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What colors do trout see?

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I think fly fisher-people, like many other folk, have our superstitions. I've heard it said that fishing with confidence makes all the difference. Does this mean that the same fly fished the same way with two different anglers will catch a different amount of fish because of some fishy mojo?


Well, either way, my curiosity has brought me to color.


I recently posted about my fly with a dark green glass bead head. I had thought in the store that the beads were black, and after tying up some midges with them, I became concerned that their green hue would put off fish.


Well, there were several threads where people piped in and suggested that water actually changes the quality of light, or at least how it is reflected off of colored surfaces. It was suggested that red is the first to lose it's color tone in the water.


I tie several baitfish patterns that use red thread either behind the head or for a head. From my understanding, that color is supposed to suggest the gills of the agitated fish. Red has been used on several other patterns as well to attract fish for decades. The Royal Coachman is a perfect example.



Any science minded folk have the current skinny on how trout see color? Based on what I keep reading, it almost seems like we could tie everything in black and shades of gray (I would never stoop to such a heretical level myself.)

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