Prescription Fishing Sunglass Athlete Review with Kurt Olesek

Athlete: Kurt Olesek

Sport: Fly Fishing, Sight Fishing

Homebase: Avon, Colorado

Location: Fly fishing the rivers and lakes of Colorado and throughout the Rocky Mountains as well as New Zeland. Sight fishing the saltwater flats of the Caribbean, Florida, Baja and beyond.

River and Lake Terrain: Fly Fishing in rivers with rock and sand bottoms along with lakes that have mud and grass bottoms.

Saltwater Terrain: Sight Fishing in salt water flats with sand, corral, rock, and turtle grass bottoms.

Light Conditions: Preferably bright sunny days for sight-fishing but I fish in all conditions.


The Prescription Sunglasses Kurt Recommends for Fly and Sight Fishing:


Lens Tint: Oakley Shallow Water Blue and Bronze

I have really grown a liking for Oakley's Shallow Water Blue tint for my everyday fly-fishing.  The amber base tint combined with the blue mirror work the best in all conditions for me.  This Oakley prescription lens is light enough on cloudy and rainy days yet dark enough for bright blue bird days.  I find that the Oakley Shallow Water Blue lens provides great contrast against a rocky river bottom, a sand flat or a grass bottom.  A truly amazing all around fishing lens tint.  

On the ultra-bright days when I'm on the bow of  a boat searching a flat for 8-10 hours, I will occasionally choose brown or bronze lens tint without a mirror.  The bronze provides great contrast and makes it easier to locate fish against a bottom that is sand, turtle grass, or coral.  And since the bronze is a little darker than the Shallow Water Blue, my eyes will be a little less fatigues after a long day on the ocean.

Frame Style: Wrap and Semi-Rimless

I always choose a style that has some "wrap" so it curves around my head and provides good peripheral coverage.  However, I have found too much wrap can cause fogging as the day heats up and I'm rowing clients down the river.  What I've found works for me is a frame with a little bit of wrap but with a fairly narrow earstem that allows just enough air flow to prevent the lenses from fogging.

The semi-rimless frame styles work even better simply because without the frame on the sides and bottom of the lense, you get increased peripheral vision and increased airflow that helps prevent fogging.

Examples of great fly and sight fishing frames based on Kurt's recommendations: Oakley Flak Jacket 2.0 XL, Native Hardtop XP, and Under Armour Ignitor 2.0

Polarized vs. Non-Polarized Lenses: I use polarized lenses 100% of the time!  If you want to catch more fish, you need to see more fish and polarized is the only way to go as it elminates the glare off the water.

Progressive Lenses: I have progressive lenses in my clear lenses and my polarized fishin sunglass lenses.  As a fly-fishing guide I need to be able to see up close when I'm tying on tiny flies but also need the distance correction for navigating the river in my boat through fast water.  I personally prefer Oakley's fishing specific progressive lens as it gives me great distance vision and blends into a mid-range and up-close range seamlessly.  

Learn more about the best prescription sunglasses for fishing.