The Blacker The Better
A common question among fly fishers is, “Dude, if you could pick one color fly, what would it be?” This is an easy answer for me. Anything black. If I can’t fish black, then I would try black. Then maybe black. My affection for black stems from the various water conditions in Michigan. You will hear adjectives such as gin, crystal, coke, coffee, tea, dark tea, tannic, mud, etc, to describe water conditions. One color works in all of those…black. Not only does it work in varying water conditions, it also works in varying light conditions. It could be bluebird skies, middle of the night, or a rainy day…black works. Now, the same can be said for all colors, and it would be a true statement. What separates black is how well it works in any condition.
Black is the least transparent color. This is what makes it a highly visible color. It is not always the most visible depending on available light, but it is the most consistent. Its shines the best when there is little light available. Such as during the night. This, most people know. An area I think many fisherman overlook is water conditions with low visibility. Run-off conditions, for example. It is often thought that bright colors work better in dirty water. Chartreuse is more visible at longer distances, as long as light can reach it. So in low visibility conditions, such as extreme low light and dirty water, its loses its advantage. This doesn’t mean that bright colors can’t work in low light conditions, it just means they aren’t as visible as black. I do love to combine bright colors with black as a way of covering all conditions. It also gives a bright color a dark backdrop (and vise versa) making the colors more visible.
Everyone has confidence in certain colors. Some times its hard to step out of our comfort zone, and thats not always a bad thing. Confidence can go a long way in fishing. If black isn’t high on your list of go-to colors, give it a try the next time your preferred colors aren’t producing. Doesn’t matter the conditions. Careful though, once you go black…