Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. Slate Drakes
2. Little Yellow Stoneflies (Summer Stones)
3. Needle Stoneflies
4. Mahogany Duns
5. Little Yellow Quills
Most available - Other types of food:
6. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
7. Inch Worms
Fly Fishing School - Selecting Trout Flies
The thing that complicates fly selection is the fact that often trout will take a fly (on or
below the surface) that doesn't resemble anything found in the water. How we
humans view a fly can be completely different from how the trout view it.
Several things affect how trout see flies. As I have often said, I don't think it is possible
to tie a fly (of a reasonable size) that wouldn't eventually catch a trout.
The amount of available light has a huge effect on how a trout sees your fly. Their
iris isn't adjustable. It is fixed and cannot be enlarged or reduced. This means that
they cannot control the amount of light that enters their eyes with the iris. Rods and
cones allow them to adjust to various light intensities.
Trout can detect color and very fine detail, but bright sunlight can eliminate the
color that enters their eyes. Under low light conditions such as when it is early in
the morning, late in the day, or at times when the sky is dark, they cannot see the
colors of the fly as well as they can in a well lit situation.
Light does not penetrate very deep in water and the depth of your fly also
affects how the trout sees the color of it. If the trout is deep in the water, flies that
are floating on the surface will not be viewed in the their true colors. The trout must
get closer to the fly in order to see it in true color. The bottom line to this is that under
many different lighting conditions, trout cannot see the fly very well at all. A fly that's a
couple of feet deep in the water that's obviously a bright pink color to you,
may be brown or gray to a trout.
The amount of light is not the only factor in how well a trout sees your fly. There are
other important factors that determine how well the trout sees an insect or a fly. The
speed of the water which determines the amount of time the trout has to view
the fly is another important factor.
Another huge factor the trout's binocular and peripheral vision. When us humans
look ahead, our field of vision allows us to see thing that are within a 176 degrees
area called the “field of vision”. Our forward zone of binocular vision is 90 ninety
degrees or forty-five degrees on either side of a line straight ahead. The portion of
our vision that is outside of that 90 degrees zone of binocular vision represents the
area of our peripheral vision. Our peripheral vision represents a total of 86 degrees or
43 degrees on each side of our binocular vision.
Trout have a much narrower width of binocular vision than humans. The trout’s
binocular vision allows them to only focus on things that are within a total of (30)
thirty degrees directly ahead or (15) fifteen degrees on either side of a line directly
forward of their eyes. However, they have a much larger field of vision than us
humans. It is a total of 330 degrees or represents an area almost completely around
Of that 330 degrees field of vision, their zone of peripheral vision represents 300
degrees of it or 150 degrees on either side of their narrow 30 degrees binocular zone.
When they detect something with their peripheral vision, they must move their eyes
towards the object in order to focus on it. There is only an area of 30 degrees directly
behind a trout that is not visible to them. This narrow area is commonly referred to as
their blind zone.
The bottom line to this is that although trout can detect movement and contrast almost
all the way around themselves they must look almost directly at an object, or
align the object in their narrow 30 degrees field of binocular vision, in order
to clearly see it.
Binocular vision is necessary for the trout to see things in detail. It is necessary for a
trout to feed. Peripheral vision is great for detecting movement and contrast but things
within the trout’s peripheral vision cannot be seen in detail.
Just because trout will fall for a fly doesn't mean it's wise to use it. It always becomes
a matter of how often they will take it. You can't control the above factors that
affect how the trout see your flies; however, with a little effort and knowledge about the
things trout eat, you can control how well the behavior and appearance of the fly
imitates the most plentiful and easiest to acquire food at the particular place and time.
There is one thing for certain. The more your fly looks and behaves
like the food the trout are relying on to survive, the higher
your odds of success.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
New Schedule of Daily
Mondays: Weather and Stream
Conditions Forecast - Coming Week
Tuesdays: Fly Fishing Strategies -
Which Flies To Use - Coming Week
Wednesday: Fishing Tales
Thursday: Smoky Mountains Fishing
Friday: Getting Started
Saturday: Fly Fishing School
Sunday: This Week's Featured Trout
More Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us with the dates you will be
fishing the park and we will send
you a list of our fly suggestions.
Please allow up to 24 hours for a
2. Call us at 800-594-4726 and we
will help you decide which flies you
3. Call or email us with a budget for
flies and we will select them and get
them to you in time for your trip.
Shipping is free in the U. S. for all
orders of any size. Orders over $50
are shipped free via Priority Mail.
Please enter your e-mail address in
the box to sign up for a free
subscription to the Perfect Fly "Fishing
Journal". It includes feature articles on
blue-ribbon destinations , fly fishing
techniques, and many other types of
articles of interest to any fly angler. You
can opt out at any time. If you decide
you don't want to receive our
information, just change your status by
clicking at the bottom of an e-mail we
send you in the "Remove" box. We will
not sell or give your e-mail address to
New! If you haven't signed up
previously, please sign up for
our Free Perfect Fly Fishing
Journal. The first issue is out.