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Old 01-14-2014, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: fly line color - curious, don't want to argue

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Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
Allow me to reply. I totally agree with some of your comments but not all.

Mending is the first skill one should learn after casting. I agree that some in-the-air mend are advanced but most common mends are very basic. The basic reach mend for example requires no sophisticated line manipulation and it is the first mend an angler should learn.

Secondly, when I do an immediate on-the-water mend, it does not require looking at the fly line. I know exactly where the fly line going to land on a reach mend. It must land on a line between my rod tip and the leader. If you do a reach mend and then need to look at the line position before mending, it is not an immediate on-the-water mend. It is a delayed on-the-water mend which is almost always less effective than an immediate mend.

Thirdly, an angler should study the water and know what mends are needed BEFORE they cast. So the mends are actually preplanned. From a reach mend the angler knows exactly where the line will land and the mend follows immediately.

As I said before, I am watching the fly and not where to mend when I do automatic mends.




Here I disagree a bit since one does not require a bright fly line for straight line nymphing. In fact, a bright fly line with a standard mono leader it is NOT the best alternative for non indicator nymphing.

The closer the bright section is to where the leader enters the water, the sooner the angler can detect the strike when straight line nymphing. That is why euro-nymphers put high-viz sighters IN the leader and NOT on the fly line. Anglers have been using red Amnesia monofilament as the butt section for nymphing leaders since the 1970s. If you want to nymph with a regular leader, it is far better to nail knot a foot of red Amnesia to the end of a fly line and then loop to loop connect your leader to the Amnesia, or buy a red "HOT-BUTT" nymphing leader.

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Hand Tied Hot Butt Leaders Designed by George Anderson - Hand Tied Trout Leaders - Leaders - Yellowstone Angler




Here I agree completely. Whether bright lines make a difference does depend on where you fish.

However, Gary Borger always tells me to fish as if every situation has spooky fish. This is how you practice and learn. The way anglers get schooled by these spooky fish in thin clear water is that they are unprepared because this is a totally new situation for them. Their equipment including bright fly line are wrong for these situations, as you agree above. And their skills are lacking. It is not that they have less total fishing experience, it is that they have not fished as if a higher level of skill is required and so these skills never develop.

I think that if an angler fishes all the time as if stealth and low viz fly lines are required, the angler will be better prepared even on their first attempt at spooky trout. So why not start right now?




What one needs to realize that even the chatter is true, what is the overall "cost"/"benefit" ratio? I believe the advantage of clear lines in the water, is of more "benefit" than the "cost" of an occasionally spooked fish.

This is actually the same analysis one should do with high-viz fly lines. Is the "cost" of spooked fish which you may not even realize are spooked, worth what you get out of high-viz fly lines?


I don't know how to separate quoted paragraphs like you did so I'll just reply in bulk!

I agree with EVERYTHING you have said in both posts My point is that not all applications apply to all situation. Totally agree that flyfishing is more about line management than it is about casting. Catching fish is 75% about what you do once the line is on the water. as we advance in the sport we can learn all kinds of pre-emptive actions with line management. There is no question that effective mending IS in fact a pre-emptive maneuver. my point was that your specific mending examples were quite advanced, and maybe intimidating or not understood by the novice. And that having a clear visual on your line and what the current is doing to it can only help learn the fundamentals. Im not suggesting staring at your line That's akin to staring at the hammer while youre driving the nail But if you have a brighter line, it goes a long way toward seeing it out of your peripheral while focused on the target. Sometimes those currents don't do what you think they will by observation.

Now, I grew up fishing large western rivers, where straight line nymphing is rare. As you work your presentation further and further out to cover water, you will often find yourself with 60-80' of line out. At this distance, mending isn't exactly a subtle action. And having a bright line (or as you suggested, a bright tip) is EXTREMELY important in detecting a take.

