The merino wool buff I got is surprisingly cool in the heat of the day. I have two floppy brimmed hats sitting in boxes somewhere, unpacked from our last move and unloved. I'll stick with the baseball cap with the solid, unmovable brim with a nice buff. My people, we don't tan... we burn... so this is important for me, but I can't stand the brim flopping around on me all day.
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