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Old 05-20-2009, 08:13 PM
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Default Do the dry flies that we fish actually resemble the naturals to trout?

Here's a question that seems to have a simple answer - yes - since they catch fish, they do resemble the naturals to trout. But do they, or are trout just not as particular as we usually give them credit for?

I've looked at a lot of dry flies, from all angles; including from underneath and in the water; which is the angle from which you would think that a trout would be looking at a dry fly. And you know, to my eyes most dry flies don't look that much like what I think the natural would look like. Many of them are simply sized right and colored right. But, they don't actually look like the natural. At least not to me.

I've heard many fly fishermen say that the size of the dry fly and the general shape are the two most important parameters; in that order. Others mention color. Almost no one talks about precisely imitating the look of the natural.

At the end of the day, as long as they catch fish for us, the question is more or less moot, but what do you think? Is size, overall shape and color enough? Would flies be more effective for us if they more closely resembled the naturals that they're supposed to be imitating (the concept behind match the hatch)?

Pocono
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Old 05-21-2009, 09:33 AM
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Default Re: Do the dry flies that we fish actually resemble the naturals to trout?

I've read a couple of books that cover this very well if you're interested

Vincent Marinaro's A Modern Dry Fly Code and The Trout and the Fly by Brian Clarke and John Goddard.

Beside floating well and having a good silhouette, Goddard & Clarke, and I believe Marinaro also, felt that the two most important trigger points are visible wings and the effect of the 'dimples' (simulating the natural's feet) created by the hackle on the water surface.

Gary LaFontaine was a big believer in the 'triggers' too.
His book The Dry Fly: New Angles is an eye opener
You can read it on line
The Dry Fly: New Angles - Google Book Search
Chapter 10, A Theory of Attraction is especially import, I think.
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: Do the dry flies that we fish actually resemble the naturals to trout?

Edit


I was thinking of Marinaro's second book......In the Ring of the Rise
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:48 AM
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Default Re: Do the dry flies that we fish actually resemble the naturals to trout?

I have often thought the same thing about a lot of different successful flies! I don't know the answer, but will pay attention to this thread!
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:54 AM
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Default Re: Do the dry flies that we fish actually resemble the naturals to trout?

What about flies which don't resemble anything?A few years ago I read an article about the "properties of the ugly"...In one of my boxes I've got some you wouldn't pick up if you found one...but sometimes they enable me to catch a fish which refuses the most beautiful ones.A friend of mine ,we call the fischmeister,has been fishing all his life with two dries in different sizes and one nymph,that's all!He's caught fish everyhere he went,why? because he can send his fly where he wants , it always comes perfectly to the trout mouth,and he knows fish behaviours better than anyone else.If there was a top ten of the best trout flyfishermen on earth....he would be in it...for sure.
Many times I've seen hikers sitting on the bank just to watch him,others taking out their cameras and cam corders....a great show....of an artist.
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: Do the dry flies that we fish actually resemble the naturals to trout?

When I lived in Pa. I had to be a lot more careful about how real my flies appeared.

One way to see what they (fish) see is; if you own a really good set of beer or highball glasses the kind that are hand made with crystal clear bottoms simply fill one with water and place a fly on top, By holding the glass over your head and looking up you can observe the silhouette and the indentations on the meniscus.

Don't laugh, go see what kind of glasses you have in your cupboards and see if I'm right. This is how I determined how heavy and how long to hackle a dry fly when I lived in and fished the streams of the Mid Atlantic. Now go get your cup.

Ard
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: Do the dry flies that we fish actually resemble the naturals to trout?

Hi to all,

I think the two most important factors are:

1. Fish are predators and will eat just about anything that moves. If you fish in a place with a lot of food you have to be more precise with your flies. So if there are big hatches on your waters you need to match that food source. If you fish isolated waters or waters with little food sources then the fish are less choosy. Like Ard, I fished a lot in Alaska and I don't remember ever seeing a hatch on the water. There is a lot of competition for the food source and the fish will try anything.

2. I believe in the "Trigger" concept. This is particularly important in currant. If a fish only has a short time to view a morsel they may only get a glimpse of a wing, or leg or color or motion or whatever and this triggers a response. There are very few flies out there that pass the "look just like an insect" test. It is the features of flies that trigger a response. The trick is to find the trigger that the fish are looking for on that particular day.

Frank
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:29 AM
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Default Re: Do the dry flies that we fish actually resemble the naturals to trout?

I think the detail depends on the water you are fishing. In the classic pool and riffle streams and spring creeks, the fly has to look very much like what the insect looks like. In streams that have lots of fast pocket water it's not that important; look at a humpy, ever see a mayfly that looks like a humpy? It's the impression of life in that case.

I do believe there are triggers that fish key in on, depending on what you are imitating. Ants and hoppers for example; they have to ride in the surface, not on top.

For my mayfly patterns, I find myself tying two basic types; parachutes and emergers, they serve quite well in all the sizes I fish.

My $0.02 worth...

Dan
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Do the dry flies that we fish actually resemble the naturals to trout?

Frank & Dan,

You guys are right, I used to try to avoid slow water where the fish had time to examine the fly. In fast water the fish see something coming that is about the size of the regular groceries and they are 'triggered' to take it. The same is true with streamers, don't give them a really good look and you're more likely to get hooked up.

My favorite fly for brook trout was a Bivisible and I caught lots of fish on them. They float, that's about the only resemblance to a natural that fly has.
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