Our disagreements are situational and both extremely applicable
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: fly line color - curious, don't want to argue

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Old 01-14-2014, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: fly line color - curious, don't want to argue

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Old 01-15-2014, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: fly line color - curious, don't want to argue

So many good points here already that I have little to add. But; I do not think we should refrain from sophisticated technique descriptions to protect the less experienced, to the contrary, how else will they become aware of the breadth of presentation options? It is important to emphasize that it is our task to hide ourselves, equipment and fly lines from the trout. I encounter a school teacher from OR in Montana most years who we call Camo-Man. From float tube to painted rod to hat and buff, this cat is camouflaged. Catches a lot of fish too but he is good. Cast AWAY from your intended target! Not only flash in the air but water droplets sprayed off the line and leader can spook a trout. Trout predators come largely from above; not only todays fish eating raptors, pelicans, kingfishers, herons and all but trout have the Genetic Memory of far fiercer avian predators from millions of years ago when trout were younger and still developing. Yes, back-lite on the waters' surface all opaque lines loose color and cast a dark shadow. I don't worry about this much because so do floating sticks, plants and all debris. I do like a 15'+ long leader though for invisibility, yes but more for dead drift presentations. Alright, by instinct I am inclined to prefer natural tan, olive or, in the salt, sky blue colors to "blend in". A well known manufacturer of lines gave me a sample of a line I was looking forward to trying...but the sample was International Orange. WTF am I going to do with this? But I rigged it up and, to my astonishment, caught fish. Why are those fish so smart sometimes and sometimes so dumb?
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: fly line color - curious, don't want to argue

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Originally Posted by sweetandsalt View Post
So many good points here already that I have little to add. But; I do not think we should refrain from sophisticated technique descriptions to protect the less experienced, to the contrary, how else will they become aware of the breadth of presentation options? It is important to emphasize that it is our task to hide ourselves, equipment and fly lines from the trout. I encounter a school teacher from OR in Montana most years who we call Camo-Man. From float tube to painted rod to hat and buff, this cat is camouflaged. Catches a lot of fish too but he is good. Cast AWAY from your intended target! Not only flash in the air but water droplets sprayed off the line and leader can spook a trout. Trout predators come largely from above; not only todays fish eating raptors, pelicans, kingfishers, herons and all but trout have the Genetic Memory of far fiercer avian predators from millions of years ago when trout were younger and still developing. Yes, back-lite on the waters' surface all opaque lines loose color and cast a dark shadow. I don't worry about this much because so do floating sticks, plants and all debris. I do like a 15'+ long leader though for invisibility, yes but more for dead drift presentations. Alright, by instinct I am inclined to prefer natural tan, olive or, in the salt, sky blue colors to "blend in". A well known manufacturer of lines gave me a sample of a line I was looking forward to trying...but the sample was International Orange. WTF am I going to do with this? But I rigged it up and, to my astonishment, caught fish. Why are those fish so smart sometimes and sometimes so dumb?
I always refer to fish as "simple" creatures. They feed in the best way possible that maximizes energy gain and minimizes exposure to predators. Everything they do when feeding falls under this -- very simple .

Selective, spooky fish are not intelligent .
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: fly line color - curious, don't want to argue

Wrote this years ago (2010) and have not edited except the name. it puts my experiences forward I think.

Are Fish Smart

Hi ***,

I never put it together until I read Robert Wehle's book Wing & Shot. I had grown up always wanting bird dogs and in the early 1980's I bought an Elhew Pointer. I had used Wehle's book to train setters and now referred to it again for training one of his own dogs. So what the heck does this have to do with your question..............

