Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fly Tying Tip: Make 'Em Pregnant

There are a lot of fly anglers (myself included) who have observed the fact that bonefish are drawn to the color orange.  Many speculate this is because an orange spot on the fly invokes the color of a pregnant shrimp's egg sac.  While this makes good sense, it is important to note that gravid shrimp do not always display orange egg sacs - they may also be pink, olive green or even gray. 

An alternate theory is that the color mimics the orange spot frequently found on the large claw of a snapping shrimp - a major food staple for bonefish in Florida and throughout the Caribbean.  Apparently this is why Chico Fernandez added the orange tail to his "Bonefish Special" pattern many decades ago.

Whether it is the former or latter reason, or a combination of the two, adding some orange to your bonefish flies is typically a very good idea.


  1. I've found that bones typically have a very strong reaction to the orange in a fly, sort of a fight or flight response. They either nail it in no uncertain terms, or they run away. Either way you know if they've seen it, at least. One note here though, since red is the first color filtered out under water, what makes orange so visible from 10 feet away it that it's basically black... at least, so I've heard. I've never actually tested this, but it makes sense.

    1. The water doesn't have to be that deep, the fish just has to be that far away... of course, it'll turn orange again when they get up on it, but at least they'll be able to see it from far away.

      PS You've got props on my site in the form of a link. Keep em comin'.