New Tetrachromatic Glasses

GetAttachmentThumbnail

A new scientific development has just been unveiled that could potentially give fishermen an inhuman edge in fish spotting abilities. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin - Madison have just announced the development of a pair of glasses that can help the wearer distinguish differences in color that are normally too subtle for the eyes of homo sapiens to detect. These color differentials, known as Metamers, are more easily seen by other animals who possess optical physiology that is more developed than ours.

As reported by Yahoo.com, "The glasses essentially expand the vision of wearers from trichromatic, in which we see three color channels, to tetrachromatic. This would be in line with animals such as goldfish, which are able to see red, blue, green, and ultraviolet light. They contain two color filters (the glasses, that is; not goldfish) which strip specific parts out of blue light spectrum. Because each eye is receiving subtly different spectral data about blue objects, the working hypothesis — proven correct — was that tiny differences in color would appear far more noticeable."

Tetrachromacy has long been on the radar of Ichthyologists, with goldfish (read, Carp -- hint, hint) given as an example of being bestowed, as stated above, with the ability to "see" in a fourth wavelength — that of the ultraviolet.  The assumption is that there is a biological advantage conferred with the ability, such as being able to discern food under murky water conditions.


Juvenile Brown trout have also been identified as being Tetrachromats, but apparently lose the ability after their second year. Here, researchers have postulated that the diatoms and other plankton-like forage that juvenile trout feed on exhibit unique reflectance of UV-wavelength light in their carapaces, and possibly other bioluminescence similar to that seen in certain insects and marine algae.


Humans can even express more of a deficit in color sense, known as Red/Green color blindness, where the rods in the eye are mutated to lack sensitivity in that part of the visual spectrum. However, there appear to also be exceptions to this, with some people — primarily women — having been identified as being natural Tetrachromats, with an extra, fourth cone that confers the ability to differentiate metamers.


What is the practical advantage for the fisherman, you ask? Just think back to the last time you were trying spot a big rainbow trout lying on a mottled bed of pink gravel and moss. More than once, I've had to unfocus my eyes and quit looking so hard at the structure of what I was seeing, and rather concentrate on seeing the telltale flash of violet in the stripe of mature rainbows that would unmistakably show the fish's position.  Having an advantage in seeing in that part of the spectrum could put you on fish before they see you.

Regarding the new glasses, the researchers continued, "The current device works by splitting the short wavelength cone in the eye," Gundlach said. "What this means, practically, is that it only works for splitting mostly blue or violet colored objects. We're currently working on applying this to the green part of the spectrum, which is much more applicable to most things in nature."

Better sight fishing through science may be just around the corner, and in my rapidly advancing years, I'll be happy to take all the help I can get!


Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 9.32.09 AM

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Here's a look at 8 new fly lines for 2019. Lines

8 New Fly Lines for 2019

Fly-Fisherman

Here's a look at 8 new fly lines for 2019.

Fly Fisherman's documentary Industry

Fly Fisherman Magazine Documentary Recognized by Outdoor Writers Association of America

Fly Fisherman - June 24, 2019

Fly Fisherman's documentary "One Path" was recognized with two awards.

These dense, indestructible nymphs will improve your subsurface game. Fly Tying

Perdigon Nymph

Charlie Craven - January 15, 2019

These dense, indestructible nymphs will improve your subsurface game.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Finding giant Mongolia taimen and a state of enlightenment.

Black Beauty

Black Beauty

Master fly tier Charlie Craven discuss the tools and materials needed to tie the Black Beauty.

Breaking the Surface

Breaking the Surface

Attack of the Bass continues as Breaking the Surface attacks bass with fly and lure 12:30pm ET Sunday, April 17th.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most common applications you'll encounter on the water. How-To

Picking the Perfect Fly-Fishing Leader

George Daniel - January 22, 2018

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most...

You don't always catch large trout in these alpine lakes and streams, but even the small ones are brightly colored treasures. Trout

Alpine Lakes for Remote Monsters

Landon Mayer - April 18, 2018

You don't always catch large trout in these alpine lakes and streams, but even the small ones...

Golden riches in Wyoming's high-country heaven of the Wind River Range. United States

Wind River Range Wyoming

Greg Thomas - July 27, 2015

Golden riches in Wyoming's high-country heaven of the Wind River Range.

See More Stories

More Industry

It began with love of a river that he fished as a boy with his father, and a passion for the sport that still endures today. Industry

Abe's Fly Shop Turns 60

Jay Walden - February 22, 2019

It began with love of a river that he fished as a boy with his father, and a passion for the...

Yakutia Airlines has recently announced it will not operate its Anchorage-to-Petropavlovsk route in 2019. Industry

Update on Travel to Kamchatka

Ross Purnell - December 05, 2018

Yakutia Airlines has recently announced it will not operate its Anchorage-to-Petropavlovsk...

Flymen Fishing Co. is continuing their tradition of innovation with the release of several next-generation flies and fly tying materials. Industry

Flymen Introduces Innovative Flies and Tying Materials

Fly Fisherman - October 14, 2019

Flymen Fishing Co. is continuing their tradition of innovation with the release of several...

See More Industry

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.