People ask me, “Why do you spend time in Puerto Peñasco during the summer months?” Generally it’s ten degrees cooler than Phoenix, the breeze off the Sea of Cortez can make it seem cooler yet, and the water temperature is around 80 degrees. The fly fishing can be quite good, the place is not crowded, you can get in and enjoy your favorite restaurant. Generally I can dress a little more casual. My wife reminds me that my casual could be considered unkept, tatty, or even scruffy if I ventured very far from the Playa de Oro Trailer Park.

I’ll admit that I spend much more time planning my fly fishing gear needs than I consider my wardrobe. I usually bring at least 3 fly rods, six or seven fly reels, multiple fly lines, and hundreds of flies that look like bait fish, shrimp, or crab imitations. Usually I have some new gear that I am wanting to try. Most of my clothing choices revolves around being in the sun, fly fishing, and being on the beach. So, being cool, and functional are more important to me, than being stylish. I probably have packed two fishing shirts and two swim trunks for my weekend in Peñasco.

It’s not that I don’t buy good stylish functional fly fishing clothing, the labels in my closet are Orvis, Columbia, Patagonia, and other name brand goods, some folks just don’t think much of them as a fashion statement. Again I look at them for their function. Keeping the sun from damaging my skin, is a great idea. These shirts, shorts, and pants have a sun blocking rating much like sun screen. A shirt that has a Ultroviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating of 30 would give you more protection than one rated at 15. Another function is the ability to carry your fishing stuff, and the large cargo pockets help with this, even if it is a fashion faux pas. Because fly fishers are frequently in and out of the water, fabrics that are quick drying are a good choice. Footwear choices for me need to be more sturdy than the classic flip flop. If you are on some sharp rocks, or shells you will appreciate the upgrade to the Keen or Teva sandals.

Casual dress has come to mean dressing like a slob, and that currently is the height of fashion. So, your tank top, gym shorts, and flip flops won’t look out of place even if you didn’t look in the mirror before you go out. Just remember, the only place you would be over dressed, would be in the Walmart shoppers photos. Thinking lowest common denominator, all the time, really shouldn’t be something to aspire to. It is refreshing to see folks more put together when they go out for dinner. I know I am being selfish, but it does improve my dining experience. Here is my one good tip for dressing up, and looking good all evening when going out for dinner. The Merlot colored shirt, polo or button down, looks good even if you spill a little red wine or barbecue on it.

I’ll be the first to admit that some of my fashion looks are awful. I had one recently where my fly fishing buddy, Dick Brooks was laughing at me, and telling me that he was expecting a Polish tourist to come up to me and ask directions in Polish. Let me explain. I had hiked on the beach in new sandals and had roughed up my feet. So, there I was in a fishing shirt, loud print swim trunks, black socks, and sandals to protect my feet. Yes, maybe it was too casual even for Puerto Peñasco, and I would move up on the list of worst dressed Walmart shoppers. Vince Deadmond The Fly Fishing Hardware Guy can be reached at Best Hardware 237 N Apache Trail Apache Junction, AZ and at (480) 982 7461.