Polarized Fly Fishing Glasses

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Polarized Fly Fishing Glasses
By J. Morgan Jones

The fishing season is upon us once again and it’s time to drag out your old sunglasses if....... A- you can find them, B-they are not too scratched, or C- you still have a pair to find.

Just in case you only fish alone and/or have never read about fly fishing......you need to have POLARIZED sunglasses. ...... Polarized sunglasses really help cut the glare that sunlight causes on the surface of the water. Your eyes get tired faster when there is bright light on water. And when your eyes get tired your vision 

deteriorates, making it harder to spot fish. It's usually easier to catch fish you can see, and there are times that easy is better. Trust me on this...

Here’s a tip for sunglasses....Dark lenses do not mean polarized. Dark glasses only reduce the amount of light that reaches your eyes. Polarized glasses reduce the amount of GLARE that reaches your eyes. It is the glare that makes it difficult to spot fish, not the light. The other plus for polarized glasses (beyond looking cool) is that they are much better for driving also. 

There is more than polarized lenses however. There are colors that need to be dealt with.  Gray,  green, yellow  and brown are the most common colors. 

One of our suppliers, Fisherman Eyewear, presented  me with the chance to try a few different colors of polarized eyewear. As I wear prescription glasses, this was an unusual opportunity to say the least. They took a copy of my prescription and sent me a pair of brown and a pair of yellow glasses  (I already have gray pair). The style of frames Fisherman Eyewear provided are of the wrap around type, and that alone really makes a big difference. If you have polarized glasses now, try cupping you hands around the frames next time you are on the water and you will see the difference for yourself. Wearing a hat will block overhead light, and that helps quite a bit, but blocking all “outside” light makes a tremendous difference in spotting fish. 

The Gray lenses work well for seeing in the water, and I have found them to be good for all around use. The brown (sometimes called “all hour brown”) lenses are really very good for cutting glare and spotting fish easier in the river than other colors I have used, including the gray I normally use. I found that real-world colors are not really altered much (greens are still green and so on). It seems that I am able to spot fish much easier than before and the contrast has improved. As you might be able to notice, I really like the brown glasses for fishing and all around use.

For a real change in your outlook, just slip on pair of yellow sunglasses. BIG difference. On a sunny day, it seems that you are holding your eyes WIDE OPEN, no matter where you are looking. Every thing seems brighter. Almost too much brighter. But.....wait until you look in the water on an overcast day, or first thing in the morning before the sunlight reaches the surface. Yellow lenses almost seem to gather more light than there really is available, and then channels it to your eyes. While yellow might not be for everybody, you can really spot fish easily in the river in low light situations. Period (excellent in fog in case you run into it on the way to the river -by the way). 

Regardless of the style or the color you choose, be sure that the lenses are polarized. Do not accept anything less. Polarized glasses need not be expensive, we have clip-on lenses for under $10.00 and framed lenses for $14.99 all the way to $200.00. As we do not really deal with the world of fashion (not too much anyway) all of our sunglasses are polarized. Our attitude is this: If they are not polarized, they are not for fishing. If you have not used polarized glasses, they belong in your array of fishing gear.  To Polarized Fly Fishing Glasses


Oregon Fly Fishing Festival
June 16, 2007 - 9:00am – 5:00 pm
Presented By: The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches Oregon.
We are at the foot of Mt. Hood, 45 minutes from Portland on Hwy 26.
100 miles of Class-1 streams are within 10 miles of this event.
The Topics Covered Are Uniquely Oregon!
What happened at the 2006 Oregon Fly Fishing Festival?

1
Buck's Bags - Boise, Idaho


Fish Cat 4 Float Tube
Over-Stock-Sale !!!

Festival Special - One Day Only
The Fish Cat Series of float tubes offers several outstanding advantages. With the Fish Cat 4 the seat cushion and back are filled with sealed cell foam. The seat cushion supports you above the water rather than sitting in it as with other conventional float tubes.  This makes spotting and casting to fish easier.  It is also a much more comfortable position especially if the water is cold. These float tubes are fast and very maneuverable.  5-year warranty. 

Model

Inflated Size

Tube Dia.

Weight Capacity

Weight

Ship Size

Fish Cat 4

44" X 54"

12"

250 lbs.

14 lb.

20" X13" X 18"

Item Description Price To Top
200-000100 Outcast Fish Cat 4 Float Tube, color navy $139 Must pick up -
No shipping at this price!

Umpqua Smallmouth Bass
By: Dean Finnerty

The story goes something like this; in the 1950’s a wealthy timber baron and mill owner who hailed from the southeast was a dyed in the wool, Smallmouth bass nut.  His mill was located on the banks of the Umpqua River near Roseburg, Oregon.  His mill site included a large log pond, as most mills of the time did.  It occurred to him that by planting a few bass in the mill pond, would afford him the opportunity to do a little fishing during business hours.  Smallmouth bass were transported from his beloved Shenandoah River and placed in the millpond.  The bass flourished, until one winter storm dumped enough rain on the Umpqua River Valley to cause the river to leave its banks, washing through the pond and breaking  

open the dike that separated the two bodies of water.  Viola!  The bass were flushed into the river, never to be seen again. Until that following summer when a few were caught by local kids fishing for the brown bullheads that inhabit some of the deeper, slow moving pools in this section of river.

