Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Trout Buddha: Sharp Dressed Man?

Summer brings a few calm moments to the Trout Buddha's life and lends itself to periods of contemplation, reflection, and outright "hard thinkin"! During a recent bout of said brain activity (while folding clothes - go figure) I started to look at my summer wardrobe. Calling my collection of quick-dry shorts and t-shirts a wardrobe is a real stretch. However, I did start to give real thought to the value or statement made by donning a fly fishing t-shirt. My first real favorite fly fishing shirt was purchased after my first float trip on the San Juan with my uncle Dan. The long sleeve tee from the Sportman's Inn and Bar had a large rainbow on the back and I wore it out until it achieved dust rag status.

This key piece of summer clothing can serve many functions: political, commercial, penchant for odd art, loyalty to rod companies, access to free shirts with little regard to said rod companies, homage to your favorite trout, support to starving artists, bad fly jokes, worse fish jokes, excuse to pass yourself as guide/poser/product tester, and countless other reasons. Hell, maybe you just like the thing. Maybe your wife wants you to wear something that is not some shade of blue, grey, or dark green (colorful you ain't). Whatever the reason I decided to do some searching on the web for a range of fly fishing t-shirts. Some random thoughts from my search are found below:

  • Go for the art work. Look for the artist who does the art first - and the t-shirt later. My all time favorite is Ray Troll (his images grace this post). Ray also has a strong environmental bent and raises lots of funds for good causes. My other current favorite is the Bite Me design by Jeff Kennedy (see my last post).
  • Cafe Press a service that allows anyone to design and sell items has 766 fly fishing designs on file. Most - not so good.
  • Combining your shirt wear with a good cause increases the "cool" factor of the shirt. Patagonia has a wonderful program that gives proceeds from t-shirt sales to the World Trout Initiative that supports a range of conservation and restoration programs (over 200K since the inception of the program); not to mention the shirts are great.
  • Sometimes it is just the design that catches your eye (Reelpure).
Pick up something new for summer. Perfect for hanging around the house, cool casual to the grocery store, sweating on a hike in to your favorite stream, and the perfect overnight loaner for that special house guest. Hurrah for the t-shirt.

Trout Buddha

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