A few times a year, customers call and want olive or “camouflage fly lines.” I ask why and then share my thoughts:
I learned the hard way not to fish olive lines. I bought several of them at one time and spooled up a couple. When I hit the stream with them, I lost those dark lines in the water. Those lines were stripped off of their reels and sold immediately at a loss.
I fish a lot at dark, early morning, mist, fog, drizzling rain, rough choppy water, and sometimes use the line for my indicator………… the way I did when I grew up. Strike
indicators were not available back then. When fishing tiny midge dry flies in slick water on long casts, the fly gets lost. The end of a light colored fly line will generally point to where the fly is located and one can track it.
But think just a minute: when you look up at the sky, what do you
When a fish looks up, what does it see?
They see more white than anything…………. it is the least
contrasting color that lays on the water to an animal underneath
it looking up …………………… think about it. A dark line passing over a fish will have the most contrast. White is best.
As I tell everyone, if you crash a camouflage line down on top of a wild fish, they are history anyway. Think also about the purpose of a leader. I use the bright lines because a leader separates the fly and the line and one should never false cast a line over the place they plan to fish anyway. I grew up fishing the old SA Supreme FLUORESCENT ORANGE lines. I caught spooky fish on the tailwaters of the Smith in VA, tailwater rivers of East Tennessee, and every small local stream I fished here with those loudly colored lines. While I don’t use orange much any more, I don’t hesitate using yellow or other light colors. White is my favorite.