Monday, February 05, 2007

Fly Fish with Mel: How to Equip for a Trip to Maldives - Apparel

If you think that fly fishing the flats is idyllic, it is except for one fact. Being in the tropics means one thing....IT'S HOT!

A typical day starts with the sun stirring from its slumber at about 6.30am. As the great orange orb crawls from beneath its shimmering sheets, we too start to prepare for our fishing day. A fragrant hot cup of coffee and a fulfilling breakfast stimulates the body to get up to running speed. Then it is off to hit the beaches.

At around 8am, the water is still a little chilly and you're thankful you had that hot cup of black, aromatic brew to warm your body up. It will take another hour or two for the water temperature to rise. But even now, you start to feel heat of the rays that shoot out from behind the low clouds. You know that soon, you will feel the fury of that rising sun.

Of course, you can opt to take the cool option of sitting in the shade or head back to the mothership but we usually search relentlessly for fishable waters throughout the day. That's why it is imperative that we choose suitable protection gear.

The clothing of choice for us is a set of quick dry, long-sleeved Casting Shirt and pants. The reason for choosing quick dry Clothing is so that when we return from a day's fishing, we need only to rinse them in fresh water and hang out to dry. The wind will have your suit dry, ready for the next day's fishing. As such, we normally bring only 2 sets of fishing clothing to last for a nine day trip. The long sleeves will protect your arms from being burnt to Lobster Red. The long pants are necessary to protect you legs. Even though you're feeling cool in the water, the sunlight is actually being magnified by the water. You'll only realize it when you toss and turn in bed later in the night, feeling the burning sensation.

I will also recommend that these clothes be made of UV-protective materials. In the open flats, direct sunlight and reflected sunlight constantly bathe you in UV radiation so besides he sunblock, you would want to be additional protection from those scorching rays.

Also, a nice wide-brimmed hat or a duck-billed cap would do nicely to keep your cranium nice and cool. Another advantage is that it keeps the glare from straining your eyesight from above.

Should you want to keep you neck from getting burnt, you can choose to buy a hat with flaps that are detachable. These flaps help to cover the ears and the back of your neck and prevent these sensitive parts from charring.

Bandanas can also be a useful piece of clothing to pack. It's small, light and versatile. Use it under a hat or cap to add additional coverage for your neck or just use it to tie over your head.

When it gets hot, dip it into the cool water and drape it around your neck to bring soothing relief from the sweltering heat.

to be continued...