Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1

    Default Imitation vs approximation - fun read

    Just ran accross this little rant on imitation vs approximation and thought I would share. Sorry if it is old news....


  2. Default Re: Imitation vs approximation - fun read

    To me this article highlights one of the most interesting "issues" of this sport. I can appreciate the angler that only fishes Hares ear / Pheasant tails subsurface .....I also heard or read someone lay claim once that they felt they could catch 90% of the fish using only a Parachute adams in unlimited sizes - vs. an angler with unlimited variation of dries ?? It sure would simplify things - but it would spoil my fun of trying to carry every conceivable assortment. I also cut out an article by Lefty Kreh years ago whereby he talked about the best flyfisherman evolved to a point where they had a limited selection of flies and he included his own list. He noted that the light cahill parachute covers all his "light colored" mayfly hatches - and he even does better during a sulphur hatch using it than using an actual sulphur pattern. Like most I believe presentation is the most important - assuming that is equal....size would be my primary focus. If the trout are feeding on something in the size 22 range other than baetis....but your size 22 pheasant tail goes by them - I don't think they'd pass it up. However - until one of us catches a talking trout - this will remain an opinion vs fact.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    south florida

    Default Re: Imitation vs approximation - fun read

    Thanks. That was a good article and written with a great attitude. I like to tie my own bonefish and tarpon flies, though I haven't had the time recently, and I'm sure none would sell in a fly shop.

    For them, sink rate, relative buoyancy, fly attitude while sinking and stripping, and action were my main criteria. I used a combination of lead and deer hair while tying all, and had a pickle jar filled with salt water to determine how much deer hair to trim, and from where.

    My crab flies were butt ugly, in fact resembling leprechaun turds I imagine, but I had confidence in them and caught fish. I think having confidence in a fly, and confidence in how to fish it is the main thing.

    So I agree with the author.

    Cheers, Jim

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Monroe, Michigan

    Default Re: Imitation vs approximation - fun read

    It was a good read...


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    quiet corner, ct

    Default Re: Imitation vs approximation - fun read

    ..... I'm a big believer in the theory that the more detail there is to a fly, the easier it is for a fish to detect that it is a fraud.....

    Most of my nymphs are little more than fur dubbed, picked out, over lead with wire rib. No tail, no wingcase, no bead, no hackle. They don't look like much, but they work just fine.

    I take issue with one of the author's statements however
    gold-ribbed hare's ear and a pheasant tail. He has them weighted and unweighted, beaded. Beads are often added to the head of the hook to add weight and attraction and un-beaded, and in a range of sizes. He catches more fish than me, and more than most.Now it is worth pondering on the fact that both these nymphs were invented before imitation mania swept the fishing fraternity.
    It's widely known that the Sawyer pheasant tail nymph was one of the first nymphs ever tied as a specific imitation.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements. --- Horace Kephart

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Central Florida

    Default Re: Imitation vs approximation - fun read

    Hi Everyone,

    If Trout only ate life like flies there would be a lot less caught. In water with a currant a fish may only have a small window to see the fly and decide if it is food. I have always been a fan of bite triggers. The fish sees a color, an out line, an antenna or what ever and that is enough for it to trigger a strike. Trout eat sticks rocks and what ever comes to them in the water column. I think this happens due to the item moving rapidly in the currant and the competition for the food. I think it is a "if you snooze you lose" situation for the fish. If a fish sees any trigger they are keying on they will bite no matter what the fly or item looks like.

    If I look at the list of flies at some big shop there are few that I was using back in the early fifties. New designs come along and catch fish but yet new designs replace them. I think what they have in common is something on the fly is triggering the strike.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Southeast Pennsylvania

    Default Re: Imitation vs approximation - fun read

    The counter-point story always resonates with a large portion of people. I
    don't try to make exact replicas of insects, but I do like to make buggy looking flies. I read the article by Lefty Kreh, and that had a much greater
    impact on my fishing than Tony Bishop's (although I often wonder about the
    protruding hook myself). Tell Lefty Kreh you'll tie his fly on for him, and then
    hand him a bare hook. He'll likely think you're nuts! I have caught herring on
    bare gold hooks, however.

    I don't use very many patterns at all: wooly buggers, foam beetles, floating
    muddlers, PTN's, Green Weenies, and some red or green chironomid type
    flies. I tie many more types of flies, however, and give most of them away
    to other anglers. Fly tying is fun, and it's nice to tie something that looks like it
    was done properly. If we get down to a bare hook with a few strands of
    loose thread, why not thread a piece of worm onto the hook??? I want to
    tie something that looks good to me, and then find out if a fish thinks it looks
    good as well. Of course presentation is just as important, but we can have

    People often say that they fished a certain pattern for an hour, and only had
    success after switching to another fly. That doesn't seem very scientific to
    me, and the fish might not have been in the mood to feed at the time. The angler may also have lost faith in that pattern after a few casts, didn't change it to something he felt confident with, and his/her presentation may
    have suffered as a result. I always fish patterns that make me feel 100%
    confident, and work those flies the best I can. Having a sparsely dressed
    hook may very well be the appropriate pattern at any given time, but I'm
    not going to my favorite stream armed with only a box of shabby hooks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Greenville South Carolina

    Default Re: Imitation vs approximation - fun read

    More often than not, the more beat up my flies get the better they catch fish. Say I tie up a nice winged something...paying strict attention and all. A bush hook, rock snag, one wing left and half a tail later it finally starts looking yummy to trout.

    Also, I've fished wets and nymphs with no luck but switched to a dry, cast up stream, run into some problem so the fly swings down and across...drowns and catches a trout in the same spot I was swinging wet fly's through.

    Sometimes I'm tempted to think I make it more of a science then it actually is but then comes the days when nothing but exact matches catch trout during a hatch.

    I'll never "figure it out"...I don't believe I even want to.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Imitation vs approximation - fun read

    Well, I didn't mean to start a fued with this

    I try to tie nice looking flies, and while I don't always succeed, I do fish em even if they don't always turn out great. I also experiment with the flies I tie, put in a red tinsel instead of a silver one, tie a yellow head and butt section instead of a black one, etc... sometimes it works, sometimes it don't. Sometimes a bushy beat up GRHE catches fish, sometimes it needs to be skinny and not so bushy.

    I agree with Futuramille, I don't think I will ever figure it out completely and not sure I want to.

    The other day there where what looked like black caddis on the water, maybe they were midges, in any case the Griffith Gnat I had in my box was a perfect match size and color, but nothing rising and no takers. I nailed a bow on a prince nymph that was twice the size of the bugs floating on the water and had white wings. who knows....


Similar Threads

  1. Frog Imitation
    By Tracker12 in forum Warmwater Fly Fishing
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 03-16-2011, 08:01 AM
  2. Wax Worm Imitation
    By Tracker12 in forum Flies
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 07-22-2009, 04:12 PM
  3. You have to read this
    By Ard in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 04-26-2009, 07:26 PM
  4. Green sunfish imitation
    By Flyfisher for men in forum General Fly Tying Discussions
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 07-14-2008, 01:07 PM
  5. skip's dad (crayfish imitation)
    By GeorgeMcFly in forum General Fly Tying Discussions
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10-29-2007, 06:17 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts