Why do SRCs hit ugly flies

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
Not trying to be an ass, and I genuinely appreciate all the responses... But I'm yet to see one actually addressing my question (besides you Chris bellows). I know all types of flies get hit, from elaborate ones to plain ones. I've caught srcs on just a hook plus two pieces of chewed up flashabou. However, this is not what prompted me to post this.

My question was/is: Why does a src attack a chartreuse and pink clouser? What triggers that response?

A chum baby fly mimics a chum fry... That makes sense why it's effective. Lelands poppers mimic a wounded bait fish... That makes sense. Shrimp patterns mimic shrimp... So on and so forth. Why does a chartreuse and pink ugly get consistently hit?

I did try to point out to you earlier above here that all members of the Genus Oncorhynchus have a tendency to strike at bright and fluorescent colored flies, lures etc. Colors that are not necessarily imitative of any common forage species for them. There are many theories about why they do this, but no one really knows.

Rich Schager

You should have been here yesterday...
Because in their world it is bright, attractive and mimics live baits movements.
On the other hand, i saw a bait fishermen catch a SRC this afternoon on a ball of garlic powerbait that doesn't mimic anything. Yes, it was released okay. I also saw him catch a couple flounder as well.


Active Member
Also, trout (and salmon) don't see color the way we do. IIRC from Richard Stoll's book, they see more like shades of grey. Where we see color they see contrast (I could be a bit off on this). So while a chartreuse over pink clouser on the vise looks like nothing swimming in the PNW, in the water with varying amount of ambient light it may take on contrast similar to a baitfish. Or close enough that combined with the good action it looks edible. And like others have mentioned, they're oportunistic and if they see something that looks alive and will fit in their mouth, they eat it before the one next to them does.


"Chasing Riseforms"
I was tying up some clousers last night for coho and it got met thinking....

Short way of asking this is why do SRCs hit a gaudy pink and chartreuse clouser yet we spend hours obsessing trying to mimic a perfect bait fish / flatwing pattern at the vise?

Is it some of the steelhead instincts to just attack/chase/defend response?

I realize coho attack the pink but srcs are actively foraging in close, so why try something that looks so ugly and fake?

Probably the same reason some of you handsome guys hit on ugly women...