Q and A

Q. What color sunglass lenses do you prefer for fishing the flats?

A. My preferred (and the industry standard) lens color for sight fishing shallow, clear flats is amber. I also prefer mirror lenses because I think the mirrors reflect more glare than standard lenses. The amber color helps to bring more contrast to the flats, making it easier to see fish such as bonefish and striped bass that mix in pretty well with their surroundings. I recently tried lenses with a red tint and really did not like them. The lenses did a great job of cutting glare, but they did not block out enough sunlight, and it was just too bright. I couldn't wear the lenses for long without getting eye strain. For low light conditions - cloudy days, dawn, and dusk - I like light yellow lenses. Yellow lenses brighten the day and can provide decent visibility in low light conditions. Way back when I used to fish offshore (not fly fishing) the standard was blue lenses. I like green-mirror lenses for fishing in slightly deeper water that often has a bit of color, such as when I am fishing for tarpon along oceanside sandbars.

But if you are able, I strongly suggest trying out a few different colors for yourself. Each person's eyes may be a bit different. A friend, for example, gets headaches when wearing amber lenses, so wears grey lenses and sees just as many fish as I do.