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BillyBrookTrout

The Color Purple

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This morning I sat at the Dentist's office flipping through the April issue of Feld and Stream. I came across one of those little filler articles describing briefly some novel new approach. This one dealt with using traditional trout fly patterns tied with purple materials.

 

The theory is that purple is one of the colors that are optomised by a trout's color vision range. Why this should be I don't know and the article didn't say. Since I can't recall any purple critters( at least since I quit drinking extravagantly, years ago) I'm left with the mystery of just how the trout's color range ,through evolution, homed in on purple.

 

The point was however, that on days when the trout don't seem to want to play, using these purple patterns can liven things up on the stream. I usually take this type of tip with a grain of salt until I can try them myself. I'm willing but...

 

Now here is the problem. The author specifically listed the Prince Nymph as a good bet to try. So then..just where does one go to find purple peacock herl and purple goose or turkey biots? I can recall seeing almost any other color imaginable for the biots but not purple...and certainly I never ever heard of any purple peacock herl. I may have run across colored peacock herl somewhere,sometime but I can't recall any specifics. Is it even possible to dye peacock herl? :unsure:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Purple biots can be made by dying white ones with purple clothing dye . Sometimes you just have to go with what works as far as color is concerned. I know bass will gobble up a purple worm . And crappie will hit chartruse and blue . These colors are seldom if ever seen in their forage species.

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The theory is that purple is one of the colors that are optomised by a trout's color vision range. Why this should be I don't know and the article didn't say. Since I can't recall any purple critters( at least since I quit drinking extravagantly, years ago) I'm left with the mystery of just how the trout's color range ,through evolution, homed in on purple

 

This explains, in part, why purple is a standard color for steelhead flies. Maybe other critters evolved from purple because the purple ones got ate the most.

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Hahaha evolved :hyst: Sorry but I just think evolution is a ridonculous idea :cursing:

On the subject I have never really fished purple, maybe this season I should turn up the purple on some of my flies :dunno:

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I fish with a friend of a friend of one of the State Wildlife biologists...he once explained that the reason smoke purple is such a productive color for terminal tackle fishermen(in Ky anyway)because the color purple is a more brillant color in a fish's spectrum due to the way the color reflects and refracts light underwater...just how he knows this i haven't a clue...maybe there is something in the way that color acts/behaves/is seen underwater in different parts of the uv/uvb/uva light specturms.....my head hurts.... :blink:

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Gentlemen,

Let me offer another and more probable rationale for the Field and Stream assertion as to why Purple is a great color for big fish.

 

First, I have to take you back to your 8th grade Earth sciences class. This is where you learned the colors of the rainbow as light refracts thru a prism. The order of colors is very specific and always the same....Roy G Biv. That is Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. The colors refract from longest wave length to shortest wave length. Low frequncy to High frequency. The prism here is water. Violet or Purple having the shorest wave length and highest frequency (energy)travels the furthest thru water and the color remains "true" thru the deepest of water. The first color to "blacken out" is red, due to its long wave length (low energy).

So the deeper your fly goes (down where the big Browns live or Makinaw) the shorter the wavelength (more energy) or the fly color needs to be for a fly to see. Just remember a fish like a Bass or a Trout senses food as much or more thru its lateral line and the water your object displaces as it moves.

 

Jus' in case you were wonderin" :rockon:

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See, i knew there was someone who knew....that just further explains why i'm a better cop than scientist!

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on the surface, fishing (or catching a fish) , to the uneducated observer, may appear to be an event of happenstance, the pure chance of a worm, lure, or fly being placed exactly in the right place at the right time. But thanks to mankind's scientific advancements in everything that sounds us, isn't it amazing how something like a general understanding of the light spectrum can make a simple fisherman's day a little better. It's kinda crazy how deep one can get when trying to get an edge on, of all things, a FISH! Maybe, collectivley as a whole, fisherman have just way too much time to ponder the "little things". Like why purple does of doesn't work. But then again, isn't that the point of fishing to begin with? But I digress....Great thread!

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:headbang: Great science refresher Solitude. This is the answer to the age old question "why is water blue." Water absorbs colors with a longer wavelength more so than the shorter wavelengths. Discounting change in velocity of light in water and particulate matter.

