Best color for steelhead?? summer?winter??

best color for steelhead?

  • Pink

    Votes: 6 17.6%
  • purple

    Votes: 13 38.2%
  • blue

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • or???

    Votes: 14 41.2%

  • Total voters
    34
G

golfman65

Guest
#16
I read a very enlightening article in fly fishing and tying about color and conditions..I think it's last months issue so look it up. Guy fishes what sounds like our OP and Or. and documented his flies color, outside conditions, condition of the fish etc. for the past 10+ years.

Said the old adage, dark fly dark day really didn't mean diddly..In a nutshell said dark flies catch more fish..BUT they also catch the most stale fish..Bright flies caught more fresh fish, aggressive fish..Interesting in that at times of year he'll fish different colors...like won't fish dark in the spring so he's not hooking kelts etc. Of course water temps also comes into play and I'm not going to get into that , so look up the article if you want to learn more..

This was for WINTER steelhead, summers will take dries so you can figure that out on your own..
 
#17
There was a great article last month in one of the fly magazines and I will find it and post the name and month. A guy took a 10yr research on bright fly vs dark fly utilizing different elements as to water clarity, chrome fish or dark fish, weather conditions and I believe something else. Amazing article, this guy did his job but in the end dark was all around best fly for all conditions but he did find he took more chrome fish on brighter patterns which he attributed to curiosity of fish in new elements.
 

Panhandle

Active Member
#22
I believe purple is more visible to steelhead under both high and low light conditions (unsupportable opinion). Black and blue make purple.... that has to be good, right? I do like black based flies, but I'd take purple based flies in a heart beat if I could only choose one. I'm not right, it would just give me more confidence and that's what matters most.
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
#23
When ever one of these "what do you/should I use threads" comes along I learn I have been doing it all wrong for the last 30 or more years and all those steelhead I caught were a complete accident. FML
 
#25
I think color is more a choice in different water conditions, summer and winter fish are very different. So here is my winter fish thought process
Pink - early winter fish moderate to stained water on a bright day - with some flash
Orange - moderate to clear, with experience you know when to use orange - I think mid-day sun on a bright winter day
Red/Black - moderate to clear and a bright winter day - I also use burnt oragne/purple on these days as well
Purple - Really anytime - but I key in with purple on a darker overcast day Lilac is a good winter purple shade mixed with darker purple
Black/Blue - Purple/Blue - anytime on an overcast day - early or late in the day lower light conditions
Olive/Brown/Maroon - on low water when the river gets into a sustained low water pattern - I really don't like to fish those kinds of conditions but you have to when you need to. Full moon cold clear winter days.

Flash - flash is very much a personal thing in your flies and I'm still getting to the point of where and when I use it - I'm not there yet and my thoughts are evolving on flash.

Size - the size of fly your fly is another topic when it comes to winter - how big do you need to go. Bigger is not always better and then sometimes you may need that larger size profile to move that winter fish. That is a personal thing as well and each angler I fish with has his/her thoughts on this as well.

"What Fish See" by Colin J Kageyama, O.D., F.C.O.V.D. is a great read and chapter 14 on Feathers and Fur fishing will change some of what you think color is doing 3 to 6 feet under water. You may start to understand that the dying process from batch to batch in dubbing adn marabou will be different and that will change what colors the fish see from fly to fly.
You also need not to get all wraped up in this shit either - I bet you could toss Balck, Purple and Orange all season and get as many fish as a guy that keeps changing colors for every condition. Some fish will just hit your fly and would probally hit that bug no matter what color it was - but some won't and the guys that get those fish are the guys most of us want to be in winter steelheading.
iagree

Otherwise, whatever you do, never use a white fly with crystal flash and a bit of pink. ;)
 
#26
I think color is more a choice in different water conditions, summer and winter fish are very different. So here is my winter fish thought process
Pink - early winter fish moderate to stained water on a bright day - with some flash
Orange - moderate to clear, with experience you know when to use orange - I think mid-day sun on a bright winter day
Red/Black - moderate to clear and a bright winter day - I also use burnt oragne/purple on these days as well
Purple - Really anytime - but I key in with purple on a darker overcast day Lilac is a good winter purple shade mixed with darker purple
Black/Blue - Purple/Blue - anytime on an overcast day - early or late in the day lower light conditions
Olive/Brown/Maroon - on low water when the river gets into a sustained low water pattern - I really don't like to fish those kinds of conditions but you have to when you need to. Full moon cold clear winter days.

Flash - flash is very much a personal thing in your flies and I'm still getting to the point of where and when I use it - I'm not there yet and my thoughts are evolving on flash.

Size - the size of fly your fly is another topic when it comes to winter - how big do you need to go. Bigger is not always better and then sometimes you may need that larger size profile to move that winter fish. That is a personal thing as well and each angler I fish with has his/her thoughts on this as well.

"What Fish See" by Colin J Kageyama, O.D., F.C.O.V.D. is a great read and chapter 14 on Feathers and Fur fishing will change some of what you think color is doing 3 to 6 feet under water. You may start to understand that the dying process from batch to batch in dubbing adn marabou will be different and that will change what colors the fish see from fly to fly.
You also need not to get all wraped up in this shit either - I bet you could toss Balck, Purple and Orange all season and get as many fish as a guy that keeps changing colors for every condition. Some fish will just hit your fly and would probally hit that bug no matter what color it was - but some won't and the guys that get those fish are the guys most of us want to be in winter steelheading.
Nicely done. That's a post to come back to.
 

Flyborg

Active Member
#28
When I first started catching steelhead, I only used white rabbit strips tied to a longshank hook, no flash. Then I migrated to purple, then black. Now I spend 15 minutes tying each fly wondering which color will be the best given the current conditions, whether the flash should be sparse, what size conehead or eyes to use. I don't catch any more fish now than I used to :)
 

g_smolt

Recreational User
#29
Lemme see, I've caught summer and winter fish on Black Purple Red Green Fuschia Cerise Lavender Burgundy SalmonPink ShrimpPink Orange Rust Tan White Cream Flesh Peacock BrightYellow Chartreuse Gold Silver Kingfisher...

Moral of the story is, Color don't matter for shit if the presentation is flawed.

Fly color / profile / etc = 10%

Presentation = 90%
 

Dale Dennis

Formally Double-D
#30
Lemme see, I've caught summer and winter fish on Black Purple Red Green Fuschia Cerise Lavender Burgundy SalmonPink ShrimpPink Orange Rust Tan White Cream Flesh Peacock BrightYellow Chartreuse Gold Silver Kingfisher...

Moral of the story is, Color don't matter for shit if the presentation is flawed.

Fly color / profile / etc = 10%

Presentation = 90%
I couldn't agree more.