Blue..... the new purple??

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Panhandle, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member


    Any color's good, as long as it's black.

    Black is more visible under all light conditions than any other color.

    This has occurred in print an untold number of times. But it won't stop anglers from tying flies in numerous other colors. Me included.

  2. Coach Duff

    Coach Duff Banned or Parked

    "Thank you for that logical, non-ego driven response Tuna." Direct quote from our own beloved Panhandle......Coach Duff

    What are you Phil Donahue now? Pan, stick to spey fishing, the talk show host deal will never work as long as you look like Jerry Garcia.:D The networks will never buy into a show with Jerry Garcia trying to convince everyone about how important colors and specific patterns are to steelhead when they've hit buzz bombs, spoons, spinners, plugs of every size, shape and color known to man, earthworms, rubber worms, dry flies, wet flies, skaters, nymphs, jigs, cut plug, hootchies, bait divers, eggs, fake egg clusters with scent, sand shrimp, Dahlberg Divers, God knows what in the Great Lakes, marshmallows, grasshoppers, hellgrammites, and Power Bait. Hey it's your story and you have fun telling it.:D Duff
    PS And I missed a few! It's all about presentation Pan, it's all in the presentation. :beer2:
  3. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    Coach, you are so damn witty. :ray1:

    You did give me a great idea though. Someone needs to come up with a winter steelhead pattern called, "Jerry Garcia." A tie-died marabou spider or tube. :beer2:
  4. steve s

    steve s Member

    With the exception of an occasional fly in red, pink or orange, all of my go to patterns have either blue or purple. I generally use blue if the water is clear and purple if it has color to it.
  5. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

    I agree that the main way color and pattern matter is in getting the fish to see the fly and not much more.

    Here is a good bit of evidence through experience:

    Because steelhead patterns that work often don't catch resident trout much. And realistic patterns that catch resident trout often don't do as well with steelhead.

    There are cross-over patterns but there is no doubt that in almost any given steelhead fishing scenario with resident trout and steelhead side by side, there are flies that will only catch one and not the other and vice a versa.

    This means there isn't much "nature" to what a steelhead bites.

    What does a steelhead like to bite?

    If the steelhead is biting, in my experience, it bites just about anything that gets noticed, and gets close enough to warrent the fish's attention.

    So when Tuna and Pan say that color and pattern do matter, it isn't in the same way it does with trout flies. It is in a purely funcional sense, so I really don't think anyone is disagreeing here and I don't think what they are saying goes against accepted beliefs within Church of Steelhead.
  6. Steven Green

    Steven Green Hood Canal Pirate

    And here I thought this thread was going to be about fall fashion or something.
  7. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Coach, I've not had the pleasure of meeting you...yet. But I have to ask, becase as I read your above statement I'll tell you what I am seeing in my mind.

    Coach Duff, sitting at the computer, oversized for the tiny machine like Linus and his piano, frantically typing the above statement while SHOUTING IT OUTLOUD getting ever louder and louder. Face getting more red by the second and to top it all off you did the whole thing on ONE BREATH. After clicking "submit reply" your face cleared, blood pressure dropped 20 points and you uttered a big sigh of relief.

    If I'm not right, don't spoil my visual, just wanted to let you know what reading it made me think of (like one of those wild ink blot tests of what is the first thing to come to mind).

    I'm also with Steven Green, I thought this thread was going to be about fashion or the blue tinted lenses in Panhandle's eyewear. It has been much more intriguing than I imagined.
  8. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

    The Blue Charm worked again this morning on the Snoqualmie although the color of the hackle had nothing to do with my fish coming unbuttoned.

  9. fullerfly

    fullerfly Calvin Fuller

    Just fish what you are confident in...and you will catch fish. If your buddy is catching are just a bad fisherman. If you are catching more than your buddy you say, "do you know why you aren't catching any?" he says, "why" you say, "because you are a bad fisherman."
  10. Leroy Laviolet

    Leroy Laviolet Aint no nookie like chinookie

    Ok, here's a rumor from the banks of a steelhead river I cant confirm or discredit, maybe someone can... "Use blue flies when the water is off color for the color blue is the last color in the color spectrim that a steelhead can see in off color conditions" So I imediately saw a steelhead sitting in a chair telling an eye doctor " Blue you idiot, that;s the only color I can see when its dark in the office room" !:D
    I ran straight to the fly shop, grabbed some blue flies and after 15 min. in the river, BANG... Fish on. No Shixx, go figure... And caught several more on blue later... Probably nothing to it, but a "go to" color for me based on confidence... i still gotta think presentation is the major factor with most all fish catching situations... Hey Panhandle, have you tryed "Gerry Garcia " ice cream?? Good stuff??
  11. Coach Duff

