Black/orange with natural grizzly hackles. Because it looks like a shrimp and we don't have any shrimp here in great lakes so steelhead are just as excited to see it as much as my girl when I tell her we go to Red Lobster tonight.
Or, in the common tongue, purple has worked very well for me. But then again so have blue and black. Combos of all of the above as well. Generally I favor those darker colors. Not as much luck with brighter (e.g. Red, orange) colors. But that's just me
The reason I started this was because I wanted to see what colors anglers ( specifically anglers fishing larger flies) have confidence in. I'm aware that size and profile and movement are the key factors in any pattern. However I also believe that color; specifically the contrast of colors in an intruder play a role as it it can provide the allusion of more movement. I've had success with Purple w red or orange dubbing underlay & orange/yellow & I have witnessed others with success with black and blue. Not for lack of effort, black and blue has not rewarded me with success.
Sometimes I think maybe I am more curious than the Steelhead I am chasing. :Eyecrazy:
More importantly it is where you are chasing it and what you are chasing..Steelhead,,,.Even in the Salt, Black is a key component to any intruder or potentially can be. All the answers are correct of course...as to the best ones there really isn't any one or Two...My favorites are as many might know are Orange,Pink(both Shell and Florescent),Black,Purple,Blue and of course if all fails Chartreuse.
You know the more I research about this the more opinions I gather. I believe that the colors you mentioned are great colors, although I can say that there I have used almost no Chartreuse (I'll have to change that).
Here are some of my findings may help support why black is effective in many conditions: while researching some dry fly patterns I came across an atlantic salmon informational that suggested that their view field is more of a cone, and this cone limits their field to upwards & slightly forwards. Even though this article was for atlantic salmon it suggested that all salmanoids share this trait. This supports a lot with the writings of DH, EW and some of great fisherman who have all noted that steelhead rise to flies as they are looking up. To imitate this field of vision, it would be like laying on your back and looking forward ( away from your body), there is still a lot you can see but the point is that you can see up and in front of you the best. So how does this relate to the color black. I have started to take more time to look at my flies from underneath, as that is how steelhead will see them. An interesting note is that under direct light ( fluorescent ) while viewing my flies from straight below ( contrasting to the light) almost all the colors appear darker, almost black. This was especially true for the sparser patterns.
So maybe that is one explanation on why fish like black so much, dosen't matter what color their prey is, to them the silhouette makes black a common appearance. Or maybe I'm just crazy and reading way too far into this.
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