colin kageyama, 'what fish see' [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: colin kageyama, 'what fish see'

paul locke
02-27-2004, 10:23 AM
looking at old posts i see a number of members read the book and found it useful, ME TOO. he mentions a system called 'steelhead color selector' which seemed to be a set of filters to enable one to identify 'best' colors in the water and light on a particular day and place. in the book he thanks gijoes for marketing it but i cant find it on their website. did anyone ever try this system or know if it is still available anywhere?

Bob Pauli
02-28-2004, 12:20 AM
What Fish See is a fascinating book, as you have discovered.

To purchase the set of lights, filters and material samples contact Dr. Kageyama's office:
Dr. Colin Kageyama OD
344 East Hamilton Avenue
Campbell, CA 95008 USA
Telephone (408) 376-2700 [M-F 9AM to 4PM Pacific Time]
Telephone 800-361-3668 [M-F 9AM to 4PM Pacific Time]

FYI, Campbell is near Santa Clara and San Jose, Calif.

Price for the kit is USD$60.00 + S/H [$6 in US] = $66.00 [plus sales tax in

I confirmed this information today.

The kit includes 3 flashlights with filters representing water coloration plus material representative of lure and fly. When you see your own flies "as fish see them" under the filtered lights you will be stunned at the color difference when viewing above and beneath the water's surface.

I purchased the kit and learned from it. My eventual discovery was that experienced fishermen and guides catch fish because, among other factors, they use the correct color fly. Testing those "good" flies with Kageyama's kit showed me why the fly was successful.


03-01-2004, 08:24 AM
ah yes,,,this is why i think of what the fish sees,his book and others,,,the underwater views,,,this is why i once posted;anyone ever look at their bugs,once in the water,,one time on TV a noted `expert' tyed a so-called killer steelie pattern,,once viewed in action under water the `fly' looked like cardboard,almost no movement,,sure,it would work for hot,summer,fast water,,but when other materials would have more convincing qualities,,,this post is also one reason for my belief in black flies,or any super dark,convincing shade;the white,or light backdrop,actually the water's surface,plus the bottom dwelling bugs in larval stages,,and winter fish as well,,!!!!,great post!!:smokin:

03-01-2004, 01:42 PM
1. fish can see in the ultraviolet range

2. In low light, much like other animals with rods and cones in their eyes, fish rely much less on color and more on silouhette (sp). As the old saying goes "in the dark of night, all cats appear grey", in this case it is literally true.

3. Depth plays a role. Even 3 feet matters with some colors.

4. Great fishermen and Guides do make the right fly choices, but isn't it funny that if you sit them around the table they can't agree on what fly color to tie on in specific situations?

5. I've talked to 2 different fisheries bios who consider the book a great informercial, or should I say "bibliomercial" for the flashlights :devil:

Phil of little faith...

03-11-2004, 06:24 AM
Interesting, how was the correlation with the late Gary LF, and his observations in "The dry fly"?

03-11-2004, 07:34 AM
No, not about his book on dry flys, just MENTIONING Gary.

Thinking about UNDERWATER bugs and what trout "see", read his book, Caddisflies. He discovered by underwater studies that a certain type of the commercial fiber, Antron, produced a bright appearance identical to the "bubble flash" of air within a caddis nymph's body, and created the very successful "sparkle caddis" in both "deep" and "emergent" pupa variations.

He did further research, and was also able to duplicate the "silvery bubble" appearance of the bubble case surrounding the caddis forms that dive to lay their eggs on the bottom, thus his deadly "deep diving caddis" flies.

Not only that, but caddis have 'web' making capability, which certain species use to anchor themselves to the bottom, make cases, or make nets. Gary noticed that a certain type of marker, a very specific opaque marker for metals, works perfectly. The nymphal forms of some of the caddis appear to be hanging behind a rock with a "string" of web anchored to the rock. A certain bunch of fisherman color their tippets with this whitish marker ahead of their nymphs, and they are DEADLY for catching fish. Without the marker, they catch fish like an average fly. But WITH the marker, they are DEADLY, especially in the early season.

All of those discoveries and observations were hailed by both the fishing community, and the scientific community, and they both have permanently changed the contents of MY fly box.

So I guess that I have to conclude that color is only ONE of a group of important bunch of "appearance" factors of what a fish see, and other visual factors are VERY important to "what fish see".


03-11-2004, 09:36 AM
Originally posted by FlyAlf
Interesting, how was the correlation with the late Gary LF, and his observations in "The dry fly"?

Much, not all, but much of Gary's work for that book was surface oriented, so the effect of depth on color wasn't an issue. He has remarked on the ultra-violet issue. His green fly around overhanging green vegetation is interesting...

Hey want to have some fun. Take a glass pie plate, fill it with water, then look up from beneath at a high floating dry fly. As Datus Proper and alot of others have said, "when color matters, it matters least of all the other factors" meaning size, behavior/presentation, etc.