    Coach Duff Banned or Parked

    Mumbles, relax. Pan I think a Gerry Garcia fly would be pretty cool. What basic colors would we start with? Duff
  12. Mulligan

    Mulligan Stephen Mull

    Man, the colors in Pan's JG avatar would be the tits. Nothing ground breaking (hard to do that these days), but black, purple, blue, white would look real nice together.
  13. Kevin Giusti

    Kevin Giusti New Member

    Fly color, presentation, water conditions, blue black purple orange or red? Ah you gotta love steelheading and talk of flies. The cool thing is that this debate over fly colors and such will probably go on until the end of time. And old Mr. and Mrs. Steelhead will continue to do there part in keeping these conversations alive and well. Everyones gonna have there own thoughts and preferences and I think that is great. So heres a couple of mine. Ive noticed many a steelhead picture lately with a blue fly hanging out of the corner of its mouth. And Im sure alot of others have also. So obviously a blue fly works. But then theres that factor of rumor going round that "hey man blue is hot@!" So youve got a large percentage of people using a blue fly. Well then the odds are probably gonna go up that the numbers of steelhead caught are probably gonna be on ...... yes a blue fly! I definatly have my color preferences and this is dictated by water conditions and through my own experiences on the river and what has worked for me in the past. I highly agree that a good presentation is of the utmost importance. I dont care what color fly youve got on if it isnt presented well you probably aint gonna catch squat! And when the time comes to change flies, if Im using a big blue intruder style fly and Im just not feeling it, I dont switch to a big orange intruder stlye fly. Instead Ill happily stick with the same color but Ill throw on a fly that creates a different outline or produces a different type of action in the water. Anyways to each his own. Now I think Im gonna go sit down and tie up some blue flies. Seems to be a good color of late :cool:. Oh yeah and the Garcia fly. Id say it would have to be something big and fat and green! And when you look at it you just think, "that fly is SMOKIN'!" ptyd Kevin
  14. FT

    FT Active Member

    Like Leland, I found the Blue Charm to be a very good summer/fall steelhead fly, including when tied as a true low-water fly. I've used the Silver Blue (tied with teal wing as originally done for Atlantic Salmon) to be exceptional during the mid-day doldrums on bright sunny days. It also works fine tied as a true low-water fly. A few years ago I tied a few of Art Lee's Stardust on #6 Bob Ververka Classic Salmon Hooks (this is the same as Alec Jackson's River Dee Low-water Hook) and found it to be a good late evening fly with its dark, midnight blue hackle.
  15. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Speaking of... let me describe a fly that's been my standard for steelhead fishing in the winter/spring season for almost a decade; that is, I fish it about half the time then. An orange pheasant crest tail, yellow butt, dubbed sparkly purple body; underwing of blue squirrel (for some stiffness), topped by blue, then purple, then black maribou; throat hackle of blue guinea. I call it the Winter Solstice.

    It's just a mostly black maribou that shows flashes of complimentary colors. Materials could be combined in 97 different ways to produce a fly that would look essentially the same to a steelhead. I can't say that it's more productive than anything else, but it's a confidence fly to me.:rolleyes:
  16. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    Coach, if you close your eyes and use your psychedelic imagination, you can see it.

    Orange, purple, red, chartreuse, crystal flash, purple.......ahhhh, I already said that one, a little drippy blue, iridescent lavender, moon beams ...some weird bird eyes...... whoa!!!!!!! I'm having a flash back bro. :eek: I have to go sit down.
  17. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Nooksack Mac, how about a photo of that Winter Solstice? Your description is great, but I'd like to see a photo to get a visual and proportions. Thanks.
  18. Coach Duff

    Coach Duff Banned or Parked

    Tommie Darling tied a beauty of a blue steelhead fly in one of those Northwest Fly Pattern Books. Somebody (Preston, Salmo, Kurt, Les, Leland?) might remember the one I'm talking about. By the way Pan, I used my psychedelic "imagination" about 300 times in my youth and the tracers I see at age 40 in broad daylight might be the aftershocks.:D Coach
  19. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Mumbles, sorry, but I don't do even chemical photography any more, much less electronic imaging. I don't even own a cell phone.
  20. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Mac, despite you not being able to show me the fly, hearing that you are technologically NOT advanced makes me like you even more. I resisted getting a cell phone for years and now I've become one of those gadget geeks I use to poke fun at.