I built a quail pen just like the one in the book and followed the authors’ instructions for "Conditioning" the 30 quail I raised from eggs and placed in the recall pen. Think on the word 'conditioning' and this will make sense. The birds first had to stay in the pen for 2 weeks so that they associated it with safety, food, water, shelter and the covey. Then after the 2 weeks you were to let 8 - 10 birds out every day and then quietly slip away. The birds would roam around the pen and eventually find the tunnels that would allow them to return to the inside. By doing this release every day for another week all of the birds had a chance to 'Learn' the re-entry trick. Week by week you would push the birds farther from the pen until they were being flushed up to 200 yards from the pen. They always returned as quickly as they could to get back with their friends on the inside. I used those birds for 2 years to train 4 dogs and lost only one to a hawk in those years. They were "Conditioned".

Applying what I thought I knew to fishing:

In time I associated the conditioning of the birds with trout. A trout that sees fly lines false cast over its head for several years (a big trout) becomes conditioned and associates the line flash with an unnatural presence. If the fish has been hooked, released, or broke off it will become very cautious when it sees anything that "Conditioning" has demonstrated to be a danger. I began using gray fly lines to reduce flash and developed a habit of never false casting over a fish that I intended to catch. In order to judge my range prior to casting to a trout I always cast at an angle far enough away from the fish and its domain to hide my casts. Then when I am sure of my range I make my false casts at a sharp angle away from my target and only when I'm ready to make the presentation do I adjust the angle of the casting plane to match the location of the target. This adjustment is made on the back cast and the forward cast goes straight to a spot directly upstream of my relaxed and feeding target. This is dam near fool proof.

The fish never sees it coming and I have caught way too many nice trout in public waters that get plenty of pressure to be told the system does not work. I do this with streamers or dry flies and the success rate is inarguable. I have debated the line color thing with people and I have always backed off regarding my preference for drab line color. I have never written about this "Conditioning" on the forum but have written part of a chapter about what I call the "Line Trigger Effect' in relation to large fish in public waters. When you combine the casting care I describe with a careful approach wearing drab colors and avoiding excessive waves due to reckless fast wading there are few fish that can’t be tricked.

I have never read anyone who describes my technique for keeping the false cast away from fish in either articles or books; however I expect others may have figured this out already. It would be my hope that my revealing this 'Stealth' trick of mine will not be met by posts that tell me everyone already knew this but by those who can see the logic of my method. I have been fishing a long time and I have never met another fisherman who told me about this way to avoid spooking a fish. Trout, brown trout specifically can live as long as 10 - 12 years in optimum conditions. During this longevity a fish can become very well "Conditioned" by everything from Eagles & Osprey, fishermen, other fish, you name it. I have always warned about spooking the little fish that inhabit the tail of the pools and runs in all seasons of the year except during the spawning season when the big guys run them out. Fish use communal safe spots such as undercuts, bedrock shelves & under boulders etc. You may be 40 feet away from a big trout who is hanging right on the edge of the safe spot looking for groceries when you blunder into the little guys who in turn run to the safe zone. This is something any big fish knows means danger. Fish don't run for exercise and they especially don't run for the hide without cause. This shared communication of impending danger is how little fish get big and big fish die of old age.

All of what I have revealed here is part of why I spend a lot of time studying a pool or run before I charge in like a Moose in the rut. My own 'conditioning' has trained me to control my urge to just start fishing and that control and careful observation prior to making a cast is what keeps me from being skunked.

Hope that is useful to some here,

Ard
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: fly line color - curious, don't want to argue

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I was gonna write something, then I realized I didn't have anything on this.
I was going to reply to what you wrote. But I have nothing to add.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:54 PM
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Default Re: fly line color - curious, don't want to argue

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But I rigged it up and, to my astonishment, caught fish. Why are those fish so smart sometimes and sometimes so dumb?
that's easy. because humans over complicate everything. Something I like to call analysis paralysis. The color of the line does not matter to the fish. It matters to us. That's why no conclusive evidence has been discovered one way or the other on the subject. And is why a multi page thread full of opinions is inevitable. What DOES matter, is do you feel one way or the other. Fish with what you like and gives you confidence. Despite what Ive said earlier in this thread, I don't care for bright colored lines. But I wouldn't discourage others from using them based on this subject.
my #1 criteria for using a particular flyline is taper design. If the taper I want is chartreuse, so be it. I fish it. And it works.
. Disclaimer.... This is my opinion
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Old 01-15-2014, 03:59 PM
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Default Re: fly line color - curious, don't want to argue

