There are glasses (cheaters and sunglasses) in almost every river I fish on a regular basis in Northern Michigan …and, of course, they’re mine, or, used to be mine. For some reason, I have this mistaken belief that I can do two or more things at the same time and keep my mind on each as I do it.
The result is, when I’m trying to change flies in a hurry because fish are rising and I think I know what they’ll take, the important thing is always to get the fly on the water. The problem is, I can’t even see the eye of an 18, let alone thread the tippet through it without my glasses. So the process of changing from sunglasses to cheaters, selecting a fly from the box and tying it on, then changing back to my sunglasses is the equivalent of a monkey having sex with a football.
I know there are several options, like wearing a lanyard on each pair of glasses, or just plain taking my time and thinking about what I’m doing, which I do most of the time, but at least six times a year, I loose a pair of glasses; the worst part being, I don’t know it until I need them for the next change. Usually it’s the cheaters that go, but several times last year, it was my sunglasses.
There are several ways to address this problem, one being to connect them to a lanyard and hang them around my neck. But doing that with two pair, well, you feel like a bird dog with several collars while trying to get through brush and bushes.The other is to buy smart.
Having been an optometrist in a past life and owning my own shop, I know the difference between quality and hype when it comes to glasses, especially lenses. So I’ve taken the position that if I’m going to loose a pair of glasses several times a season, I’m not going to give up a high cost pair of cheaters or sunglasses. Those can be saved for normal, non-standing in a stream activities, like leaving them in a restaurant or fly shop.
Cheaters are just magnifiers that come in various diopters. Once you know what yours is, the two dollar pair do just as well as the $75 pair …and it hurts less when they become part of the bottom structure on a stream or muck along a bank as you’re climbing out.
At last week’s Outdoorama, I found a booth that sold all types of sunglasses. Their display was nice but they were a cheap grade. Having said that, their lenses were a fair grade of polarization and for the price, when I loose them, it would let me go on fishing without dwelling on how I was going to explain to “She Who Must Be Obeyed” why I was buying another pair of sunglasses instead of taking her out for dinner.
For the treasure hunters reading this, there is a custom pair of polarized sunglasses somewhere between Graves Crossing and C 624 on the Jordan. If you find them, wear them in good health.