Oliver Kite thought sunglasses were unsporting

thetrouttickler

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2009
Messages
2,263
Location
West Sussex
I watched a fascinating clip on youtube of Oliver Kite cutting the weeds at Fisherton de la Mere, on the Wylye. Some way in he referred to the sunglasses he was wearing and said:

"I'd never dream of wearing them when I'm fishing. I don't like the advantage it gives me through being able to see in the water. I'd rather take fish on, on their own terms. That's a purely personal feeling. I never tell other people they should think like that."

I mention it only because I found it the most interesting insight into the man in the clip. I can't help but admire his sporting ethos. Thinking about his diary, and the successes he wrote about, takes on a whole new significance. Especially watching for trout to take his bare hook nymph below the surface in chalkstreams.

Does anyone choose not to wear sunglasses for the same reason? I think it would come as a surprise if somebody said they did.
 

Reg Wyatt

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
1,188
Interesting man but I'm not sure where you'd stop with that train of thought? Did he wear a hat to keep the sun out of his eyes or not wear dark coloured clothing to hide himself from the fish? Guess it's a personal thing, which is what he said. Love to see the clip trouttickler.

Reg Wyatt
 

JohnH

Well-known member
Joined
May 18, 2006
Messages
4,580
Location
Near Southampton
I have half an idea that some of the things Kite said and wrote were rather more for effect than meant to be taken as 100% gospel. In the 2000 edition of "Nymph Fishing In Practice", well edited by Robert Spaight, there are interesting top and tail pieces to the book. One of them is some feedback from Geoff Bucknall. He relates the story of seeing Kite with a well stocked fly box containing many different flies. "I thought you only used 2 or 3 patterns ?" said Geoff. "Ah, don't believe everything you read !" replied Ollie, with a grin.

I also think Reg is on to something with asking where you stop with this ? Getting in the water starkers and catching the fish with your bare hands ?
 

BobP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
9,484
Location
Wiltshire
As far as I know Sawyer didn't wear polaroids either, though in the 1950's they would have been quite expensive and probably beyond his means. Also, although he had exceptional eyesight and through long practice knew where to look and what to look for, it is probably just as well that he didn't wear glasses otherwise his tally of grayling killed would have taken on epic proportions.

if the light and water clarity are right I often don't wear polaroids but that is because I would need to be changing glasses from polaroids to reading glasses every time I change flies. Gets to be irritating after a while.

I'm not stripping off and wading naked. No chance!
 

kingf000

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
2,198
Not wearing polaroids may be fine on some waters, if you believe everything that he says. As fish don't have arms, maybe he shouldn't be using his arms for casting. On rivers with large, slippery stones, polaroids are essential to avoid falling into the river, little to do with seeing fish. For those that don't need to wear glasses for long range vision, the sunglasses also protect your eyes from flying hooks.
Oh - I also forgot to say that they protect your eyes from harmful uv light.
 
Last edited:

kingf000

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
2,198
Was it Lefty Kreh or Lee Wulfe who wouldn't fish deep, no sinking line or heavily weighted flies?

And who said that they would give the fish the night to rest

Some restraint is good I guess
The best restraint is to limit the number of days you fish and the numbers of people allowed to fish a water at any one time. Most commercial fisheries survive by having as many people fishing as often as possible, or they charge £500 a day to fish, or both. They maintain catch rates by regularly stocking with naive trout that any duffer can catch.
 

GraylingFin

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
83
Location
Wales
I started wearing polarised sunglasses about a year ago. What a revelation!
I hardly ever spot fish with them on to be honest, and if I do, it would be a couple of times a year in the middle of the summer with the river low and it would be a grayling.
I much rather read the water correctly than targeting a fish I spotted.
But it makes wading so much safer, that's the main thing for me, plus I feel more confident about my eyes being protected.
I used to cycle without a helmet several years ago but I would no longer do it because it does not feel safe, same with sunglasses for fishing, I wouldn't fish without them.
 

ohanzee

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2010
Messages
47,131
I get it, when you can see fish completely clearly it gets strangely close and personal, to the point of being a bit uncomfortable at times, and sometimes it can feel like it's changed the dynamic a bit.
 

Vintage Badger

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 16, 2021
Messages
1,095
Location
Cheshire
I wear wraparound sunglasses primarily for eye protection, from stray hooks, from UV light damaging my eyes and to keep pollen out as I suffer from hayfever (fortunately less so the older I get). They do have polarised lenses but, being fairly cheap, they don't seem to make a huge difference, so I don't think Mr Kite would object too much if he tried them on.

I do enjoy watching the few short videos of Oliver Kite which still exist (just put Oliver Kite in the YouTube search box to find them). I really appreciate his knowledge and love of British wildlife and I'm sure I'd have got on very well with him as we seem to have much in common.
 

ohanzee

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2010
Messages
47,131
John Belushi? ;)

Leonardo-DiCaprio-wearing-Wayfarers-in-The-Wolf-of-Wall-Street.jpg
 

ohanzee

Well-known member
Joined
May 7, 2010
Messages
47,131
Apologies for taking the tread off track, can't control them, who is this Oliver Kite guy?
 

Latest posts

Top