I was being a bit tongue in cheek with my "astonishment" while thinking the orange fly line was a mirror reflecting my (our) own uniquely human penchant for being so clever and stupid simultaneously. But I too like blend in with the environment color tones but will use a line that is of fine design; evidently even if it is bright orange.
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Old 01-15-2014, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: fly line color - curious, don't want to argue

Fly line color is important especially in New Zealand where the waters are crystal clear and the fish large and spooky. Those types of conditions are not exclusive to New Zealand. Ny namesake, Silver Creek in Idaho is one example of where bright fly lines will put you at a disadvantage.

Here are some noted fly fishers and what they think about bright fly lines, and some New Zealand fly fishing lodges.




Gary Borger used to dye his fly lines because he is convinced High vis fly line can spook fish.

Gary Borger » Blog Archive » Dying Fly Lines


[b]Dave Whitlock's[/b[ take on fly line color.

Best of New Zealand Fly Fishing : Lessons Learned and Re-Learned

"Lesson #4: Sight Reduction: Part Two

A trout will often be frightened by the sight of a fly line flashing back and forth several times in the sunlight. You can do a couple of things to eliminate this bad visual for the fish. First, use a fly line that reflects the least amount of light. Line colors of dark gray, willow green and brown are ideal. Next, eliminate or reduce your false casting over the fish and use side-arm casts when possible, rather then overhead, because it's not as visible to the trout."




Lani Waller on Fly Line Color for New Zealand

New Zealand Fly Fishing Essentials

"Reels and Lines:

Bring two reels with a weight forward floating line on each reel. Do not bring brightly colored fly lines, they spook fish while you are waving the line back and forth in the air."



Poronui Ranch, New Zealnd

Clothing, Fishing Tackle and Flies

"Like clothing, the fly line must be dull in color with dark green or grey preferred. White, orange or any other fluorescent colored fly line is not suitable for New Zealand's clear water conditions and leaves the angler at a serious disadvantage. At Poronui Ranch we have facility to dye fly lines. An assortment of tapered leaders from 9-15 feet, sizes 3x through 5x with matching tippet material is suitable."


Fly Fishing New Zealand

Fly Fishing Equipment for New Zealand

"Fly Lines:

Now these are really important, if nothing else, make sure you do have a dull coloured floating fly line. Every guide you talk to will tell you this, our waters are very clear and the big old browns are no pushovers, they'll spot any bright coloured fly lines and that will be that!"



Here's what my friend and classmate Nelson Ishiyama says about fly line color. Nelson is the owner of the Henry's Fork Lodge and the Editor of Mel Kreiger's, The Essence if Flycasting. He is an expert fly fisher especially on the difficult waters of the Henry's Fork.

Fly Fishing Gear Tip: Does Fly Line Color Matter? | The Henry's Fork Fly Fishing Lodge

"Nelson's Fishing Tips

Fly Fishing Tips: Does Fly Line Color Matter?

Fly fishermen have debated for years whether the wrong fly line color spooks fish. Many contend that all colors are pretty much equally acceptable, so ones more visible to the user are preferable because they are easier to follow in the air and on the water. Others, most notably New Zealand guides, feel that bright lines spook fish and insist that lines must be dull colored to avoid frightening fish.

I cast my vote with the Kiwis. In flat, clear water such as spring creeks, slow pools and lakes, I’ve observed fish flush more readily with bright-colored lines, though I doubt fly line color makes much difference in riffles and broken water or in even slightly colored water, but I’m convinced it does matter in clear spring creeks. What have I seen to convince me?"
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Last edited by silver creek; 01-15-2014 at 05:47 PM.
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