Do Fish See in Color
Fish do indeed perceive color. Every fly fisher knows that or ought to know that. Like humans, the retina of a fish have rods and cones. Cones are used in the day and rods at night. Color vision evolved to help fish identify potential food. In the environment of the fish, the background will either be the bottom, the water itself, or if looking up for food it could be the sky. The bottom is normally tannish olive to green. When looking across the water, the background appears pale silver blue. But if the water is off color due to algae or high water one must take that into consideration as well. Skylight becomes more important at dusk and dawn when it contains more reds.
Thus for opportunistically feeding game fish, flies with bright or contrasting colors and/or a lot of flash will make them stand out against the above mentioned backgrounds. The Mickey Finn, tied with yellow and red, and a silver body is one of the most effective attractor patterns. As for dry fly attractors , the Royal Wulff is still hard to beat, with its red and peacock body and white wings. Black flies, because of their strong silhouette also are easy for fish to spot. Let's not forget patterns that contain strands of flashabou or other tinsel that reflect light when stripped or while drifting through the current are easy for fish to spot.
The fly fisherman also must remember that color behaves differently in water that it does when seen in the air. Water is denser, and the colors are diffused quicker. Cloudy days where there is less overall light will offer less visibility, and colors will disappear quicker in the depths of the water. And the clarity of water obviously greatly effects this as well. This is important in fly selection because certain colors travel farther in low light than others. Red is the first color to disappear, usually at about 15 feet in clear water, followed by orange and then yellow. Blues and greens are visible to the fish as long as there is light. Yet silver and white will be brighter.
So while the Mickey Finn is obviously a great choice as an attractor fly, it would not be as good a choice in murky water or if fished deep. A better attractor might be a white Woolly Bugger or White Marabou Muddler.
Color is also important to remember when matching the hatch. Since fish use vision as the deciding factor to strike, one's offering must be the correct color. However, very small differences in hue seem to not be much of a factor as most insects will vary slightly in color as well. But if the intensity of color the artificial fly has can be a factor. If the artificial is more intense than the natural it is more likely to catch fish. Why this seems to work is somewhat a mystery. It is understood that fish see deeper into the ultraviolet range than humans, so perhaps they are just seeing something we don't. It could also be due to the effect water has on colors. Perhaps we'll never know, but like many things in fishing, why something works is not as important as just knowing that it does work.
While color is probably not the most important factor in a fish striking a fly. The above considerations are nevertheless a good thing to have in the back of your fly fishing mind.
About The Author
Cameron Larsen is a retired commericial fly tier and fly fishing guide. He now operates The Big Y Fly Co. at http://www.bigyflyco.com.
How Do You Bring The Freshest Fish to The Table?
Fish is one of earth's natural wonders and has satisfied our palates since the beginning of man. Their flesh is light and delicate, lean and is packed with protein, the anti-oxidant vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. All play a role in keeping our hearts and immune system functioning as it should. The most popular fish we consume is tuna, salmon, flounder, Pollock and cod. But considering there are about 25,000 species of fish, there is enough variety of edible fish for the most discriminating taste. But how do you know when you are bringing the freshest fish to your table?
Bass Fishing - Recreation or Obsession?
First of all, we need to look at the word ... recreation. When I break it down, it comes out re-creation. What this means to me is a re-creating of myself; a way to get away from it all and do some soul searching and some thinking and ... re-create my ideas, inspirations and motivations; a break in the pattern that allows me to reconsider things in my life and make adjustments. But the term is large. Typically, recreation means activity. What do you do for recreation? Watch TV? Garden? Go out to restaurants or bars? What? It implies relaxation. It implies a way to get away from the normal grind and have an element of divergence; have some fun and forget it all. Not so for the bass fisherman. I know I have mentioned to people that I went fishing and they said, "Oh, that sounds relaxing." What is relaxing about bass fishing? Probably nothing. There are times I go to be outdoors, and there are times I go to catch bass. Catching bass is not relaxing. In fact, bass fishing is hard work. If you want to throw in a live bait and hang by the shade tree, so be it. Granted, that is fishing ... but not the style of bass fishing I'm talking about. What I am talking about is active bass fishing where you are in hot pursuit of the prey. Walking the banks ... fishing from the boat ... whatever your style may be, it is hard work. Why hard work? Every time I come home from a fishing trip I am worn out for a few days. That's because I work hard while at play. I am up and down the banks hiking around the lake looking for my target: largemouth bass. I cast and I cast and I cast; always keeping the bait in motion and trying to find the fish. So, do I go to get away from it all? Or, do I go because I love the thrill of the hunt; the catch. If you think that serious bass fishing is a 'vacation," it's not. Again, it's hard work. Even if you're not hiking up and down the banks, even if you are in a boat, it's hard work. You are constantly casting, reeling and landing fish (hopefully). This will wear you out if you only fish occasionally. So, to me, bass fishing must be an obsession. I mean, certainly, I don't do it to get occasionally, though it is that. And I don't do it to forget the world and all it's cares, though it does help with that. And I don't do it because I am looking for a way to relax, though I do find it to be relaxing as well as tiring. What's in it for me? I must do it. I am obsessed, maybe better described as addicted to the adrenaline charge I get when I catch a bass. I need the satisfaction of feeling powerful because I have fooled the fish in it's own domain and I am now the king. I have to have that. By the way, I will have to write more later, because now I must recreate. Maybe I will see you there.
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If You Have Never Used A Blacklight While Night Fishing, You're Missing Out
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A Technique To Catch Trophy Size Bass
There is a craze going on that produces big bass, it's called flippin. Flippin puts the lure where the big bass are.....in cover! You will want a 7 1/2 to 8 foot rod with at least 20 pound test on your reel with the drag tightened. You will also want a 1/8 ounce to 1 ounce weight according to the cover you are trying to go through. Don't forget the big hook, 4/0 to 5/0 is best in my opinion.
Swordfishing in South Florida
Southeast Florida Swordfishing ? "Purple Fever"
The Peanut Butter and Jelly Paradox (PB&JP)
I started keeping a fishing calendar this past year. My thinking was that I would somehow get to fish more. I was applying the business proverb of "that which gets measured gets done". Apparently this doesn't work as well on the home front. Actually, MOST of the leadership tactics I bring home from work become useless when they pass between my lot lines. Kind of a Bermuda Triangle of management principles I'd say. I'll share more on this once I fully understand the phenomenon. In the meantime, I've learned it's best to just go with the flow most of the time and try not to get underfoot of the wonderful women in my life.
Nymph Fishing Techniques
Small stream nymphing is a very productive form of fly fishing. At times, you will not rise a fish to a dry fly. Yet there are fish feeding actively below the surface. So, you put the fly (nymph) to the fish.
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Try doing a web search on the words "fishing lodge" and you will come up with hundreds of thousands of matches. Visit any major sports show and you'll find dozens of outfitters, each offering promises of the trip of a lifetime. How on earth do you narrow it down and find the fishing destination that's just right for you?
Women and Fishing -- Not Just A Mans Sport
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