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Old 11-12-2012, 01:41 PM
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Default How do tell flies apart without name tags?

Had my second outing on the South Platte last week. Did go with a guide. Landed 2 rainbows. Here is my dilemma. How the heck do you tell one fly from another without a name tag on each. My guide had me apply a couple of rigs but I couldn't tell a juju baetis from a pheasant tail. I imagine that only experience will do the trick. And being color blind does not help much either.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: How do tell flies apart without name tags?

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Originally Posted by npcor2010 View Post
... I imagine that only experience will do the trick. ....
That is the only answer. I would suggest you learn to tell the differences between the major categories. The online retailers usually group their flies in sort of category and have pictures. After you get the basics from that you can learn the materials used to make a fly and then be able to identify the materials by site. Google is great help in this area. Orvis has trout flies that you can look at to get started. Orvis Flies
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:28 PM
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Default Re: How do tell flies apart without name tags?

Congradulations on your rainbows on only the second time out.

I think it's more than experience. That's something I've got a pretty good amount of and I can only name about 6 saltwater flies and maybe a dozen trout and salmon flies. It's not just old timer's either, I nver paid attention to the names and usually they are just in a bin without names anyhow.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: How do tell flies apart without name tags?

npcor2010:


You gotta learn the basics first.

What makes it difficult, is for example, that many nymphs and dries are just
"general" imitations of more then one insect, rather than a specific imitation of a single insect.

(1) So, Hare's Ear, Prince, Pheasant Tail are wet nymphs to know.



(2) Adams and Elkhair Caddis are dries to know.
Blue Winged Olive (BWO) is another.

(3) Streamers = Wooly Booger (in several colors)

That's a list of very common flies to learn.

After that, it becomes rather a matter of adding a little at a time.

Don't worry. By the way, I am going to be fishing the South Platte soon myself, for the first time.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: How do tell flies apart without name tags?

I'm going to tick the trout snobs off and shake the foundation of the latin terms for little brown bugs. When I started off and asked what I was "throwin at em", I replied a little brown thing with wings or a copper lookin thing with two tails, and like you; I caught fish!! Imagine a nimcomepoop catching our beloved Trout and he dont know their proper names. I think after you start to tie and get into the patterns ,when to fish and what size you start to learn their names.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: How do tell flies apart without name tags?

Here's something that helped me. I've only been in the fly fishing/tying realm for about 3 years. I signed up for Orvis' catalogs early on. 2-3 times a year they send out a fly tying catalog and a single big fly sale event catalog chocked full of pictures of flies. I keep em around the house and pick em up every so often and just look through them. After a while you just start to form a mental picture of the fly. I no longer order from a place called the flyshack.com but I do get their catalog occasionally and keep it around for that very reason.

If you get into tying that will definitely increase your knowledge/recognition of the flies and materials.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:02 PM
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Thumbs up Re: How do tell flies apart without name tags?

How old is dirt?

This question took me to my book shelves, and in search of something I haven't looked at in years. "Index of Orvis Fly Patterns." A few hundred pages of colour plates of flies (by groupings) and the 'formula' tieing same.

Publish date?

1978, I kid you not. If I can count on my fingers, I've had this book for close to 30 years.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: How do tell flies apart without name tags?

Between time fishing and some study you'll learn a lot of different fly patterns. Frankly the best way I have found it tying since I get a sense of what materials go into each flies. I learn new patterns faster since I have a better understand of what I'm looking at when I see a new fly.

If you were fishing the S Platte, especially in a tailwater area, there could be all kinds of little different flies the guides were using. It's one thing to know many of the general fly patterns out there, another thing to know all the various creations down to size 24 and 26 that people might use. There's always going to be a new pattern to learn
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: How do tell flies apart without name tags?

Quote:
Originally Posted by npcor2010 View Post
Had my second outing on the South Platte last week. Did go with a guide. Landed 2 rainbows. Here is my dilemma. How the heck do you tell one fly from another without a name tag on each. My guide had me apply a couple of rigs but I couldn't tell a juju baetis from a pheasant tail. I imagine that only experience will do the trick. And being color blind does not help much either.
May I recommend a simple three step procedure.

1. Buy or keep a sample fly.

2. Take a photo

3. Post the photo here.

We will tell you what the fly is, what category it is in, what it imitates, how it is tied, and even other ways to fish it.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: How do tell flies apart without name tags?

Simple: Stoneflies, Mayflies, Caddis, Terrestrials and Streamers The hard part is their morphology.
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