What is the best floating fly line color?
There are so many floating fly line colors to choose from today. The colors include, but are certainly not limited to, fluorescent yellow, bright red, screaming orange, green, blue, olive, mango, cream, white, purple, pink, camouflage and clear. What color is best for fly fishing for trout? Are trout spooked by bright colors? Do I need a camo or clear line? This is a touchy subject that has created huge debates over the years. Almost everyone has an opinion. To be honest with you, I don’t think anyone knows the answer for sure. No one that I know has actually gone out and asked the fish.
If you’re spooking fish, and think it may be due to your fly line, you must first ask yourself a question. Is it the fly line color or the movement of the line in the air that is causing the trouble? Could be either one or it could be a combination of both.
Generally speaking, it stands to reason that if the line is in the air and outside the window of view of the fish it shouldn't make any difference what the color is. If it passes over their window then the fish will see it. So, it makes some sense that the line should be a light color resembling the sky. If a fish is looking up it will see a dark thing against the sky easier than a light colored one. However, most fly lines will appear darker against the sky because of the shadow on the underside of the line.
Now if you hold a light colored fly line up against a background other than the sky, like a cliff or some trees, the result will be different. A dark line will blend in better and I can see the possibility of a fly line blending into a background and never even being noticed by a fish. I find it difficult to believe that the fish will react to a specific color floating fly line in most instances. The fish will react to shadows on the water and the fly line passing through their window of sight. Movement is movement and it won’t matter what color the line is. So, you should plan your casts carefully and not allow the fly line to fly too high or across the trout’s line of sight. Pay more attention to your casting skills and accuracy than to what color fly line to use.
I suppose that the bottom line is to use whatever color fly line that you feel comfortable with. I am a firm believer in confidence breading success in fly fishing. If you’re confident in your gear and your skills you will catch fish.