Hook Color ? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Hook Color ?

12-07-2002, 07:51 AM
Does any one think hook colors make a difference and under what circumstances ?

If hook color made a great difference you would think the hook manufacturers would have tried to mass market that to us by now, but it does not appear they have.

I was just reading that a white hook may be of use and decrease the hooks silhouette by blending in with the water and sky background the fish look up into.

I suppose a less visible hook like the invisible wader prototype under design, would be a major breakthrough for all fisherman (fly and non fly).

I have some colored Gamatsu egg hooks I have used for steelhead and salmon egg patterns but honestly have not caught any fish on them yet.

I am using the traditional bronze or black steelhead/salmon hooks now. Also have used silver and gold hooks and caught fish.

Look forward to your responses.


12-07-2002, 11:05 AM
This is a good subject. Capt. Ray from Rhode Island e-mailed me on the crab Apple and Flounder suggesting that I try to camoflage the hooks.. I will try brown paint with a very. very thin coat of epoxy to keep it from chiping..Obviously the paint will not be near the point.

12-07-2002, 12:36 PM
i prefer to use bronze hooks for my trout flies only because i think that the gold hooks could spook weary fish with the flah they put of in sunny days.

12-07-2002, 12:51 PM
amused and really like to use the different colors that Gama has to offer. I can not say as to weither or not one works better than the other but I can honestly say that in my wanderings I have not found the different colors to be a negative factor to fish grabbing the flys.
Of course I'm talking steelhead and salmon I haven't tried any colored hooks for trout yet. Salmon trollers in Alaska and British Coloumbia catch thousands of salmon evry year on bare hooks! Mostly the blued iron Mustad but also on red or pink.
A couple of times when fishing (and catching) was way too good my partner and I tried to see how sparse a fly we could get a steelhead to grab greasedline presentation. When things seemed like there was no end in sight we tryed a bare hook. After several hours each without as much as a boil we went back to dressed hooks (flys that is) bang the bite was on again. I really expected to catch them on bare hooks but it just didn't work, if I run into a situation like that again I will give it another try and will use the various colors that are available now that were not around then.

12-07-2002, 01:50 PM
Sedentary flies like crab and flounder flies remain quite stationary during their presentation. Fish have the opportunity to view them more closely for inspection. Fish are also not in a frenzy feed mode with these conditions. They might pick it up and release it, nose around, even leave and return at times. Reflection from bright surfaces might taint the natural presentation. So that's why when ever I tie my quahog, clam, and starfish flies, I always prefer dull finishes. These have become my staples when ever I fished the sand flats.

12-07-2002, 04:12 PM
Hey Ray...what's this clam, quohog and star fish flies!!!!! I you trying to give me a heart attack?;) Love to see those on the archive if you chooce.

12-07-2002, 06:32 PM
I can just barely get my mind around Sun Fish eating Jelly Fish now you tell me that there is a game fish that eats star fish easy now I'm pretty gullible don't lead me to far astray.....

Bob Pauli
12-08-2002, 03:18 AM
Didn't A.H.E. Wood have two patterns called red hook and green hook? The dressing on these flies was a coat of paint, I believe.

12-08-2002, 09:21 AM
I remember something like that but as I recall they were "Toy A" and "Toy B" but I have forgotten way more than I can remember!

Willie Gunn
12-08-2002, 10:09 AM
Did he not call them Red Shanks & Green Shanks being a pun on the birdlife of the Dee Valley? Tringa Totanus and Tringa Nebularia for the Latin speakers amonst you


12-08-2002, 01:02 PM
I recently read an article about the effectiveness of red hooks. The author claimed that his catch went way up when using the red hooks. I think this article was in The Fisherman a couple of months ago.

I've also wondered whether the shine of silver or gold hooks made a difference. I would imagine that the flash from the hook would help in some situations but hinder in others.


12-08-2002, 01:38 PM
There are times when I tie sparse and translucent streamer flies, that the shank of the hook (silver or bronze) becomes an intricate part of the pattern. Most notable as a silver streak or lateral line in a baitfish's profile. Think about it for a minute.

Many times we think of camouflaging our hooks. There are also times when we can use the existence of a hook shank to our advantage. Sometimes to compliment a pattern. Has anyone else done this?

12-09-2002, 04:37 PM
My two cents on the subject of hook color is simple. I use black or dark blue hooks fromm Daiichi 90% of the time. I have a slight preference for the dark blue in those salmon irons that are offered in it because it hold up better and has a nicer finish that the black ones.

The other 10% of the time, I use the nickel (or silver if yu like) Alec Jackson Spey Hooks from Daiichi. These are what I tie spey flies that have florescent floss bodies because it eliminates the necessity of tying silver tinsel underbodies on them; thus increasing tying efficiency. This includes Glasso's Orange Heron. Brown Heron, Soc Duck, Soc Duck Dark, Sol Duck Spey, and other similiar speys.

12-09-2002, 06:19 PM
Good discussion, Woods flies were the Toy A and Toy B which wre red and blue as I recall nothing more than some floss wrapped on a big salmon hook which he caught atlantics on. Got to find that book, it must be lost in my book archives.

Blue hooks, interesting will have to see what my fly shop has.

Nobody mentioned white hooks though as I just saw mentioned in current FF article.

I guess it is still inconclusive as to what color hook maybe better, how about the "dark day dark fly and bright day, bright fly" customary approach proposed by many for fly selection.

Dark days - black, bronze, blue, green

Bright days - gold, silver, nickel, bronze, white

Where does red fit ?

Something to think about I guess.

Not many colored hooks available for salmon and steelhead flys that I know of.

12-09-2002, 06:23 PM

The blue I refer to on the Daiichi Alec Jackson and low water Veverka or Dee Low Water hooks is a very dark midnight blue that is similar in color and finish to a high quality shotguns barrels. If you can't find them locally, let me know, I can get them for you.

12-09-2002, 06:25 PM
I know the color you mean just was holding some Perrazzi shotguns two weeks ago. Will check my local fly shops.

Bob Pauli
12-09-2002, 11:59 PM
From Greased Line Fishing for Salmon [and Steelhead], by Jock Scott, Frank Amato Publications:
These two flies appear on color plate opposite page 16, and appear to be hooks with partly painted shanks as the only dressing.

Toy A, Toy B and Toy C are pictured on the same plate, and are more elaborately, though sparely, dressed than redshank and blueshank.