Tuesday, June 9, 2009

....and while we're on about colors....

As i gazed into tarpon angler Diana Rudolph's fly box, it brought up the question of fly colors to me.....

As a former avid bass fisherman, i've always had a hard time using lures that weren't natural colors. If i were a bass and saw a chartreuse baitfish swimming by, i don't think it would be high on my list of things to eat....lest i live near 3 Mile Island.

The same transferred with me when i made the switch to saltwater fishing and now, fly fishing.....although i can safely say that there is a fair amount of chartreuse in my fly box, i often hesitate (or freeze up) when i get to a flat and set up my rig. A common practice for me is to look at the flat and look for signs of fish, possible holding areas, structure, oyster bars, and how the current relates to all of these factors. i also look for any sort of bait present and try to "match the hatch" so to speak by using flies in the same color and size to the bait i'm looking at instead of maybe using what i might consider to be a snook or redfish's favorite meal as you might when bass fishing. Aaron Adams' book about saltwater prey has helped me with this quite a bit.

i still like natural looking lures and flies but have learned to adapt with the water clarity. Normal water clarity summer snook fishing, i'll start with a white deceiver or white baitfish pattern. If the water is dirtier, i'll go with chartreuse and white with a lot of flash, and for stained water, purple and black or red and black. In the fall, i'll start with mullet patterns and cockroaches in grizzly or brown. Redfish seem to prefer ugly, ratty looking flies in rust, brown and orange. i tie a deceiver pattern in these colors for them as well as a few grizzly marabou clousers with bead chain eyes. In clear water like you find in the Keys, i like to use natural colors but found that bonefish sometimes like bright pink sort of like my Sweet Ernie fly. Also, barracuda seem to prefer flashy bright colors in clear water....so i tied a few bulky deceivers in chartruse and white with a lot of flash to them.

i've also learned that there are no rules in regards to what color to use....and that it's ok to do something different. Ya never know what might work on any given day.

So....what sort of colors and patterns work for you? What's in your fly box?

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