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Old 04-29-2013, 12:25 PM
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Default Question on flies

I have watched the videos on fly tying and have seen some of the extraordinary skill and effort that goes into these creations. a couple of questions.
All of the elaborate decorating on the top of beetles, poppers and hoppers. Is it for the fish or the fisherman? How does a fish see the beautiful paint job on the top of a popper, hopper , or frog?
I have also seen a lot effort going into the head of the fly and wing position. Unless we are feeding the line directly down stream or fishing up stream how do we know which way the head of the fly is pointing? It would seem to me especially on a cross stream cast, with all the mending going on that the fly would actually be floating down stream backward. Does it matter?
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:16 PM
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Default Re: Question on flies

Hi Len,

I think about 90% of the flies I have tied have been for the fisherman. Part of the pleasure many get from fly tying is their own craftsmanship. If you create a good tie that you really like and the fish approve also, then you are generally pretty content to keep making them in the same way.

This thing is not necessary;
Click the image to open in full size.

That fly will take a while to make and when it's wet it may not look much different that a purple bugger with a wing. For whatever reason fish like that, maybe it's because I use them. I figure fish might take about anything at any given time.

One of my favorite Brook Trout dry flies was the Bi Visible. They don't come much more plain but that's all it took. I also fished for the same species using very elaborate dry flies and feather wing streamers.

If I fish tomorrow I will probably be drifting and swinging one of these.
Click the image to open in full size.

That's a flesh fly.......... Pretty simple but effective. All those sockeye & silver salmon who died last fall; many are caught in the ice and snow until now. As they decompose chunks of flesh come free from the carcass and drift in the rivers. Trout and char live on this stuff so the marabou and rabbit fur makes good sense.

I don't enjoy fishing with the Flesh Fly as much as I do using the Santiam Spectrum. It's just that way, I love to see a fish whack some exotic thing that I made.

It's totally up to you which way to take your fly tying efforts, many of us start by being perplexed at the array of patterns. You start with what you can do and move from there.

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Old 04-29-2013, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Question on flies

Quote:
Originally Posted by len s View Post
I have watched the videos on fly tying and have seen some of the extraordinary skill and effort that goes into these creations. a couple of questions.
All of the elaborate decorating on the top of beetles, poppers and hoppers. Is it for the fish or the fisherman? How does a fish see the beautiful paint job on the top of a popper, hopper , or frog?
I have also seen a lot effort going into the head of the fly and wing position. Unless we are feeding the line directly down stream or fishing up stream how do we know which way the head of the fly is pointing? It would seem to me especially on a cross stream cast, with all the mending going on that the fly would actually be floating down stream backward. Does it matter?
It matters to me but not for the reason you think. If a fly tyer takes that much care of the things you can see, I believe he also takes care of the things you cannot see that do matter.

a fly tyer that is sloppy with what you can see is also sloppy with things you cannot see under those wraps.

I think well tied flies will last longer and not fall apart. One way of telling how well a fly is tied is to examine how carefully it is put together.

So yes, care in construction does matter.
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: Question on flies

i often wonder the same thing. im sure there there is someone on here who has more experience with the subject. my educated-two-cent guess would be the top of the fly does matter, if the fish is looking at the fly from a side view it would still see a portion of the top OR if while casting the fly turns upside down it would still show characterisitcs. if i am totally wrong by this please let me know. on the other side, i feel some patterns are designed to catch fisherman
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: Question on flies

I think it can make a little difference, but that also depends on the type of fly. For instance, a foam frog fly will lay flat on the top of the water. No matter what you put on the top of the frog, it still just looks like a white blob from the fishes point of view looking up at it. But if we take a sinking fly, the fish can get a better picture of it from all angles, which is where realistic aesthetics might come into play. Either way, feeding fish attack largely on instinct and general shape/proportions, which is why impressionistic flies work so well, and some of the most popular flies aren't actually created to resemble anything specific.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Question on flies

Fish do see the upper portion of floating flies. The upper portion of the fly comes into the window first and then when the fly is in the window, it can see the wings as the photo below shows.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: Question on flies

Quote:
Originally Posted by len s View Post
I have also seen a lot effort going into the head of the fly and wing position. Unless we are feeding the line directly down stream or fishing up stream how do we know which way the head of the fly is pointing? It would seem to me especially on a cross stream cast, with all the mending going on that the fly would actually be floating down stream backward. Does it matter?
If your thinking about dry flies here, no it doesn't matter if they're floating in the current backwards or forwards. Surface micro-currents are always tugging the naturals around and your fly wouldn't look any different.
Trout see the surface of the water through a window or cone of vision and everything outside of that cone acts as a mirror showing a reflection from sub-surface.
When a fly passes from the "mirror" into the "cone" often the first thing that the trout sees will get it's attention and trigger a reaction.
On a dry fly the part that sticks up the highest and consequently is the first thing that the trout sees is the wings.
Do the wings matter.... you bet that they do !
Quote:
Originally Posted by len s View Post
All of the elaborate decorating on the top of beetles, poppers and hoppers. Is it for the fish or the fisherman? How does a fish see the beautiful paint job on the top of a popper, hopper , or frog?
The answer to this one is "sometimes"
A fish that has time to study a popper will often do just that, even to the point of putting their eye right up to it. They notice a lot
With a popper that's in constant movement....the fish sees the water wake rather than the the popper itself and so any paint job is a waste of time.
A LMB might go for the stationary poppers, but most others like "fast food" better
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: Question on flies

The window or cone that Silver Creek and Rip Tide are talking about is commonly referred to as "Snell's Window" or "Snell's Circle". It's kind of an important thing to have a grasp of. Vincent C. Marinaro goes into great detail about it in In the Ring of the Rise.

As stated above, precise tying with attention to details is far more important is far more important than and abundance of wisps of various exotic materials.

Thing that I have found is that a fly with subtle color variations inevitably out preforms a monochrome fly, for the most part. Not so true of say an all White Bugger or Deceiver. If you stop and really look at a bug- okay it is brown, but is it a billion little shades that add up to that overall brown appearance, kind of like an impressionist's painting.

I think, also, that everyone who ties, adds in their own little extras to a fly, partly just because they can and partly because it demonstrates rare skills they have or sometimes it is just showing off. I know for me, I tie things which I know are just for me or for others to look at and the fish could care less if it is there or not. My muddlers do not need that single turn of red ostrich over the wing butt and behind the head to represent gills. I know it doesn't need to be there, but I always tie it in.

Then again, one time I tied up some sulfurs for the local hatch. Fished the first fly to death. Tied on the second and could not get a rise to to. Was made out of all the same materials, the same everything. Tied on the third one I tied up at the same time as the other two and I was back in business. Never did figure out why they rejected that one sulfur. Obviously it was tier's error, but I could not see what the trout were seeing in it, or not seeing in it.

So, most of the time, there is some 'extra' that goes into a well tied fly that the fish don't care about, and other times trout make less sense than some of the women I have had the pleasure of getting really frustrated with and frustrated by.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: Question on flies

Random's post got me thinking, if you really want to get a better grip on this thing get hold of; 'Through The Fish's Eye' by Mark Sosin & John Clark. For a better understanding about color and how it may or may not affect fishing lures, I suggest; 'What Fish See' by Colin Kageyama.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: Question on flies

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Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post

This thing is not necessary;
Click the image to open in full size.
May not be necessary, but it sure is purr-dee. Then again it may have been necessary to tie it and necessary to fish it.

Sometimes, I think, part of fly fishing is about getting as close as you can to sleek elegance.
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