How many fly designers actually fish a pattern before they submit it to a fly company? What is the measure? 1 fish, 2 fish, the best fly of the day?
A lot of flies (and lures) seem to cater to the fisherman's eye, rather than the fishes. I'm seeing lots of new flies being flashier, bigger and brighter. Also, details that I don't think a fish will notice.
Let's use this fly as an example...remember, I'm not discounting it's ability to catch fish, I've never used it, but there are qualities that I don't think a fish will notice, but the fisherman does.
The blue and red tail, the yellow strip, and the barred rubber legs.
Where have you ever seen an insect like this?
Lots of new variations of old patterns seem to be popping up left and right too.
Prince Nymph: flashwing, dark, red, wire body, psycho, etc...
Now I'm not trying to disprove the effectiveness of these new flies, but it just seems like there's a new fly being created everyday, and they just seem too "flashy" for me. Fish take flies because they look similar to natural prey in the water, and in quicker water, the less time a fish has to inspect the fly; so shouldn't we be striving to create more realistic patterns rather than gaudy ones?
I'm not one that shuns a little flash here or there, (I love Lance Egan's Rainbow Warrior, crazy colored midges, etc...) but do you have a "flashy" or "gaudy" fly that just plain catches fish?
I will agree with you. It seems that we live in an age where many of us need to have a feeling of elevated self worth or accomplishment and therefore we are constantly reinventing the wheel and pasting our names to the additions.
On the other hand innovation and artistic expression has its place in almost every aspect of this game. However, it does seem that there is a flood of the aforementioned in our current time frame. I would suggest that rather than questioning the things happening around us in fly fishing, that you go forward using whatever it is that gives you pleasure. If that is to be constantly reinventing the wheel then so be it. If the thing that pleases you is to cast a traditional Hare's Ear Nymph or Adams dry fly, then by all means do so. I myself tend toward the more traditional approach to the flies I make; not looking to create something for mass consumption but more, something that will work for me where I am at.
Why do car makers come out with new designs each year, or advances on older designs? The answer is it doesn't matter as long as it sells. Fly companies want the big names, those people that design flies & everyone knows associated with their brand. That type of marketing is no different for any product. The big names have to stay in the lime light, just as Ard has said. Each year the fly companies also need to add "new" flies to their line, so the designers have to produce.
There are new names added sometimes, with "new" flies. It's all about the marketing. There are a certain amount of folks who look forward to all the "new" bling each year.
I learned a long time ago, that all flies will catch some fish in the right situation, but they have to catch the fisherman first!
I get a couple of catalogs from some of the bigger fly fishing companies & just have to smile & shake my head when I see some of the "new" flies.
I've never been a big fan of tying flies. I do it only because I need them to support my habit.
Back in my wasted adulthood, when I fished nearly every day, I used to like to take known flies and "reduce" them down, removing this feature and that to see what it took for them to still work and catch fish. Less time and effort tying was the goal.
It always came down to a fly's "trigger" and in the better flies there was 3 or 4 different reasons why they were superior.
Time honored flies very often worked best just as they were designed. They'd gone through the 'test'. With some of the "new" flies, it was obvious that the designer had never even tried them. For example, there was a guy that had a regular column in Fly Tyer, his ties were always very artistic stuff, but many, as fishing flies, were cr^p.
One of my own flies I worked on for around 8 years before I called it finished. And still I know that there's another well known fly that works better in the same situations 80% of the time.
As one who has fell victim to the enticements of the flashy flies I have to echo sentiments already offered. The disappointment of wasted money is compounded by the wasted time spent NOT having any aquatic interest in the fly. I like the natural colors. Maybe a small flash of color here, a sparkle there, something to catch the fish's eye. But the gawdy, obtrusive creations, in my opinion, should be kept to a minimum.
I'm no expert, but my experience is the flashier flies catch fish early and in high water...then later in the season the fish get wise to the flash and start looking for more realistic nymphs. Beadheads early, for instance on a pt, but no BH in low/clear water.
As I've gotten started fishing and tying I read books not only on how to tie, but also ones that talk about the origins of patterns. It's interesting how so many of the tried and true patterns didn't spring from the womb fully formed, but were combinations and tweaks of earlier patterns. The standards have been tested and altered over years and even generations, while new ones are developed and tried. This kind of development is great and will produce reliable flies, though most of the new flies will fall by the wayside.
Cant really answer to vitesse304 but as fly designer I always try my new patterns and let my friends try them too.By my friends you should read guienapigs
But joke aside I love classic flies,and also love when something new I make hunt trout
There will always be new flys. Some are created to sell more flys others are tied by guys that are true artists. These art creations may not catch fish nut they are beautiful to look at .
I've always gone by what a very successful guide told me long ago. He believed if the size and color were right you will catch fish . This was his way of matching the hatch and it worked. The lodge that we worked at posted daily hatch charts and he would ignore them daily. Instead he would catch whatever was on or in the stream and just match up size and color to the insect .
I found that even in saltwater his technique held true.
If the sandeels were 2 inches and light colored a 2 inch bucktail usually did the trick.
Simple concept , lots of fish!
"I was born to fish" Lee Wulff
"There's more B.S. in fly fishing then there is in a Kansas feedlot." Lefty Kreh
" It ain't over till it's over." Yogi Berra
"Your not old,you've simply acquired a patina." Swirlchaser
On another site I frequent, there was a discussion about tying & what makes a good fly, as far as how it produces. Bob Popovics answered that too many tiers do not tie with a purpose, instead spending too much effort being artistic. His meaning was to tie to represent shapes, sizes & movement of whatever your trying to mimic, while keeping the fly relatively fast to tie, so this naturally limits the materials used. If you look at his various creations, he does just that. He has said he would rather spend time fishing than tying.
I know I've been guilty of this myself & with all the various materials we now have, and seem to keep getting, it's easy to get carried away. I know I sometimes try to get creative & artistic, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but as far as flies that work well, it's not needed.
The most productive flies I tie & use, are older, simpler patterns, that for the most part were devised back at a time when the selection of materials was more limited. Granted some are better for specific situations when tied with a few substitutions or additions of newer materials, but few really gain anything from a lot of modification.
The unfortunate fact is that there really are very few new ideas when it comes to most types of flies, so as Ard has said, folks are trying to reinvent the wheel with their attempts at something "new".
I think most of us who have tied awhile know if something we come up with will work or not because of similarities in whats already been proven. But still the ultimate test is always in it's use.