Watch what you fish |

Watch what you fish

Jim Kanda
Special to The Vail TrailCopper polarized lenses allow more light to come in and accentuate reds and greens.

Once the rivers and streams in the valley begin to subside, you will notice that water clarity will begin to improve. With this improved clarity comes the opportunity for better sight fishing. Sight fishing is far and away the most exciting way to fish for trout. Acting much like a predatory bird, you cautiously walk the river, scanning the horizon for any and all tell-tale signs of trout holding in the water ahead of you.

Trout typically give away their “position” by flashing or opening their mouths while feeding along the bottom or by rising to the surface to sip adult insects off the surface. This type of fishing certainly takes practice and skill, but even the best sight fisherman will tell you that a quality set of polarized sunglasses are essential.

You may be asking yourself how polarized lenses work. Lenses that are polarized have a special filter within the lens that blocks light that is reflected off of a horizontal surface such as water. The end result allows a fisherman to look through the water’s surface to see what may lie beneath. Polarized lenses come in many different colors or hues, all of which have their own specific qualities. The lens colors that I have found most useful in stalking trout are brown, copper and amber. Brown lenses are probably the “jack of all trades, master of none.” They are generally darker in the sense that they let less light through and are more neutral. Copper lenses are my personal favorite, because they allow a little more light through and accentuate both reds and greens. Fishing with a copper lens can really help pick out certain species of trout, namely the rainbow.

With its green back and red stripe, rainbows have a tough time hiding from those equipped with copper lenses. Amber lenses are typically fished under low light conditions. The yellowish hue of amber lenses let more light through and truly amplifies what limited light might be available. I strongly advise against fishing amber lenses on a blue-bird day: It’s painful to say the least. All of these lens colors can be enhanced even further by adding photochromic properties. A photochromic lens is a great option for those who do not have the money to purchase two or three separate pairs of sunglasses.

Depending upon lighting conditions, photochromic lenses will change to either a lighter or darker shade. If it is super sunny out, the lens will slowly change to a darker shade, allowing less light in, or vice-versa when conditions are overcast.

– by Jim Kanda | Gore Creek FlyFisherman

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