Fast forward to July, 2007 and the Smallmouth bass that once inhabited a small log mill pond, now range from the South Umpqua River all the way down river into the mainstem Umpqua and on down to tidewater.  The bass have also been able to infiltrate the colder waters of the North Umpqua.  In fact, two winters ago, clients and I watched a heron capture a 12” Smallmouth from a creek mouth near the town of Glide.  The Smallmouth have even figured out a way to survive the brackish waters off the mouth of the Smith River down near Winchester bay and make their way up into the Smith itself.
The Umpqua is now considered by many to be the best Smallmouth bass fishery in the State and

it regularly ranks in “top ten” lists of nationally known Smallmouth bass waters in several national fishing publications.  On the section of river known as the “loop”, located several miles up-river from the town of Elkton, estimates of fish per mile exceed 5,000!  Some estimates put the number closer to 7,000 fish per mile.  Every summer from early June through September, clients from all over the world come to the Umpqua to fish these incredibly rich bass waters.  Two hundred fish days are common for fly fisherman with even modest skills.  The fish average 10” to 14” inches with many going 15” to 18”.  Each day we end up with a few hogs in the 19” to 20” range. One of my favorite games to play with my clients is a “numbers game” where we see how many fish can be caught in consecutive casts.  Last summer, one fellow consistently would reach the upper thirty’s before making a cast without getting a bass!  It gets kind of stupid after awhile, but I’ll do “stupid” all summer long for these fish.

All Smallmouth bass techniques work at various times throughout the season.  Top water and dry fly fishing is a hoot.  Presenting various types of streamer patterns on wet fly swing techniques can be deadly at different times.  Dead drifting nymph patterns and putting crawfish imitations right on the bottom also accounts for a lot of bass.  But by far and away, the most consistent technique involves sight fishing the bass with bead-head, rubber leg nymphs.  The bass, which are often schooled up, follow underneath your drift boat allowing anglers to simply present the nymph on

“the drop”.   As the nymph drops through the water column the bass will swim up to it, inspect it briefly then usually inhale it and if your not paying attention, will spit it back out just as fast.

When bass are schooled up like this, they are opportunistic and even cannibalistic.  They learn that by waiting for one of their brethren to get hooked by the strange creatures floating overhead, they will be given an opportunity to feast on various food items that are regurgitated up by the hooked bass.  Very large bass, in the 18” to 20” plus range will actually attempt to “eat” (sometimes even successfully) the smaller fly hooked bass that are being caught by my clients.  Another guide friend of mine who generally runs conventional tackle trips for the bass related the following story to me.  While we were guiding together on the Big K Guest Ranch (right in the heart of “the loop”) he noticed as his clients brought fish close to the boat to be landed, the frantic bass would regurgitate various food organisms that would enter the water as pieces of small white detritus, which the hoards of following bass would immediately attack and begin consuming.  It gave him an idea.  He used his fillet knife to cut a small ribbon of white cotton fabric from the tail of his t-shirt.  He placed the small piece of white fabric on a bait hook and waited for the next bass to come close to the boat.  When it did, he simply flipped the “imitation” into the water where the bass went crazy for it.  By the end of the day, his t-shirt was in tatters but his clients had a great day catching bass after bass on this secret little “bait”.  I haven’t been able to bring myself to recreate this abomination in the form of a fly, but I’m sure it would be deadly.

Fly rods in the 3 to 6 weight range are ideal for Smallmouth.  I generally use a full floating fly line, but there are times when a sink tip can come in handy to get some of the streamer patterns a little deeper.  Smallmouth bass are photophobic and prefer shade or low light.  But don’t think that they can’t be caught in full-on sunlight because they can, in large numbers too!  The bass are not really leader shy but I prefer to keep my leaders fairly long, tapering down to 4 or 6 pound tippet.

Nearly everyday I’m on the water I learn something new from my clients.  One such lesson came from a very efficient and experienced Smallmouth bass fly fisherman from Washington.  He taught me that bass especially love Chernobyl ants when they have a red belly.  I had used Chernobyl ants in various color combinations for bass with great success for many years.  But I’d never tried any with red bellies.  After a day of watching this guy catch bass after bass on this particular color scheme made a believer out me and I wouldn’t consider being on the water without a handful in sizes 8, 10, and 12.

Other patterns that produce are the venerable black, brown and olive wooly buggers in sizes 6, 8, and 10.   As mentioned above various bead-head rubber legged nymphs in a variety of colors are deadly.  I also find it helpful for clients being able to stay in visual contact with the sinking fly to include a band of bright color on flies that come out of my vice.  For example, using orange or chartreuse fly tying thread and building a distinctive thread collar behind the beadhead can add enough “bling” to aid the angler in detecting when the bass has inhaled the fly during its decent towards the bottom.  Drab colors tend to disappear the deeper they sink making it hard to tell when a bass has eaten the fly.  A little color makes the job of keeping a visual on your fly much easier.   In the same vein, a decent pair of polarized sunglasses are vital to success when sight fishing any specie of fish, especially Smallmouth bass.

 Smallmouth bass on the Umpqua River is a world-class fishery that fly anglers of all skill levels can enjoy.  They readily eat flies and can provide presentation challenges that are enjoyable, not daunting.  Not everyday on the water has to be about catching big numbers of fish, but when your given the opportunity like only a day of Smallmouth fishing can provide, enjoy it.  I always do!

Anyone interested in participating in this fabulous fishery is encouraged to contact me at
(541) 942-2535 or (541) 731-9649.  A visit to my website located at www.5riversguideservice.com may also be helpful to readers.   Anyone with questions or comments are welcome to call me anytime or e-mail me at fiveriversguide@yahoo.com


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Mark & Patty


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