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Thread: Could "Tan" be the new in thing!?

  1. #1
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    Default Could "Tan" be the new in thing!?

    I’ve seen many reports where guys praise the productivity of the Tan coloured may nymphs.....but do they know why they are so productive?

    Look.....I’m one of those guys that firmly believe in the “match the hatch” theory. In the past I was a big fan of natural colours and when I got to the river it was natural or nothing! After reading the article about what fish see, colour, contrast and all that in the latest TCFF (issue-200).....my whole idea about “match the hatch” changed a bit. The part that fascinated me the most was “contrast”. I’ve turned over many rocks on the Vaal and took many photo’s of what I saw.....took them home and tried to copy what I’ve seen onto a hook. The times I’ve seen a nymph in “tan”, or a colour close enough to be called “nearly tan” can be counted on one hand. So why is Tan such a productive colour – the answer (...and help me if I’m missing the plot here).... is because Tan has good contrast (contrast - how well your fly stands out against the river/underwater back ground).
    The normal “natural” colours tend to, just like the natural; be a bit camouflaged.....fish don’t always see your well tied offering because it blends in with the background. Take JM’s Hot bead black may nymph as an example – the fly is a killer! Why....because it stands out in murky water, and most of the time during the rainy season water on the Vaal and Orange are murky to point.
    This whole contrast thing sort of changed my tying habits. IMHO.....on the Vaal you’ll nearly always need a fly with a bit of contrast because of visibility.
    Size and shape still plays a huge part as triggers....but play with colours a bit.
    This is what I have picked up from that article;
    Murky water – black or dark colours with a bit of floro orange, floro pink or chartreuse here and there.
    Semi Clear to Clear water with a dark background – Light colours
    Semi Clear to Clear water with a light background – Natural colours
    There might be acceptations to the rule though.
    Last edited by C J; 24-11-11 at 10:39 AM.

  2. #2
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    I dunno, almost every mayfly nymph i've seen has been some variation of tan ... caddis can vary much more, but still seen a good few tan ones.

    I fish almost exclusively tan GRHE and slightly darker PTN's on the vaal.
    ---------------------------------------------
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  3. #3
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    Tan mayfly nymphs have always been a good producer for me. I also always seem to catch bigger fish on them.
    Bryan Williams

    “My Biggest worry is that my wife will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it!”

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
    Tan mayfly nymphs have always been a good producer for me. I also always seem to catch bigger fish on them.
    You always seem to catch bigger fish no matter what fly you fish!
    You are a perishable item. Live accordingly.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by firephish View Post
    I dunno, almost every mayfly nymph i've seen has been some variation of tan ... caddis can vary much more, but still seen a good few tan ones.

    I fish almost exclusively tan GRHE and slightly darker PTN's on the vaal.
    I know the belly side is usually a lighter colour - but like I've mentioned, I not seen a nymph on the Vaal completely Tan. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places????

  6. #6
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    i've seen quite a few tan nymphs at YFP and Eendekuil in the slower water...usually small like size 16s or so.

    i use a tan nymph mostly, (tan holo dub) and sometimes colour the top of the abdomen black or dark brown.

    it often produces when the black nymphs don't.

  7. #7
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    I also like tanned nymphs. It must be the lines that is the trigger,

  8. #8
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    For my Vaal flies I always try to incorporate a flashback wing case as a bit of an attractor. I try to, but do not always get it right, to make the thorax area a bit darker than the body, to create some sort of contrast.
    Jacques

    Calling fishing a hobby is like calling brain surgery a job. ~Paul Schullery

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by C J View Post
    I know the belly side is usually a lighter colour - but like I've mentioned, I not seen a nymph on the Vaal completely Tan. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places????
    You are. Caddis & mayflies become most available to the fish when in the process of emerging. The caddis pupa and the lighter mayfly emergers are substantially different in colour to the larva/nymphs. These are well imitated by my tan holo-nymph or scruffy GRHE.
    Gary
    Flytyer - Where great flytying begins

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGY View Post
    You are. Caddis & mayflies become most available to the fish when in the process of emerging. The caddis pupa and the lighter mayfly emergers are substantially different in colour to the larva/nymphs. These are well imitated by my tan holo-nymph or scruffy GRHE.
    Ok....but don’t you think one of the reasons why tan is so productive is because of contrast?
    I know mayflies turn a lighter colour when they ready to emerge but that still does not tell me why tan would produce better than black when there are no tan nymph’s...or emerging nymph’s around.
    Am I missing something?

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