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Light and Color!

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Sunlight and overall light conditions are an important factor when fishing – not only when fly fishing for perch. In this article we give tips on how to make the most of different conditions and catch more fish; no matter if the sun is shining or not!

Perch rely on their eyes when hunting, especially in clear water. Perch-like fish can see colors more intensely than we humans and their eyes are much more sensitive to light – this is why for example pikeperch (and perch) can hunt so well at night and in the dark. Above all, contrast levels are emphasized here, i.e. black / white and gray, since colors can only be perceived to a limited extent in low light, even by perch. What conclusions can be drawn from this for fly fishing for perch?

Perch like to hunt in areas with a lot of structure; not only because there usually is more fish to feed on, but also because there are darker and lighter areas, i.e. areas with more and less light irradiation. On particularly sunny days, for example, steep banks, sheet pile walls and other structures that provide shade for the perch are a hot tip. The light-sensitive predators simply feel more comfortable here and can make full use of their visual advantage. Another hot tip; always combine a light and dark color in your streamer!

Clear contrasts in a fly – always a good idea!

Such clear contrasts are more noticeable for perch under all conditions and make the streamer interesting! In case of doubt, you can always draw a few “perch stripes” on the streamer with a pen, and you have created clearly recognizable contrasts! If you fish in clear water on sunny days, the perch are often a bit difficult. On such days they often hunt in the twilight phases and not in the middle of the day. Whether they shy away from the light, they become active through a change of light or want to use their visibility advantage over their prey, is difficult to say – it is certain that whoever starts too late or stops fishing too early will catch less perch!

Don´t forget the night-shift!

And even on days with “perfect perch conditions” (sun-cloud mix and surface moved by wind), clear contrasts are sometimes the key; especially when you fish a little deeper and accordingly the colors of the streamer are more absorbed. The fact that colors are absorbed underwater is an important factor. How much this happens depends on the water depth, waves and light conditions. The perception of the color red, for example, weakens fastest under water and from a water depth of around 4 meters is completely absorbed. In the order orange, yellow, green and blue, those colors are still well perceived as the water depth increases. So red and orange “disappear” first, green and blue can still be seen well in deep water and with little light.

How exactly perch recognize colors under water and react to them, we will never be able to say with complete certainty; but that greenish colors and for example chartreuse are an absolute benchmark for perch and pikeperch is a fact and goes well with the perception of different colors under water – green tones are clearly visible for a long time, even in cloudy or deeper water!

If you are interested in this topic: there are a number of YouTube videos that discuss and show color perception under water!

You just need streamers? You will find them here!