I don’t know why they work so well, but purple flies seem to catch the fish’s attention.

What really made me a believer is the biggest rainbow trout I’ve ever seen on the Metolius River was caught on a size 16 Purple Haze. That was a few years ago. I taped it at 26 1/2″. And no, I didn’t catch it. A friend of mine did…on 6x tippet! Had to tail it like a steelhead because it didn’t fit in my net. It was incredible…the fight and the fish! 

Haven’t seen one that size since.


Purple Haze | www.johnkreft.com

Does this fly look familiar? It’s just a Parachute Adams with a purple body.

My friend Jeff Perin from The Fly Fisher’s Place in Sisters, Oregon swears by a Purple Comparadun, but I like the Sparkle Duns better, although they both catch fish.

Purple Sparkle Dun

Purple Sparkle Dun | www.johnkreft.com

And I know the Purple Chubby Chernobyl works during the Salmonfly and Golden Stonefly hatch. I’ve used this fly and caught some nice fish.

Chubby Chernobyl - Purple | www.johnkreft.com

And how about steelhead flies?

Well, the color purple is incorporated on many popular and successful steelhead fly patterns. Here are a few of my favorites.


Sheweys Spawning Purple | www.johnkreft.com


Maxwells Purple Matuka | www.johnkreft.com


Purple Peril | www.johnkreft.com

Guide Fly

Guides Special | www.johnkreft.com

Jeff Perin was kind enough to show me this Guide Fly.


Mojo Magic | www.johnkreft.com

The Mojo Magic was taught to me by Peter Bowers from The Patient Angler fly shop in Bend, Oregon. It was a fly he taught during our fly club’s winter fly tying sessions.

These flies are memorable to me. I remember fish I’ve caught with them.

Lastly, here is a Bull Trout I caught with a few weeks ago.

Metolius Bull Trout
Metolius Bull Trout | www.johnkreft.com

It took a String Leech.

String leech
Purple Leech | www.johnkreft.com

So why do purple flies work? 

I have no idea.

It was enjoyable compiling flies for this post. It brought back some good memories.

Better go make some more…

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One Comment

  1. The reason why Purple ( violet) work on trouts and others fishing species is the range of visibility under the water. As you go deep, colours vanishes, starting with the brightest like red, white, yellow, orange, brown, blue and finally violet ( 400 nm wave range) with the high energy. In simple, blue, purple and violet colours are the last visible under the water.

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