However, this still leaves us with the question of where to get purple fly tying materials. You can dye materials or you may try searching for materials for steelhead flies. There has to be some good info on this board somewhere on dying materials.

 

absorption of light in water, note that the least absorption is at the lowest wavelength

post-14830-1238475651_thumb.jpg

Disclaimer: I make a better fly fisherman than an engineer (I wish) but I design water treatment facilities for a living. You can use UV to kill the critters in water. Electromagnetism and Optics were my poorest subjects. In other words I sucked at it.

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A few years back, a very gracious member of this board posted a very detailed peice on dyeing materials at home...the member is no longer among us and I wouldn't know where to begin to look for that thread. However, I use a lot of dyed peacock herl in gnat, ant, and nymphs patterns. I have ordered herl (purple, blue, red, orange, and even black) from all of the major retailers (catalogue and brick/mortar). I recent found a very wide selection at my local Sportsmen's Warehouse, but you may also try The Fly Shop, Cabelas, Janns Netcraft, The Mudhole, Orvis, or any of your local shops. It has been my experience that the guy behind the counter at your local shop will , more times than not, go out of his/her way to get what you are looking for. But , yes, dyed herl is available and usually not very hard to find (usually)

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A few years back, a very gracious member of this board posted a very detailed peice on dyeing materials at home...the member is no longer among us and I wouldn't know where to begin to look for that thread. However, I use a lot of dyed peacock herl in gnat, ant, and nymphs patterns. I have ordered herl (purple, blue, red, orange, and even black) from all of the major retailers (catalogue and brick/mortar). I recent found a very wide selection at my local Sportsmen's Warehouse, but you may also try The Fly Shop, Cabelas, Janns Netcraft, The Mudhole, Orvis, or any of your local shops. It has been my experience that the guy behind the counter at your local shop will , more times than not, go out of his/her way to get what you are looking for. But , yes, dyed herl is available and usually not very hard to find (usually)

 

 

same should hold true with the biot..

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I know bass will gobble up a purple worm .

 

 

Funny you should mention that because it was on my mind too. I was around when plastic worms became so popular nationally. Back then we called them "rubber worms". Black was about the only color available and even so were extremly popular and productive. The old standard lures (we were stilling using some wooden ones) spoons, and spinners were virtually forgoten.

 

Then someone came out with the Purple worm and the Black version disappered from tackle boxes seemingly overnight. As successful as the black was it couldn't hold a candle to the purple.

 

So the article might just have hit on something valid and I for one will try it out.

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Gentlemen,

Let me offer another and more probable rationale for the Field and Stream assertion as to why Purple is a great color for big fish.

 

First, I have to take you back to your 8th grade Earth sciences class. This is where you learned the colors of the rainbow as light refracts thru a prism. The order of colors is very specific and always the same....Roy G Biv. That is Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. The colors refract from longest wave length to shortest wave length. Low frequncy to High frequency. The prism here is water. Violet or Purple having the shorest wave length and highest frequency (energy)travels the furthest thru water and the color remains "true" thru the deepest of water. The first color to "blacken out" is red, due to its long wave length (low energy).

So the deeper your fly goes (down where the big Browns live or Makinaw) the shorter the wavelength (more energy) or the fly color needs to be for a fly to see. Just remember a fish like a Bass or a Trout senses food as much or more thru its lateral line and the water your object displaces as it moves.

 

Jus' in case you were wonderin" :rockon:

 

Well first of all the article didn't really just target big fish but was suggested for trout in general and especially for those slack days when nothing seems to work. It suggested dry patterns as well as subsurface ones. I only mentioned the Prince pattern because my first thought was...where do I find purple herl?..which someone had an answer for. BTW thanks...

 

Second the water displacement theory might be true enough. However, when I'm on a spring creek full of wise and wary browns...when one follows and eyeballs my dry fly for yards downstream...I just don't get a sense that he is much concerned by the water my offering is displacing or even how it is being displaced.....but more concerned with its physical dimensions,the float , and maybe ...color.... ;)

 

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