Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Perfect Fly?

Off-the-wall dry Stonefly
Some anglers say that in order to catch fish you have to tie a fly that has to be an exact replica and size of the natural. This may be true in certain conditions, such as gin clear water, quiet pools or heavily fished streams, but in many cases larger, unkempt  patterns are more effective. I found this out many years ago during a trip on the Deschutes River. 

It was May and the salmonflies were just beginning to emerge. I was using my old standby, the Fluttering Stonefly, and fishing a good stretch of water above Trout Creek. The fishing was not red hot, but as I worked down a nice glide, I caught several decent trout. However, I had to cover a lot of water to accomplish this. As I neared the end of the run, I noticed that another angler fishing below me was constantly hooking fish. I was taken aback and felt compelled to discover his secret. I boldly approached him and said,

“Hi, mister. What are you using to hook all of those fish?”
He paused for a moment and then said, “Oh, it’s something that I just made up.”
I responded, “Do you mind if I see what it looks like?”
“Nah.” he said, “Here, I’ll give you one to try.”

When he showed it to me I couldn’t believe my eyes. It had a large front grizzly and brown hackle, a thick body of rusty, orange carpet fibers and a thick elk hair wing that was almost four inches long. I politely thanked him and went down to another hole where I instantly started to catch one fish after another. This reminded me of some famous comments about tying flies that are less than perfect.

Polly Rosborough regarding his Casual Dress wet fly said, “I just threw the materials on the hook.”

Joe Brooks on his Brooks Stone said, “For a fly to be effective it must be reminiscent of an unmade bed.”

Lee Wulff said, "Something that looks exactly like a bug is not as effective as something that may look less like one....”

Bob Wiley, my old friend, always said, “The rattier the better.”

Tying instructions:

1.  Tie the body 2/3 up the hook shank and secure it.

2.  Tie in a large clump of elk hair so that it extends about 2 inches behind the hook shank. 

3.  Select a large brown and grizzly hackle and one at a time spin them forward  toward the hook eye. Tie them off and cement the head. 

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