Evolution - Colorado Fishing Forum

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Old 02-11-2017, 02:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Tying Insecta......

It took roughly 10 years of stick waving before I started my personal pursuit in fly fishing. It wasn't enough to present a fly to that wary feeder..... it became all about my tied fly..... then my own pattern.....and to this day I pursue both the fish and the pattern.

I started tying using recipes in books and magazines, as most of us did and do. These flies where the old traditional flies; Royal Wulff, Elk Hair Caddis, pheasant tail, hares ear, etc. Today, I would have to look up most patterns as the market has become filled with unfamiliar names; something that happens when your not buying flies, left printed recipes behind, and ventured into the world of insect mimicking. So when someone asks me what I was using I just reply Caddis nymph, Baetis emerger, etc. (Unless it's a Jujubee, I always give Charlie his credit) Then they want to see it and they say "Kinda looks like a _____". Great, but that name is meaningless to me. It's just my imitation of that particular bug at a certain stage.

I consider myself lucky I started tying when I did as I didn't get hooked on "flashy" bugs. This is where I diverged and followed the path of insect imitation. Midge larvae/emergers are the only patterns I have covering a rainbow of colors but they are also one of the most color ridden emerging insects. Otherwise, I only have subtle color variations, with one or two PMD exceptions, but some substantial variances in stage representation but no flashy dubbing, ribbing,...I avoid it all together.

I am just wondering:

1) How much flash do you incorporate into your flies? Why?

2) Have you become more successful by changing/adding some characteristics that are not available in store bought flies?

3) Do you tie your own pattern for a specific hatch/time on local water?

4) Did catching fish on your pattern change your perspective on fly fishing? For example: Did it make you branch out to refining other patterns?
Did you become more of a student of Insecta?

5) How much time have you spent "testing" your changes?
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Nice fish! Do you have any more pictures of it lying on gravel? How about one dangling from a finger in the gills?.......
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Old 02-14-2017, 08:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Like you SS I started tying before everything had flash in it and before so many options were available. I do agree some flash is important, but you're right too much flash is not a good thing.

I do tend to add a little flash to a lot of the patterns I tie and especially streamers. I feel a little more flash stands out and gets attention. Some patterns like the rainbow warrior are super flashy, but man does it work!!

I feel adding your own personal touch to established patterns may help, but can't say for sure if it really makes a difference.

I can't say for sure that I tie patterns for particular location, but I try to tie the flies I need for upcoming year. Usually a ton of nymphs, still water patterns and some streamers. Some dries and I have really started tying more terrestrial patterns. I think the fish see a ton of the same thing over and over so variety is good.

I don't think anyone will ever forget catching their first fish on a fly they tied. From that moment on I was completely hooked and loved catching a fish on something I tied myself. Still remember that day on the Blue river with a tan elk hair caddis.

I've been fortunate enough to have fished with some great fisherman. One in particular was an amazing tier and came up some incredible patterns. Not only would they catch fish, but man his flies were almost bulletproof! I remember him saying if you're going to spend the time tying you might as well do what you can to help ensure they last. I find myself tying more like him and taking the extra time to strengthen my patterns.

Probably don't spend a lot of time testing my flies, but I think that has more to do with not having a lot of free time.
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Old 02-14-2017, 12:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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1) How much flash do you incorporate into your flies? Why? Not much, seems most of the fish are conditioned to too much flash. Streamers are the exception.

2) Have you become more successful by changing/adding some characteristics that are not available in store bought flies? No, success is a product of presentation 10x more than the fly itself IMO. That said, my flies are sexy and it's fun to catch fish on your own well tied creation.

3) Do you tie your own pattern for a specific hatch/time on local water? Yes, but I could get away with almost any store bought pattern and have the same success.

4) Did catching fish on your pattern change your perspective on fly fishing? For example: Did it make you branch out to refining other patterns? When I first started it did, but then I realized it was just me wanting my stuff to be cool, when it was really just me being able to present a fly in a fish's face.

Did you become more of a student of Insecta? since I don't know what that is, no.

