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MartinlfNovember 26th, 2006, 5:43 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3198
Now that many of us are in tying mode, I thought it might be interesting to start a favorite fly "thread." What I envisioned was not a series of comments on beloved standard ties, but rather, for those who are willing, descriptions of unusual but effective flies, especially ones that show tough fish something new. I'm starting with a fly I've kept to myself and a few friends for years, but, given Gonzo's generosity, feel a bit silly not sharing now. I first tied it as a caddis.

This caddis is easy to tie with a little practice, and it has taken some very picky, hard-pressured fish on Tulpehocken Creek in Pennsylvania. It is based on the Tulpehocken Creek Outfitters’ CDC pattern often used on the stream, but it is tied upside down, with the hook entirely hidden in the wing. I typically use a Varivas 2300 ultra midge hook for the strong light wire and wide gap. I have had some success with a Daiichi 1640 also, and a Tiemco 2488, Dai Riki 125, or similar hook would probably work.

Tie in a short sparse ginger antron or z-lon shuck, dub the body with an appropriate color for the abdomen, and then switch to a bit of darker dubbing nearer the eye. (From time to time I rib the abdomen with crystal flash.) Leave an eye length or two of the hook bare just behind the eye for tying in the CDC. Then turn the hook over so the point is up, stack three or four CDC feathers on top of each other, then holding the feather ends with left thumb and forefinger, strip off fibers on one side with the right thumb and forefinger. Next find a way to turn the feathers over in your left hand, keeping them stacked and lined up. (I slip the body end of the feather shaft between two fingers of my right hand, let go with my left and turn my left hand over to regrasp the stacked feathers upside down.) Then, carefully raise the right thumb, making sure the stripped fibers stay down on the right forefinger with gravity’s help. Move your left hand to lay the fibers on the unstripped stack right down on the stripped fibers, tips to tips, butts to butts. Grasp the tips of all the fibers with your right thumb and forefinger and strip CDC fibers off the other side of the stacked feathers. This takes some practice, and results in a few messes before you develop a way of doing it, but you should ideally end up with a nice bunch of CDC, with butts all together. Work the fibers into a rolled “paintbrush” with all the butts together. Then pinch tie this bunch, butts forward over the eye, tying down just behind the eye with a couple of turns of thread. Then lift the butts and lay down some wraps back right against the first couple of tie down wraps to bind the wing in tightly sandwiching it between the initial wraps over it and the next ones under coming back. Next, whip finish under the wing butt fibers just behind the eye and trim the butts to expose the hook eye. Cut carefully to avoid cutting the thread. Then angle your scissors to cut the CDC tips forming the end of the wing at a slant, to imitate a caddis wing shape, cutting the wing about even with the end of the shuck.

This fly can be adapted to a mayfly dun (or perhaps a cripple) by shortening the wing. You can use a shuck or split microfibbets for the tail. As a mayfly it doesn’t always work when you might think it should, but it often does and it can be a godsend in extreme glare because you can really see the fly. I’ve had luck with baetids, Hendricksons, PMD’s, and dortheas with this pattern, and it can be skittered during an emergence with deadly effect at times, especially with caddis, baetids and dortheas.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3November 30th, 2006, 6:05 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
[crickets chirping]

Thanks for your willingness to share one of your favorites, Louis.

[crickets chirping]
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
GONZODecember 8th, 2006, 11:02 am
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
OK, I'll try to quiet Shawn's chirping crickets for a moment. We all have some patterns that instill supreme confidence and become our go-to flies for certain situations. On many limestone streams, this fly is my most productive single pattern. It's a fairly simple scud imitation. On somewhat degraded limestoners that no longer produce many significant hatches of mayflies or even caddisflies, trout bellies are filled year-round by these little shrimplike crustaceans.

It may seem that this pattern is not much different than many other scud ties, but I am almost superstitious about its special magic--to the point that I am reluctant to change any part of the formula for fear of breaking the spell it seems to cast over limestone trout. Unfortunately, one of the most crucial materials--2mm Swannundaze--is no longer available. I have found a suitable substitute (to my great relief), but if anyone knows of a source for the original material (or another 2mm D-shaped vinyl lace), I'll be eternally in your debt!

