Try Experimenting with your Fly Color

by Fly Fisherman

I have, throughout many seasons of fishing, experimented by using two different shades of color in the same fly pattern. For instance, a light blue dun quill bodied fly alternated with one of a darker shade of blue dun. The same experiment with a light Cahill type fly alternated with one of a darker pattern of the same structure. Invariably, my notes indicate, one of the shades of the same general color was superior to the other in upwards of ninety per cent of the tests.

In selecting a fly, or tying a fly, to represent an insect you have observed on the water, consideration must be given to the colors used by you to match the natural. Remember this, many materials change color when wet or when treated with an oily floatant. Match the natural with a wet or treated material, then you can hardly go too far off. Remember, too, that objects dancing along on the surface of a shallow stream reflect the color or shade of the stream bottom, in the degree according to the object’s compactness. If the amount of light filtering through is great then the reflected color is less. If the object or fly is opaque, or nearly so, then the reflected color is strongest. The ephcmeroptera is a fragile insect, seemingly almost transparent, thus the reflected light from the bottom is extremely limited whereas your fly, with a body constructed over a metal hook, is opaque and will render maximum reflection. Under these conditions, choose slightly lighter tints than the natural seems to be. This same reflection factor applies to any kind of fly or object on the water.

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