5) How much time have you spent "testing" your changes? Lots
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Old 02-14-2017, 12:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Oyey View Post
Did you become more of a student of Insecta? since I don't know what that is, no.
Class Insecta - Insects
Phylum Arthropoda - Arthropods
Subphylum Hexapoda - Hexapods
Class Insecta - Insects

Order Microcoryphia - Bristletails
Order Zygentoma - Silverfish
Order Ephemeroptera - Mayflies
Order Odonata - Dragonflies and Damselflies
Order Zoraptera - Zorapterans
Order Dermaptera - Earwigs
Order Plecoptera - Stoneflies
Order Orthoptera - Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids
Order Notoptera - Rock Crawlers
Order Embiidina - Webspinners
Order Phasmida - Walkingsticks
Order Mantodea - Mantids
Order Blattodea - Cockroaches and Termites
Order Thysanoptera - Thrips
Order Hemiptera - True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids and Allies
Order Psocodea - Barklice, Booklice, and Parasitic Lice
Order Megaloptera - Alderflies, Dobsonflies, and Fishflies
Order Raphidioptera - Snakeflies
Order Neuroptera - Antlions, Owlflies, Lacewings, Mantidflies and Allies
Order Strepsiptera - Twisted-winged Insects
Order Coleoptera - Beetles
Order Hymenoptera - Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies
Order Trichoptera - Caddisflies
Order Lepidoptera - Butterflies and Moths
Order Mecoptera - Scorpionflies, Hangingflies and Allies
Order Siphonaptera - Fleas
Order Diptera - Flies
Order Protorthoptera - Primitive Winged Insects
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Old 02-14-2017, 02:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ahh yes a little Zoology!!! Didn't care for that class at the time, but certainly wish that I could remember more.
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oyey View Post
Did you become more of a student of Insecta? since I don't know what that is, no.
Did tying make you educate yourself on identifying different aquatic insects and their associated developmental stages, behaviors, etc.?
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Did tying make you educate yourself on identifying different aquatic insects and their associated developmental stages, behaviors, etc.?
A tad. It's important to know the general insects stages and when they are prone to changing. That said, the most basic of knowledge is plenty.

I see where you are going here, and when I said, "since I don't know what it is" I was being slightly smug. Mainly to emphasize that overthinking is not necessary (it can be fun for some folks who love knowledge).

So, I will go a step further. In today's age of marketing and the enormous crave of internet fame, folks have gone to great lengths to micro evaluate everything, mostly in an attempt to seem smart or better at fishing or whatever (not just fly fishing).

Put decent baits or flies in a fishes face and they will eat most of the time. I have hundreds of different flies and lures, yet changing the actual lures or flies is really not that big of a deal. Size, depth and presentation are everything. This holds true in all types of fishing and the sooner novice fishermen figure this out and quit wondering about the tiny details of a fly or lure, the sooner they will catch more fish.

I'm not trying to be cynical, I just like less experienced fishermen to hear this info so they don't waste money, time or energy on things that are not likely to really increase their success.
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I would say that the largest benefit of tying for myself would be the greater attention I am now paying to what is going on in the water. I carry a strainer with me to see what's floating around and try to identify them.

I will agree with Oyey in that people like to scrutinize over meticulous details when, in reality, getting the food in front of the fish is what really matters most.

I am most certainly guilty of adding a lot of "bling" to flies, more so early on in tying. Now I tone it down a bit while realizing some flash definitely has it's place on some stages/patterns.

I haven't gotten to the point where I am tying for a specific hatch or bug on a specific piece of water but I am sure I will get close to that point eventually. My tweaking of patterns usually is a result of trying to make something easier for myself at the vise or because I don't have the exact materials for the "recipe". That would be one thing I learned that was helpful and is now helping to save some money on the hobby- you don't need every exact material for a certain pattern. Substitute other materials with similar characteristics that you do have.

Catching my first fish on one of my own was a catalyst, for sure. Man, was that bug ugly.
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Old 02-16-2017, 08:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I definitely prefer my own flies. I have 2-3 patterns in particular that I can't get commercially. Also, I have found that commercially tied RS2s are always ALWAYS crap! lol.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Also, I have found that commercially tied RS2s are always ALWAYS crap! lol.
LOL. For a 3 material fly you got that right. Now days I see that pattern has become an overdubbed bulk and not the thread abdomen to a small tight dubbed thorax/wing. Easier to mass produce and hides the crappy thread wraps underneath I suppose.
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