View Full Version : Shad Fly Color

Skunked again
05-28-2008, 01:34 PM
Do shad really care about fly color?

I'm going to buck conventional wisdom and say that they don't.

Last night for example. I caught 2 on a plain white fly, 2 on chartreuse, 1 on orange, 2 on pink/red.

What I did notice is that almost all of the fish I caught came immediately after fly changes. I'd catch 1 or 2, it would be dead, I'd change colors and hook up almost immediately. My theory is that the fish get bored of one color after it's drifted over their head 87 times, and they just tune it out. Kind of like how we adapt to smells. When you switch colors and give them something new they get excited and hit it. I think we mistake this behavior for them "keying in" on certain colors, when we change colors and hook a couple back to back. Maybe one color isn't better than another it just helps to change it up, and be throwing something different than the guys next to you.

Any other opinions on this subject? I'm a soil scientist so I certainly have no grounds to be making generalizations about fish behavior especially a fish as twitchy and spastic as a shad.

All this being said, I do have a favorite color fly, which always seems to catch more fish :wink:

Bill Kiene semi-retired
05-28-2008, 10:08 PM
I think people are using very small (#10) and sparse Shad flies now.

Jeff C.
05-29-2008, 06:56 AM
Lately, its been a size 10 nymph hook, red floss body with white head and tail. Two weeks ago, it was a size 8-10 surf candy. Forget the size 4 and 6 flies. As Bill said "Forty years ago, you could throw a beer can at them". BTW, got 5 last night as the flow was being jacked up to 2000. Jeff C.

Scott V
05-29-2008, 08:57 AM
I got my one last night on a size 6. but then again I only got one.

Jeff C.
05-29-2008, 09:55 AM
Go smaller and sparse on the materials. You saw my Bloody Mary before I dropped it in the river. Jeff C.

Skunked again
05-29-2008, 11:23 AM
Almost all of the fish I've caught this year have been on a size 6 hook, mostly because that's what I've got.

Go figure.

I'm going to tie up some smaller ones and give it a shot.

Has anybody used a material I think it's called "jelly string" or something like that, for shad flies. there was an article about it in fly tier a few months back, seems like it could add just the right amount of flash and interest to a shad fly.


05-29-2008, 06:21 PM
all my friends and i use are 4 and 6...first part of may, 3 of us caught 164 shad from about 6 in the morning to 6 in the evening..colors were chart, orange, some pink..at verona just my .02