Tenkara – no – Oni — Masami Sakakibara’s World of Tenkara —

Oni Blog

fish view

Posted on | January 15, 2015


One of our Oni school students asked me this question.

“I have a question. I was wondering how fish view things and how good their eye sight is. Do they see things in black and white or like us they also see in colors.
These are the questions that hit on me.

Interesting, isn’t it? I think it is quite normal for fishermen to come up with such a question.

How fish view is the everlasting question for lure and fly/Tenkara fishermen.

Scientifically there are hypotheses like fish can see only in black and white or fish can see objects very translucently.

I am not a scientist but I write from my experience.

This is about my fishing trip at the Maze River in Gifu, I believe.  Amago jumped when it bit my fly.

The amago leaping in the sky actually caught my eyes, spitting out the fly. I still remember the scene. Probably for good.

Here is another story I cannot forget. One day I went fishing at a river. The path to the river from the mountain road is just 30 meters.

Relieved, my feet became quite light as I felt I could fish soon.
Overlooking the river, suddenly fish that were swimming in congestion disappeared.
It was where there was still 29 meter distance to the river.

As if they had noticed me, those swimming fish hid under the rocks.

In addtion to fish, birds also stopped chirping although I was as far as 30 meters away from them.
I do not make sound when walking. So it might be not a sound but probably the sight of me that scared them.

These things have happened not one time or two.

Through these experiences, I am sure they are senstive to the moves of the surrondings.

Whether it is sight, vibration or six sense, we do not know for sure how they notice,
but what is sure is they respond with awesome agility to what they think scary.
Also those seasoned fishermen who grew up by observing fish have the same opinion.

Their response to their enemies is so quick.

They also respond to the shiny colors of lures and also bright colors such as red and dark pink.

This is what a renowned fisherman also said.

Flyfishermen, spinnning fishermen, Tenkara fishermen and also myself say the same thing.

Combining the above experiences, I could surmarize that fish can see well

I am not sure whether they can see in colors, but they must be able to recognize certain colors.

This is something misterious, interesting and inspiring.

This is why we have to walk in lower profile, hide ourselves behind boulders and stalk without making a noise
if you want to catch seriuosly and don’t want to be noticed by fish.
What do you think?

You may also want to discuss this query  with your fishing mates.







One Response to “fish view”

  1. Jason Klass
    January 15th, 2015 @ 4:44 PM

    Like you Masami-san, I’m not a scientist and can only state what I’ve witnessed. I’ve ready some scientific reports that say that trout don’t have very good vision. But in my experience color does seem to make a difference and certainly movement does. Trout may not have the visual acuity we do, but try making a decision about whether something is food or not when it’s rushing past you at 20 miles per hour in order to survive. That might give us a different perspective on how good a trout’s vision really is.

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