Fly of the Week with @anna_on_the_fly | Poison Tung

Poison Tung | BLUE IS THE MOST VIVID of all colors to trout

by Anna on the FlyDecember 24, 2022 in Fly Fishing Tips and Techniques, Anna's Fly of the Week

@anna_on_the_fly is on the water constantly. She is constantly trying new things -- new flies, new techniques, and new gear. We are grateful that she's an Ambassador for DiscountFlies. And, we're grateful that she shares her knowledge and adventures with us here in the "Fly of the Week" (or month during the "off" season) Column.

December 24th 2022

FLY OF THE WEEK!! This is a fly for those cold winter days when “matching the hatch” doesn’t seem very relevant - the “Blue Poison Tung”.

Poison Tung - Grey & Blue
Poison Tung - Grey & Blue

The Poison Tung has the slim profile of a midge, additional weight (the tungsten in tung) to get it down where the fish are sitting in the winter and most importantly the color BLUE - which excites fish and can cause aggressive strikes reminiscent of summer eats! Charley Craven actually created this pattern one winter after discovering the effect the color blue has on trout - so let’s dig in to that!

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One of the most over looked colors in fly fishing is blue, although I don’t think I’ve ever flipped a rock and found a blue bug I do know trout are not color blind and have done a lot of research and field tests on different colors and what attracts trout. In my search I learned BLUE IS THE MOST VIVID of all colors to trout

Remember, back in science class we learned about the rainbow and how we are not seeing a colored object, but an object that reflects light in different wavelengths? Well the same goes for trout’s vision- long wavelength lights like red are absorbed quickly as they penetrate water. Using 12’ as an example, red will slowly fade to black as the water gets deeper. Where as short wavelength lights like blues are absorbed slower. A bright blue object seen through the same 12’ of water will hold onto much of its wavelengths and appear a dark blue.

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What does this mean? On an overcast winter day, the fish will see blue further away and brighter than other colors. This is especially important because trout are holding DEEP in the winter and while bonking a fish in the nose with a green fly might get frustrating a blue fly like the Poison Tung will actually cause the trout to get excited and even investigate (yes they will move in freezing temps for a blue fly).

This fly is a great attractor in size 18 when trout are wary of larger attractor patterns but I mostly use it in sizes 20-22 as my middle fly due to the thorax dubbing which can imitate an emerging bug.