Trout Lure Colors - Does it Matter?

When purchasing spinners, there are lots of options.  We've already talked about the three different kinds of spinners, but what about colors?  Are some colors more attractive to trout?  Why do they make lures in such unnatural colors, like Mepps Hot Trout Kit?

There are basic rules about lure color.  Typically, the darker, dingier the water is, the darker the lure you'll want to use.  This may sound counter intuitive, since you'd think a brightly-colored lure would be seen better in dingy water, but from the fish's point of view a dark silhouette will be easier to see than a flashy lure obscured by all the particles floating by.
So, by this basic rule, you could expect a lure like Mepps Black Fury to do well in murky water, and a lure like Panther Martin's Holographic line of spinners to do well in clear water.

But as every smart-allecky teenager will tell you, rules were made to be broken.

There are three types of lure colors that I've found do really well - but often not on the same day or in the same creek.  As always, you'll want to experiment with these to find what works for you.

1. Very Plain Colors
Plain copper or gold blades on a brown or black body.  Mepps Black Fury would also fall into this category.  These are a good starting point when fishing in a typical stream that has somewhat dingy water.  As a rule, moving water will be a little dingy since it's picking up particles along the way.  Only in very shallow, fast moving areas will the water appear clear.

Blue Fox Vibrax Minnow Spin - 3 16 oz. - Firetiger - Cold Water Lures2. Trout Patterns
I'm not sure why these work, but for some reason trout love striking lures that look like other trout.  Most spinner brands make lures that have patterns that look like Rainbow trout brown trout or the "Fire Tiger" design used by Mepps, Blue Fox and Panther Martin - which doesn't really look like any trout, but I think falls into this category.  These lures are usually my second choice when the fish aren't really biting more mundane spinners.

3. Flashy Fluorescents
These don't look like anything in nature but they work.  The lures in Mepps Hot Trout Kit fall into this category.  They work best in shallow, clear water but on the right day they'll hook fish anywhere!  There must be something about those crazy colors that just tick trout off!


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