Here's the recipe (flagrant substitution is not encouraged, but that risk is up to you):

GONZO'S FAVORITE SCUD (grey, tan, or greyish olive)

Hook: #20 Mustad 37160 (sizing is unusual, appx. = #16 standard wet fly)
Thread: 8/0 light grey or light tan (for all colors)
Antennae: grey, tan, or olive partridge fibers
Overback: 2mm clear or cream Swannundaze or clear Rexlace stretched to 2mm
Eyes: 1X-0X mono, dyed black
Rib: fine gold wire
Body: lt. grey, tan, or greyish olive Sow-Scud dubbing (1:1 mix of rabbit or oppossum and Antron acceptable)

Start by slightly opening the gap of the hook. Cover the shank with thread to a point 3mm above the sharp bend of the hook. Tie in about five or six partridge fibers like a tail (abt. 4mm long). Trim the lace material to a sharp point (V) and tie it in slightly ahead of the middle of the hook with the remainder of the material extending to the rear. Wrap over the pointed section to the partridge tie-in point. (The Rexlace is flat, but D-shaped material needs to be tied in with the round face of the D down.) Tie in the ribbing wire at the rear. Lash a short piece of dyed mono at the rear and perpendicular to the shank with cross-wraps. (This will later be trimmed to make the eyes--no melting--so make it whatever length is easy to handle.) Tightly dub the thread with a tiny amount of dubbing and wrap in an X around the eye mono. Continue with thicker dubbing through the middle of the hook, tapering to nothing a bit behind the hook eye (1-2mm). Bring the overback forward, and secure it with a few tight wraps just at the end of the dubbing (not at the hook eye). Because of the radical bend of this hook, the overback may want to roll off the top of the hook--just twist it back as you tighten the wraps. Rib forward tightly with the gold wire. (6 or 7 evenly spaced wraps starting just behind the eye mono is about right.) Secure the ribbing wire at the same spot where the dubbing and overback were finished, and cut off excess. Under tension, cut the remaining overback material just behind the hook eye. (This is why the securing wraps have been slightly back of the hook eye. You need a little room to cut the thick vinyl to prevent it from blocking the eye and crowding the finish wraps.) Wrap and whip finish a smooth head to the hook eye. Cut thread and coat the finish wraps and the top of the overback with a very small amount of thick Zap-A-Gap (green label) or head cement. (The coating on the overback helps to keep the rib from slipping on the slick vinyl.) When dry, pick out dubbing for legs on either side of the hook. Pull the fibers straight down and trim about even with the hook gap (shorter toward the hook eye). Trim eye mono (nippers are nice for this) so it is nearly, but not quite flush with the body.

I've tried to make the tying instructions as detailed as possible, and the fly may seem more complicated than it really is. With a little practice and familiarity with the process, I think you'll find that this fly usually takes less than five minutes to complete. The Rexlace is a craft shop material manufactured by Pepperell Braiding Co. (Pyrolace Craft Products, Bradford PA). It comes in a width that is more than 2mm and must be stretched to the proper dimension. If any of you still have some of the old 2mm Swannundaze, the "cream" color is my favorite.

I usually fish this fly with a standard "dead drift" nymph presentation, but a twitching retrieve can also be deadly at times. On most freestone streams, this is a very ordinary fly. But, on many scud-rich limestoners (and some tailwaters) it can often be the only fly I need!

PS--To fully appreciate the sacrifice I'm making by sharing this pattern, just ask Louis! That may seem a little silly for someone who has filled a book with 110 fairly original creations, but each is a decision I may live to regret. Still, I like all of you, and trust you'll keep this just between us! ;)
BrettDecember 8th, 2006, 12:52 pm
Martinsburg, WV

Posts: 15
Brett's favorite - the Chicago fly. This little streamer continues to prove itself everywhere for multiple species. It's essentially a black mohair leech, but with a few twists:

Chicago Fly dressing
Hook - Tiemco 5263 size 8, barb mashed down to accommodate bead
Head - Black 1/8 size tungsten bead, faceted if you can find them
Thread - black 6/0 or 8/0
Tail - black spiky marabou tied short (3/4 shank length) and very sparse, with 2 pieces of red Krystal flash (one on each side)
Body - Black mohair yarn, teased up into a mohawk and picked at till it looks a bit anemic

The key is to not overdress the fly. Marabou should be the tip of a marabou plume you discarded because it was not "fluffy" enough for a good wooly bugger. I use velcro on a popsicle stick (my favorite expensive tool) to scrath the mohair up into a short mohawk. I learned of the pattern from Carl Richards in 1998 when he came to help me do some bug work on the Cumberland River in Kentucky. He said, "It's the best da** wet fly I've ever seen." Actually, I think his language may have even been a little more colorful.

Play with the dressing if you like - I have. I've tried other colors -purple does okay, olive less so, white doesn't get many hits for me. I've tried other sizes and hooks. Longer shank hooks tend to give fish more leverage to twist the fly out of their jaw...and the Tiemco is very sharp.

It works best in riffles and runs where the current adds to its action. However, it was responsible for rainbows over 25 inches this summer in Alaskan lakes where we pulled it along on the bottom at almost non-moving speeds. In deep rivers fish it with a sinktip, casting at the bank as if bass fishing structure. Fast strips do best. I've also slayed bluegill and redear sunfish twitching it under a strike indicator over their beds. In most stream situations cast it across or down and across. Hint: When the swing is finished, let the fly dangle downcurrent for a while. I've picked up several nice fish on the Chicago while it was just hanging in the current while I untied knots from my line. I'll try to get a picture of an "appropriately dressed" Chicago fly up soon.
Novice entomologist, fly-tyer and photographer
MartinlfDecember 8th, 2006, 3:07 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3198
Thanks Brett and Gonzo. I thought this thread might go the way of the dinosaurs quick, which would be OK, but now I'm pleased to have two new patterns that I am sure I will tie and fish.

