I love hats, but I’m particular about which hats I sport. They need to mean something to me. I need to feel a connection to them. Not only that, but I am so white as to be almost transparent and I need something to keep me from frying. I’ve had two friends in the last year be diagnosed with melanoma and I’ve had some pre-cancerous “things” removed. My wife keeps threatening me that if I get more bad sunburns she won’t LET ME FISH anymore. That’s a conversation I’d rather not have. So, hats, in part, are a pretty critical part of the sun-avoidance strategy.

Here are some thoughts about what you should wear on the flats. Andros South. Gink & Gasoline. Orvis.

I tried doing a wide brimmed hat, but it doesn’t take too many windy days to abandon that whole idea.

My floppy hat (and my now 10 year old in the backpack).

I had a green Patagonia trout hat that I loved until someone stole it from my car.

That green hat, my first decent bonefish and some horrible fish handling.

I tried a broad brim straw hat, which, I have to say, may be my favorite type of fishing hat. Cool and tons of shade, but not great to travel with, not great in a strong wind or while you are running in a skiff.

the broad brimmed straw hat.

I had a Skinny Water Culture hat, but it didn’t fit on my right. I wanted it to work, because I dig on what the are/do, but it was just a tad tight on me.

SWC Perm

By the time I fished Andros in 2011 I had a Andros South hat (given to me by the guys who went to Andros in 2010). I wore that for a couple years and watched it fade from bright orange to almost a light pink.

South Andros Bonefish. Photo by Andrew Bennett

I was still wearing that hat in 2012 for my honeymoon.

A fish from in front of El Pescador and that Andros South hat.

In Cuba I got a Yellow Dog hat, a trucker cap, that I put through the paces.

Well worn and sweat stained.

In 2012 I moved to my BTT hat. The Bonefish & Tarpon Trust is a fantastic organization and I have roots in the nonprofit sector so I felt an affinity for what they were all about.


I wore that hat a lot. Like… a lot, a lot.

That is me… happy.

Heading out in Abaco

But that hat has seen better days.

You’ve had a good run.

So, I looked for another hat.

I got a Patagonia trout hat.

My Maui Bar Jack

But, I don’t fish trout that much these days.

So, I got a tarpon hat from Costa.

My last trip to Hawaii proved to me that I shouldn’t wear trucker caps. I need more sun protection, as a member of the “nearly balds.” I got a decent sunburn just where the full coverage stopped. I often wouldn’t have the buff up all the way on top and that fried my cranium.

So… I needed a new hat.

The new lid

Welcome to the family Patagonia tarpon hat. I look forward to many years and many fish to come. Full sun protection and it fits well. The color makes me think of the tropics.

Why a tarpon hat? Well, easier to find than a bonefish hat and I do have a significant side crush on poons.


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