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  1. #11

    Default Re: Why so many spinner colors?

    You are correct. I'm glad you mentioned Lafontaine's underwater observations on fly color.

    Unfortunately, Pg 206, which discusses the orange and red spectrum of dawn and dusk are not shown.

    An important point regarding the color of wings is made at the bottom of page 201; that on down wing flies, the wing color filters the light so the color of the wings "creates an aura of color around the body". For spinners with translucent or white down wings during daylight, this would be white and the color of the spinner body would be important. Hence the importance of having the correct body color for the pink lady spinner for trout feeding on them during daylight.

    Applying this same logic to the aura around the body at dusk, the aura would be "sherry" or reddish orange, and this explains the attraction of the trout to a sherry spinner.


    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

  2. Default Re: Why so many spinner colors?


    If your daytime fly pattern matched the natural, then logically, the changes in visible light would cause the pattern to continue to match well at dusk. The natural is not changing, after all.

    Therefor, perhaps it is the large percentage increase in ultraviolet light that causes the sherry spinner to be more effective at dusk than the pink lady. What is your pattern for the two flies, that might give us some indication?

    Best regards,

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone

    Thumbs up Re: Why so many spinner colors?

    Quote Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
    Another fact that confuses newbies is that they assume human vision and trout vision are the same and that the color they see is the same as the color that the trout sees. The lens shape of a trout and a human differ and the color vision have some differences.

    For example trout have 4 cones for color vision and humans have three. Trout have an extra cone which reacts to light in the UV range. This cone disappears as the fish ages but is thought to reappear at spawning to help guide the fish to spawning location. The two color receptors of blue and green have the same coverage in humans and fish. But the red receptors in fish can see longer wavelengths of red than humans. So trout can a red that we cannot see.

    These differences between trout and humans means that sometimes colors that seem incongruous to us attract trout because the material on the fly reflects a light spectrum that we cannot see that matches the natural. For example a shade of purple such as the purple haze fly may work because it reflects light in the UV spectrum that matches the natural. The color of the natural that to us may not look purple at all but it can reflect that same UV spectrum that is a trigger. I'm not saying that UV is the key of the purple haze but it is one possible explanation.

    Remember that when we speak of color it is different that size, shape, and behavior. We can be certain that when we match the size and shape with a fly, we are matching the natural; but that is not true for color because trout see color differently that us.

    Fortunately for us, nature varies color in trout foods. So we do not need to be spot on in the color choices we can see. But when we cannot see a color at all such as UV or infrared to come close to a match, it places us at a disadvantage. It may also lead to erroneous conclusions such as purple fly does not match the natural catching fish. We don't know for sure that an off color does not match a natural in a spectrum that is invisible to us and may be a trigger for the fish.

    The August Issue of Salmon TroutSteelheader (starting on pg 34) has an excellent article entitled "What do Salmon See?" by Richard K. Stoll

    Article goes into great depth on colour, eye structure, etc., and etc. The price of the Magazine is peanuts compared to having this information going forward. "Graduate School" education in a few pages of print.
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

  4. #14

    Default Re: Why so many spinner colors?

    I use two spinner patterns. One is tied with twinkle organza wings. Search google for "Borger Twinkle Wing Spinner". The other is tied with a wing of pale cream hackle palmered over the thorax and clipped top and bottom. The tail fibers are the fibers from artists paint brushes that I use on place of microfibbets.

    The paint brushes come in different colors. I have found white and the tan below. The parachute adams between the two was tied with the paint brush fibers. The dark tips of are imperceptible on the individual fibers.

    The only difference between the pink lady spinner and the sherry spinner is the body color. Blue Ribbon flies sells custom dubbing for the pink lady and that is what I use. As I recall it is a couple of bucks a package. An orange/red dubbing can be used for the body of the sherry spinner.

    Why the two wings and not the poly that everyone seems to use? Poly seems to fold up when ties on larger flies. I use the pale cream hackle for larger spinners. For the smaller spinners, I use the twinkle organza that adds the glassine sparkle of a spinner wing. Larger wings with the twinkle organza have the same problem as the poly wings. They get deformed and curl back with casting.

    The sherry spinner and twinkle spinner work off of the same theory. That is the theory of the super trigger. The theory is that if a fish is looking for a specific characteristic to match a search pattern, enhancing that characteristic can act as a super trigger that attracts the fish to the artificial over a natural.


    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

  5. Default Re: Why so many spinner colors?


    Neat idea with the paint brush. I use blond beaver guard hairs, but blond beavers are not always available. (Go figure!)

    What thread do you use for the sherry spinner? Thread can make a big difference. I have seen instances where the dubbed body was not highly UV reflective, but the thread showed through bright in the UV. Here is a Light Cahill photographed in reflected ultraviolet light:

    The cream hackle sure stands out, as does the cream thread of the head. So, your larger spinners, using cream hackle, would be quite visible to the trout. I can't speak for the twinkle organza regarding UV reflectance.

    Best regards,

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