What Color Fly Is Best for Trout?

As an angler, choosing the right fly is crucial to catching trout. Many factors come into play when selecting the right fly for trout fishing, but one of the most important considerations is the color of the fly. In this article, we will discuss what color fly is best for trout and why.

Understanding Trout Vision

Before we dive into discussing what color fly works best for trout, it’s essential to understand their vision. Trout have excellent eyesight and can see a wide range of colors.

However, they are more sensitive to some colors than others. Trout can see colors in the blue-green spectrum better than they can reds or oranges. This means that if you’re fishing in clear water, a bright red or orange fly will stand out like a sore thumb.

The Best Colors for Trout Flies

Now that we know that trout can detect different colors let’s dive into which colors work best for flies.

Natural Colors

Natural-colored flies are always a safe bet when it comes to catching trout. These flies mimic natural prey items like insects and baitfish and blend well with the environment. Olive green, brown, tan, and grey are great examples of natural colors that work well in most situations.

Bright Colors

While bright colors like red and orange may not be as effective in clear water situations, they can be highly effective in murky water conditions. In these instances, bright-colored flies stand out more prominently and make it easier for fish to detect them.

Seasonal Colors

The time of year also plays a role in selecting the right color fly for trout. During spring and summer months when aquatic insects are hatching, natural-colored flies will work best as they mimic these insects’ appearance.

In contrast, during fall months when leaves start changing color and falling from trees into the water, brown and orange flies that mimic these colors can be highly effective.


In conclusion, when selecting the right color fly for trout, it’s essential to consider the water clarity, time of year, and location. While natural-colored flies are always a safe bet, bright colors can work well in murky water conditions. Ultimately, it’s up to the angler to experiment with different colors and determine which ones work best for their fishing style and environment.

Photo of author

Michael Allen