One Reason for Lighter Colored Lines

Charles Boinske fishing a beautiful Montana River. A lighter line color is easy for the eye to notice any slack or bellies forming during the drift.

Charles Boinske fishing a beautiful Montana River. A lighter line color is easy for the eye to notice any slack or bellies forming during the drift.

One Reason for Lighter Colored Lines

 

As with anything, everyone has an opinion, so what I’m about to write is based on one man’s opinion. Mine. 

Today’s fly fishers have a wide (and sometimes overwhelming) array of fly line types, tapers, and colors from which to choose. I look for lighter line color, at least from the mid section to the rear. Light yellow, peach, light olive or any other light color helps to train my eye when I am trying to manage slack.

 

This preference is especially related to situations in which fly line will be placed on the water, as it is for streamer, dry fly or indicator fishing. Line control is a must when excessive line is on the water. Too much, unmanaged line can cause drag or even delay a hook set. Darker colored lines, or darker colored rear sections, make it difficult for us to use our peripheral vision to see the line laying on the water. What I strive for is to focus my line of sight on the dry fly or indicator/suspender, but have a light enough line color on the water that my peripheral vision can pick it up. 

 

We need to manage line when it’s on the water. Maybe we see a large downstream belly when indicator/suspender nymphing, so we need to mend the line upstream, or maybe we’re casting upstream, while dry fly fishing, and need to strip in the slack line. Either way, I prefer to fish a line color that is easy for my eyes to see so I can determine when and how to manage the line. water.

 

Many great anglers advocate darker fly line choices to avoid spooking fish, and they may be right, but my experience is that fly line color is pretty low on the scale of spooking methods. The line weight itself (3wt, 5wt. etc.), the force with which line is put on the water, splashing about, all of these are more likely to send fish scattering than than the color of fly line. If you can’t see your line on the water-you can’t manage it, and, if you can’t manage it, you are even less likely to catch a fish. The next time you’re looking to purchase a new line, especially when you will need to make long casts and leave a lot of line on the water, think about choosing a lighter line color. Trust me, there will STILL be plenty of other ways to screw up your presentation! Good fishing!