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 I do know that any color can be the color on any given day. What I would like to know is what is your go to color to start the day with? You know the one that is your favorite.  Now it may be a color combo that you start with. For your info I chase mostly gills but would still like to know for any kind of fish. 

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I almost always base my choice on water clarity and daylight.

If the water is clear, I use a natural color, most often olive or a natural variation of brown. If the water is stained, I switch to something with a little more pop, like chartreuse or white. A hotspot can work well no matter the water conditions, so sometimes I'll add a small red or orange collar. 

As far as daylight goes, the old saying usually holds true: dark day, dark fly, bright day, light fly.

Sometimes season can have an impact as well. For example, brook trout are making their way to spawn now, and orange can be a real trigger.

Do some experimenting and I'm sure you'll find your own color preferences.

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For me when going for panfish, I will sometime just tie on a fly for no other reason than I want to fish that fly.  IF I want to fish my my favorite colored pattern in the one lake I fish mostly, orange/black and a little flash is what I'll choose.  But is doesn't always work out for the best.  Two weekends ago just before sunset, I was catching blue gill and crappy every other cast with this fly.  Next night, same weather, some spot, same fly: nada.  

I received this pattern in a crayfish swap a while back, I forget who tied it.  Super effective, simple, and common materials.  

IMG-20210326-055643.jpg

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I mostly go with earth tones ... greens, tans, browns, etc.  Natural colors as close as possible.  Since I usually start with topwater bugs (sunfish for me, too), color is less a factor than action.  If I think they're hungry, I'll go large and loud.  If they're acting timid, then smaller and quieter.  I end up with small and quiet more often than not ... and my favorite color for that is ...

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to most closely match ...

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I take two rodsa. One with a ight color fly and one with a dark color fly. Let the fish tell me. IF those don't work it is olive and orange or pruple.

Rick 

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Kind of what I expected ask 10 fishermen what color to us and get 10 different answers Some nice fly's shown and I sooner or later will try to ty them. Thanks again for your answers.

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I always start with yellow or fluorescent yellow  whether it's a popper, slider or floating mop fly.  It's been my top producer for many years.  I fish mainly clear or tannic lakes and streams.  Sticking with poppers,  next, white,  chartreuse and fire tiger.   Marabou tails,  on larger ones, I add legs.  I keep the legs short, no longer than the tail.  Keeps the smaller ones from grabbing just the legs.  Size-wise.  Occasionally, I'll fish a size 8,  otherwise, size 6.  Pretty the same colors for largemouth/smallmouth bass.  Depending on the lake or stream, I add a perch/sunfish pattern, and or a shad pattern and some pencil poppers and crease flies.  Size 6 to 3/0.

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Depends on what's on or in the water. I most times run a quick seine to see unless there's some sort of external evidence like nymphal (sp?) shucks on the water of bugs flying

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I fish mostly smallmouth but in clearer water, I start with with more natural and earth tone colors along with white (too many baitfish are white).  More stained water, definitely white, chartreuse, or black which show up better.  But.... if I see them hitting short in clear water or putting on a bump and flash show, I won't hesitate to tie on a really bright fly, chartreuse, yellow, etc. which at times will trigger more takes.

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For bluegill, yellow, red or white. IMHO, they will hit just about anything in the water.

 

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Back when I fished 'gills and bass in TX, it was olive or brown buggers or a natural-ish dry fly in the morning and something bright, sub-surface in chartreuse, pink, white at mid-day and back to natural-toned dry flies in the evening....when I lived and fished in CO it was all natural, all the time, matching hatches, etc.....I'm in OR now playing with salmon and steelhead, different ball game...species, water clarity, temp, sky color, season all play a role in color choice (they don't eat a lot so you have to piss 'em off).

All of that said, it mostly comes down to fishing a fly/lure that you have confidence in, if you don't have confidence in it, you won't fish it correctly or thoroughly.

My best advice is to take as many colors and styles as you can, stay out all day, pay aytention to conditions and how they change throughout the day (water clarity and temp, time of day, sky conditions, etc., etc.), switch flies a lot, you'll begin to see patterns emerge that you will hone in on and then be able to narrow your selections. It also serves to keep a journal/log for future reference. This is how people get good at fishing, they pay attention and remember everything. A great deal of knowledge and understanding can be gained from just a day or two on the water.

One last thing...about the time you think you've got it all figured out, those fish can turn on a dime and toss all that out the window....it's always a pursuit...part of the fun 😉 

Cheers!

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My go to fly is a #8 or #10 black woolly bugger with a bit of flash. I carry a variety of flies in my box from flashy, bright colors to muted earth tones and that fly gets fished more than any other for good reason. Most of the streams I fish are pretty clear, but some of the pools can get a bit off colored. I also fish some farm/backyard ponds and the results are similar.

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