As we pursue the sport we love, we often place ourselves in hazardous situations. The Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen Board supports an informative corner to sharpen our be smart and safe behaviors.

Cover Your Eyes!
submitted by Kirk Mathew

Protect your vision while on the water. Whether from shore, in a boat, wading, or float tubing, there are some preventable hazards associated with fly fishing. As with all sports, there is a potential for injuries that occur suddenly and that have devastating results.
Fishing injuries now make up about 9 percent of all sports-related eye injuries, surpassing basketball and racquet sports that were the most common cause prior to 2005. A hook to the eye accounts for about 38 percent of fishing-related eye injuries. A sinker or the body of a lure striking an eye causes 44 percent of these injuries. While our group may not use to many conventional lures or sinkers, weighted flies such as lead eyed Clousers can have the same effect.
Although it may seem that a hook in the eye is the worst possible injury, a sinker or lure striking the eye can cause the eyeball to rupture, causing permanent blindness in approximately half of the cases. Most anglers I know wear sunglasses with polarized lenses while fishing so they can see through the water surface better. We all love to look into the water and see our quarry. Not all polarized lenses are sturdy enough to stop some of the heavier flies out there. The best way to protect your eyes while fly fishing is to be sure your sports eyewear has 3-mm polycarbonate lenses. Polycarbonate lenses are impact-resistant and are the thinnest, lightest lenses you can buy. Polycarbonate is also the most shatter-resistant lens material, and it filters 100 percent of ultraviolet (UV) light (which will help prevent radiation eye injuries).
Don't forget to protect your eyes at night. Though there is no UV light to shield, the traumatic risks still exist. Your regular glasses will do fine for this task, if they are impact resistant. So be smart, protect your vision, there are a lot of wonderful things yet to see.

Back To Table of Contents