Choosing The Right Shades
The most important thing when sight fishing to any species of fish is to be able to see the fish clearly. The most valuable piece of equipment in your fishing arsenal is a high-end pair of polarized fly fishing sunglasses, especially on those occasions when you are aligning the position of a fish to which you are casting or looking for good structure or a ball of baitfish.
Even in clear-water conditions fish can be difficult to see. Glare, bottom color, surface texture and wind, and a fish’s uncanny ability to camouflage itself make sight fishing the most challenging aspect of the fly fishing game. Selecting the correct polarized fly fishing glasses can be the difference between seeing and catching fish.
There are so many great polarized eyewear brands in the fishing market today. It was not that long ago when there were just a few companies making quality polarized fly fishing glasses for fishing. Back then, lens technology was limited and anglers had few choices in lens color and frame design. Now these choices seem endless, with companies like Costa, Smith, Kaenon and Spy Optics pushing the polarized eyewear fishing market.
Keeping the light out
Choose a frame that provides good coverage over the eyes as well as in the temple area. Look for frames that do not let in light peripherally (from the side of the head), and choose a frame that will remain comfortable throughout a long fishing day. Lightweight frames with arms that don’t pinch behind the ears are ideal.
Lens color and high contrast
Choosing a lens color is a personal preference. However, it is important to choose a lens that provides a high contrast. This is important when fishing in low-light conditions or with very light bottom conditions paired with bright sunlight.
Here are my recommendations for different light conditions.
- For shallow flats, beaches and marshes: Amber lenses
- For deep water, offshore waters and bright sunlight: Gray lenses
- For softer light, glare and cloudy days: Yellow, light rose or amber lenses
Today the angler has many great choices when selecting polarized eyewear. The key is to find a lens and frame that fit your personal style. With the right combination of lenses that provide both the optimum color and contrast and a frame that blocks out light, you’ll be seeing and catching more fish!