I've been fishing since I was a little kid. I started out fishing off the dock at our house in Alaska, using a simple hot dog on the end of a heavy hook wrapped with lead. When we were camping I would spin fish for rainbows, cutties, and dolly. We never spin fished for salmon. When I was a teenager we would troll for salmon, and I worked on guide boats and commercial fishing boats. During all those years, I rarely if ever wore sunglasses. I certainly didn't wear glasses to help me fish.
When I re-discovered fishing about 10 years ago, I didn't think about sunglasses being a valuable tool or necessity for fly fishing. Eventually, I purchased a cheap pair of polarized glasses. Then I moved up to a good pair of Costa sunglasses. I had horrible luck with those Costa glasses and ended up using a mid-priced set of Native glasses instead. The Native sunglasses were great, especially for the price; however, after two years, I lost them. I decided it was time for an upgrade.
I had heard good things about Smith Optics for years and decided to pull the trigger. I ultimately selected the Maverick. They weren't cheap. Quite honestly, I didn't notice a huge difference with the glasses right away. However, I did notice that I was becoming much better at spotting large fish and catching those fish. My first thought was that perhaps I was becoming a decent fly fisher. Then I realized that the sunglasses might have something to do with it. I spent years never understanding what people meant by "sneaking up" on large trout. I am now able to spot large trout on a regular basis. The effectiveness of the Smith Optics sunglasses became quite apparent a few weeks ago when I was fishing in the Everglades. The Guide was standing on his platform looking for fish. On numerous occasions, I spotted fish that the Guide didn't see until after I pointed out the fish. I was at a far worse vantage point - the glasses are that good!
Obviously, sunglasses aren't going to make you catch fish. The being said, high quality polarized glasses can make a huge difference - especially when targeting large fish. I can't imagine trying to fish without my Smith's. Next time you're in the market, consider Smith.