Food for thought - or flytying [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Food for thought - or flytying

Tod D
12-18-2001, 07:44 PM
Just started reading "The Fisherman's Ocean" by David Ross. Early on, there's an interesting piece light absorption (of water) and underwater color visability. Generally speaking, the fluorescent version of a color was more visible than the non-fluoro version of same, and fluoro chartreuse was the most visible of all. Suspect that this is a big, duh! No kidding, for many, but I've found it one of many interesting tidbits in the first 50 pages I read tonight on the train ride home.

Tie on...

12-18-2001, 08:13 PM
That's a great book and there is a lot of information there that teaches you about fish behavior more than any other book I have read... The discusion on tides and the composition of the ocean from shore line to the deeps is very informative... I only wish I could remember all of it.

John Desjardins
12-18-2001, 08:25 PM
Hi Todd, That is a good book your reading. The sections Striblue talks about are what I most remember from it. I'll have to look at it again.

Another book that addresses the color issue in depth is "What Fish See" by Collin Kageyama. It can be a difficult book to read, but it has a set of color plates that show the appearance of flies & lures at different depths/distances & water types that are worth the attempting to understand.

12-18-2001, 11:15 PM
The reason flourescent colors work better is because of the light spectrum we see as compaired to the light spectrum the fish see at. We see visable wave lengths from ~6500-4000 angstrums (650 nM to 400 nM "nannoMeter"). Flouresent colors "glow" from ultra-violet light, we can NOT see UV light but we can see it's effects with the use of a black light.
Visable light is filtered quickly in water by depth, UV light will penatrate deeper depths because of it's shorter wave length (250nM - 400nM)
We can see and understand how the fish see in color by using color filters and viewing the fly through water in a clear glass under a black light, this will simmulate the fishes enviorment in a way we can see for ourselves.
Scince UV light can penatrate deeper through water, flourescent color flies will stand a better chance of being seen by the targeted fish.:hehe:

Tod D
12-19-2001, 09:01 PM
Yeah, what MFM wrote, that's what I was going to say :rolleyes:

A top notch local angler commented to me this summer that he was particular to red flies at dusk into dark because of how they appeared deeper in the water column (Ross writes that the deeper in the water column red gets, the blacker it appears)...

Mayflyman - ever fish Lake Erie? 2 summers ago had what I suspect was a steelie come take a swipe at my fly as I was goofing off fishing for sheepsheads (is that what they're called?) off my wife's aunt/uncle's docks on put-in-bay. Spoke w/ someone later who said he had good luck trolling for steelhead there.

12-19-2001, 11:01 PM
Tod D; I've been to Lake Erie severial times, I've even caught fish there. :rolleyes: I go in at Conneaut, up in Ashland county. It's 1 mile from the PA state line.
I fish mostly the Cauyahoga, Conneaut & Grand rivers.
Don't care much for the big pond.
Lake Erie is too deep for me to wade.:hehe:

12-19-2001, 11:02 PM
A good and timely subject for me as a new Fly Tyer. I'm just getting started tying flies up for fishing this coming season. And this subject can make one re-think the color selections to tie as well as when to use what color combination.

I had the pleasure of seeing Kenny Abrames presentation about this very subject last night in RI. Seeing pictures of the same bait fish in different environment and lighting settings really changes it's appearance more than I had relized.

It will certainly make me think more about what colors to use and when. I was amazed at some of the differences both lighting and surrounding environment can have on bait appearance in the water. Much of the baits translucent surface took on the sourrounding colors whether it was light sand or dark rocks. It sure made me want to get some new color combinations made up of my favorite patterns.

You can see some of the pictures yourself at his gallery.


12-20-2001, 06:15 AM
Goo write up May fly man on fluorescent color and ultra violet lite consideratios on fly colors. Read some of that before, but forgot about it. Will have to rethink the usage of color reds again.

Fluorescent green is a primary attractor color here on Michigan waters for steelhead and salmon, rivers and the Big Pond Lake Michigan. What color does it turn in deeper depths ?

Thanks for the technical write up.

Need to tie some more red flies. I used to have a number but the supply has dwindled