Most anglers – either out of necessity, superstition, or some loosely-defined concept of “comfort” – have one or two favorite items of clothing. It can be on your head or on your feet, everything from a particular hat to a pair of flip flops, but once you lock it in, it’s there whenever the conditions allow.
For me, this year, without a doubt it has been the grey camo AFTCO Tactical Fishing Shorts that I got at the beginning of the year. Normally I’m a buy-at-Wal-Mart-for-twenty-bucks kinda shorts guy, but even at several times that cost these are worth the extra bones, if nothing else because I want to put them on as I head out to the lake on warm days.
To be honest, I’m not exactly sure what matches them – on several occasions my wife has criticized my creative matching of them with shirts in plaid or other patterns – but I don’t really care, simply because they do everything so well. They fit perfectly without bunching or wrinkling, they dry quickly, and most important if you’re a taco-eating, dipping dye spilling slob like me, they even repel stains. They combine the best attributes of board shorts, fishing shorts and a Bounty paper towel, and I think they look reasonably good while doing it. The pockets are spacious but not bunchy, and the inseam is neither John Stockton short nor Fab Five long. Even the buttons are sewn on perfectly, with some sort of extra-strong thread that prevents a post-taco disaster.
In short, they’re my favorite clothing item of 2017, and I have such faith in them that I invested in another pair of blue camo for 2018. I’m not sure if they’ll ever go out of style, but if they do it’ll likely be before the shorts themselves wear out.