Was doing some inventoring of my fly tying material and started looking at the colors, what is natural, what is died, etc. Then I looked at the flies I picked up several years ago and thought of the same. Then I thought back to one of the posts about the bright color lines and if it could possibly spook fish. So I grabbed my black light, my fly material, my flies, and my two reels. The result was intresting. A few other thoughts came to mind, but mostly was what I found with fly line and backing. Now some fish can see into the UV spectrum. Fish like pike and eyes can see some UV light, it is thought that such colors like orange and chartruese give off UV light and that fish are attracted to. Fly line and backing (mine atleast) glow very well under a black light. This brings a few questions to mind. We know that some fish under the right conditions will become line shy. So has anyone stoped to think that the UV light that comes off of the fly line is being seen by fish? Other things like dyed hair and feathers can also give off such light. However, (you goose hunters listen up as well) feathers dont give off such light. Feathers under a black light dont glow so no visible UV light. So now the only question can trout see what I seen under the black light? Any thougts?
Its a topic worth considering, but I don't think that black light comparison really applies, unless there is a functioning black light lamp in a deep hole you're fishing. While the fish are able to see parts of the UV spectrum, that likely doesn't mean that what they're seeing takes on a BLE-black light effect.
The BLE happens when normal visible spectrum light is less powerful than UV, and so colors are distorted and some appear to glow. In bright sunlight, the fish are likely to be seeing the visible spectrum much more vividly than UV. Come to think of it, recalling what they look like under a black light, it still might be a good argument to never wear a white t-shirt while fishing.
Hey, can you do me a favor? Could you check the appearance of chartreuse and white bucktail under a black light? Maybe I'm wrongly underestimating the BLE and the UV glow of that combo is why I catch so many fish on a Chartreuse and white Clouser.
I have one small Clouster minnow, it dont glow. The bucktailz I have glow very well, though they are all dyed the color they are. One is a hot pink the other is Chartreuse, they both glow very bright. The thing is it is possible that fish see more of the UV spectrum then what we do. Since we cannot we dont see those colors. It is possible that being able to pick up on UV light allows (like a fish) to see something that is more or less glowing from the back ground. Like a pit Viper who sees body heat. I've looked through my fly box and all but a few of the flies I bought dont glow. Meaning they absorb the UV from the light (well what we can see). One theory that is out there is one called counter shading. It states why a fish'z back is dark and belly is whitish. When you are in water and look up the sun refractions makes for a hard time to see bright things (good for bright fly line). When you are in water due to the absorption of light by water, looking down you see nothing but black. So anything that is on the surface that casts a shadow, ie a bug, a trout could come and think it is food and hit it. With this it is plausible that a bright color could be seen if it is giving off its own light. I know that if they made a algae green fly line that would make a difference in trout seeing it or not, but it make it very hard for me to see it since it blends in too much with the water. Also looking at sub surface lures that I have, the ones that get bit the most glow very well under a UV light. The biggest thing is I dont know enough about a trout eye to know how much UV receptors they have. It is thought that humming birds see mostly in UV light and that is how they can pick up on flowers. A flower that does not give off a lot or enough UV does not get visited. Knowing this it is safe to say that a fly line that does not give off any UV light could plausible be over looked by fish. I have seen several types of mono lines that glowed thought they were suppose to be low visibility, high visibility lines will glow, though I find does not spook most fish I’m after (non trout). Just a thought.
A book by Gary LaFontaine called "The Dry Fly" new angles, has a chapter on the theory of attraction, on page 200 Gary goes into detail on his thoughts on "Fluorescents and color".
Other books he used for referrence include "Fluorescent Flies" by Joseph Keen.
Another called "The truth about fluorescents" by Thomas Clegg.
And also an article from 1984 in "Flyfisherman Magazine" called "Fluorescent Flies" written by George Harvey.
He offers some intriguing thought on all the colors of the light spectrum, time of day(angle of the Sun)and it's effects on colors, and Seasonal colors as well.
I think you would find some helpful info here, hope this gives you some more idea's on "fluorescents and colors".
If you don't have this book, you could check your library or order one from "Amazon".
Gary LaFontaine was a brilliant man and taken from us too soon.
Its not so much that I'm looking for an answer on this, just some thoughts I had. Since our eye does not pick up on UV we do not know how they see such things. One comment was the fact when useing a UV light in white light we do not see any. That just is the fact we dont see much UV light. Since people are so up on the fact of giving trout nothing to see but the fly, it just sparked an idea. For me I dont care, I fish bass, pike, eyes, carp, pan fish with or with out a fly. And am not worried about if they see the fly line or not, these fish are not that line shy. On one of my jigging reels for eyes I used high vis for several years and did not see any differance in it. Thing is our lakes are not that clear and mostly see no reason to. I do know that a lot of reaction stricks come from color, when fishing flies there is little color when use of flies. Some streamers do, but very few dry or wet flies do. Most are in that brown color. Just a thougth.