Why Fish Color Varies from One Location to Another

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Camouflage

Coloration within a fish species quite often varies from one lake, river or stream to another. Sometimes these color differences are so slight they can hardly be distinguished from one location to the next.  In other cases, the distinction is so prevalent, the fish can appear to be a variety of the same species; but to my knowledge the variance in coloration is simply a camouflage adaptation to match the general color of the bottom of the body of water.

Fish Wear Camo Too

This unretouched photograph of a prize large mouth bass was taken on a rather dark, grey day. The particularly dark coloration of near black on this bass, however, is typical of MacArthur Reservoir large mouth. It’s a species adaption that allows individual fish to blend with the dark color of this shallow bird sanctuary where fish hawks are plentiful and capable.

~Dwayne K Parsons on Twitter @IFishWrite

Fulfillment Is The Dream Come True

Something Really Large Is Swimming In Your River

When we land a river-run rainbow this size on a fly, we know we've completed something begging inside. Tom Gower knows for sure.

There’s something fulfilling swimming in every good river and it’s part of the upcoming story co-authored by Montana Guide, Russell Moore and myself in a new book In Clear Water due out this June.

When we’re boys just learning (it happens to girls too) a trout the size of the one above is only a dream. A stream-caught trout eight-inches long is as rewarding to a child as the one caught here was for Tom.

Incredibly, while we’re still young, the stream on occasion gives up a relatively large fish, like the 16-inch Brookie I remember from Berry Creek. I was 10, shaking in the cold dew of a June morning and I caught it on a fly. You weren’t there, I know; but it was a dandy! We’re always dazzled by a fish bigger than the norm, and once dazzled we advance the dream. The great thing about fly fishing the dream is that it promotes catch and release, which translates to sustainability and fish that grow as large as this one.

If we continue to fish as we grow older and manage to keep that dream alive, one day we walk out of the river and photograph a memory like the one Tom Gower gives us in this photo. But it only happens if we believe and if we’re fortunate enough to learn from a fly fishing guide as qualified as Russell Moore. It’s as much about understanding the fish, the aquatic life and the moods of a river as it is about the art of casting and presenting flies, whether dry flies or nymphs.

Russell has been fly fishing, guiding and teaching fly fishers for more than 30 years. He’s added a lot of knowledge to fly fishers like Tom whose great trout we admire in the photo above. Many of today’s fly fishers learned to cast and present from Russell or someone like him. Having Russell Moore on board for this upcoming book is not only an honor; it’s like a scoop on a hot news story.

If we believe, we learn; if we dream, we believe. Figure it out. A truly large fish like this one can be understood and caught; but you’ve got to go to the experts to find out how.

When I was in high school some forty years ago, we thought we’d run out of good fishing. But the fact is, thanks to sound management and people who care to release fish back into the water from which they came, we enjoy today some of the finest fishing the world has ever known.

To help revitalize your dream, stay tuned for the upcoming book, In Clear Water, by Russell Moore and Dwayne Parsons. It will soon be available online as well as in book stores and fly shops near you. It’s a treasure of method, story and dream spiraling through the pages of experience and memory, with new techniques and river wisdom you just won’t want to miss.

# Dwayne Parsons  @ifishwrite on Twitter