herring colors [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: herring colors

02-08-2004, 05:27 PM
Here are a couple photo's of herring that might be helpfull to flytyers.

Often, when viewed from above or in quick motion herring appear quite drab. These photo's were taken in shallow water under cloudy skies from water level. When captured by the camera these little guys and girls really light up with color.

Files are to large here are the links.



02-08-2004, 05:58 PM
NICE photos tim! I have buck tails that are just those colors. Triple jointed hollow fly with an airhead here I come!

02-09-2004, 09:44 AM
Awesome pics!

02-09-2004, 02:03 PM
Tim -

My strategy has just been 'refined'.


02-10-2004, 08:10 AM
Thanks Tim..That is timely and helpful since I am finishing up a big herring right now. The size of the eye as compared to the body is VERY helpful!

02-11-2004, 08:49 AM
Thanks for the Photos! I sat at the bench last night and came up with a DOOZY! Will post Pic in a day or so.


Hook: Mustad 2X Long 3/0
Tail: 6 White Saddles
Tail Flash: Mike Martineks Flash ( Kinda like Mega Mush but 10X's Finer) in White Pearl ( can use Angel Hair as sub)


Step#1 White Pearl flash ( same as tail ) tear 3 -7 times and clump together to get desired thickness. Tie in Hollow Style.

Step 2: Tie in Spreader ( 1/2 inch EZ Body )

Step 3: Beging the head by using equal portions of Sea Foam Green and Dusty Blue Martinek Flash, can use Angel Hair as sub. tear 3-7 times for desired bulk, add in very sparse piece of Hot Pink, tear and layer 3 more times. Tie in Hollow Style.

Step 4 Repeat #3 but ad in a very small amount of Midnight Blue Martinek Flash or Angel Hair.

Step 5: Use a Bodkin to apply a very thin layer of Silicone. This will form a nice uniform head. Let Dry

Step 6: Add 1/2 inch or larger eye with a little silicone.

The finished fly is around 8 inches long.

02-11-2004, 09:19 AM
Glad the pics are usefull.

A couple thoughts on the colors. It's difficult to tell whether the color changes we saw were due to changes in light or due to physiological changes in the fish due to stress.

These herring were coming up out of deep pools full of stripers. The herring were blasting up out of the pool onto shallow ledges where the water was only about an inch deep. It could be that subtle color changes incorporated into a fly could indicate to a striper that his prey is under stress and help trigger a strike. Anyhow, the more I watch these interactions the more I realize how much I don't know, but its fun learning.

Here is a link to some more pics http://www.glooskapandthefrog.org/enter%20ticonic.htm

02-11-2004, 10:04 AM
Around my little part of the world we see some tremendous runs of Herring. Sometimes we get lucky during years of high water and they come into a small river by my house. It sure is exciting to watch them leap the little dams as the stipers chase them around.

What I have witnessed in the years of fishing this location is that when a certain purple flower blooms ( idont know the name of it but it grows on a vine ) the action usually is beyond incredible. The funny thing is that all this action occurs only around 6-9pm on an ebb tide. Before or after that time it seems as if the river is void of life.

I recall a few years back I was fishing from shore accross from a "regular" that was in a canoe on an island across from me. We exchanged waives and fished about 2 hours with nary a sniff. At 6:30pm we both were looking down river, I guess as if we were deciding to move. At that point the water 50yrds from us erupted in leaping Herring and Large Stripers Porposing out of the water after them. We sat in awe as they got closer and closer until the frenzy arrived at our feet. It was almost scary being surrounded by what seemed to be about a thousand or more herring and an untold number of 15-20lb stripers. Sometimes the water would errupt right next to me and I would get soaked. Being waist deep you could actually feel the fish rubbing and bumping into me.

It hasnt happened like that since that day but I will never forget it, its burned into my memory forever.

02-15-2004, 11:37 AM
Here are a couple flies inspired by the pictures of the herring posted on this thread.

The pattern directions are generic, because each picture can be interpreted using different colors. The flies are about 10" long.

Hook: Eagle Claw 254, 3/0
Tail: Three feathers tied in f;latwing style, and a couple strands of flash
Body: Mylar body Braid
Collar: (Tied to flair) Bottom, white or blended bucktail, light colors; sides, blended bucktail, two or three colors; top, blended bucktail, two or three darker colors
Topping: Long peacock herl
Eye: Jungle cock