Brett, I bought mohair yarn a while back after reading about the effectiveness of mohair leaches, but got sidetracked by some mayfly emergers and forgot about it. This is all the incentive I need to get this fly on my list of stuff to tie up over the winter.

Gonzo, so you bit the bullet. I know how hard it is to share the secret fly, that go-to pattern that tapped into your core when designed and put your heart in overdrive when you realized how effective it actually was. I believe this forum attracts the kind of folks I often give my caddis to when I meet them on the stream anyway, and this way (lazy me) I don't even have to tie them. Thank you for the scud pattern; I am very eager to give it a try. Did you get my email on bugs and times? No reply needed; I just wanted to be sure your temporary address hadn't expired.

It's the calm before the storm for me. Monday two exams and term papers come in and the real work of the semester commences. I'll probably disappear for a few days and resurface relaxed and looking for hooks and feathers--er, poly yarn, that is.

Ok, now who's holding out on us? We've taken the plunge, come on in: the water's fine once you get used to it. :)

But in reality we'd understand if you didn't take a dip in this pool. We're all still shivering a bit even now.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZODecember 8th, 2006, 7:02 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681

I did get your email. Check your home page for the response I sent yesterday. (Click that little orange envelope next to Welcome, Martinlf.) :)

PS--I couldn't open the attachment. (Or maybe I can, but just haven't figured out how--I'm still a cyber-challenged individual.)
Shawnny3December 11th, 2006, 9:30 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Thanks, you guys, for posting some of your favorites. I apologize for not being more forthcoming myself. I guess I have a problem posting to the general public the recipes for flies I've spent hundreds of hours perfecting. If I thought that only the three guys who have posted so far were going to see them, I wouldn't hesitate for a second. I like sharing my patterns with others, but I'm also pretty judicious about it. I like to make sure I like someone before I show them my best stuff (let me be honest - I only have a handful of decent original patterns to begin with, so sharing one is a big deal to me). When I lose one of my flies on the stream, I often crack a wry grin wondering if someone will ever find it and whether the guy who does will be smart enough to see why its a really good fly. So I show family and friends my stuff and leave breadcrumbs for strangers.

The part of flyfishing I find the most gratifying is the inventive aspect, and a big part of me doesn't want to cheapen that, even for others. I don't want some guy too lazy or too dull to make his own patterns just copying mine and then thinking he's a genius because he catches fish. Go tie your own flies and catch your own fish. So I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder when it comes to the inventive aspect of the sport.

After seeing how willingly you guys have shared some of your favorites, though, I almost brought myself to post a few of my own... almost. But I just can't bring myself to do it right now. My sincere apologies, truly. You guys are good guys, and I'd be happy to show you the entirety of my flybox if we ever go fishing together.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
GONZODecember 11th, 2006, 10:54 am
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
I fully understand, Shawn--no apologies necessary. And I'm not sure "willingly" would be the best way to describe my contribution. OK, nobody twisted my arm, but I thought if someone had a source for Swannudaze it might be a fair trade. Fair warning--since I've accomplished my objective, you might just find the post deleted in the near future. :)

Some of the patterns in my book were much easier to share because I knew that many casual (or lazy) tiers would find them to be too much bother--a distinct advantage these days, and a virtual guarantee that they'll never become part of the commercial menu. So, I'll confess that the "generosity" that has been attributed to me at times is somewhat less than pure! ;)
JADDecember 11th, 2006, 5:50 pm
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362

Shawnny3 don't know you But I like you, I like your grounded roots . Don't you guys get a big head but ,this is quite a group--Lots of ideas --respect for other opinions, a tolerance for young anglers---I Guss what I'm trying to say is it swell talking to you guys.

I think I'm the dead head in the group, I don't have a single secret fly, I told MartinIf on Spruce Creek forum I use standard flies nothing fancy , that's why Lloyds book was so interesting to me---emergers I think they will work ---No I know they will work Some day I will be able to peek in to your fly boxes and get my eyes opened.

Cave man

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cock’s wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
CaseyPDecember 11th, 2006, 8:23 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
okay, i'll jump. this may be a scary pool, but the inhabitants are astonishingly non-condescending. also, i have to do something now i don't have students to bore!
if there are some other beginners out there, here is one you can easily find the ingredients for and easily assemble. for those with 11 thumbs and limited experience, it works a treat. i hope that it's not out there already earning someone money. if so, my apologies.

Tyro's Beetle
hook: standard dry-fly, size 8, 10, 12, 14
thread: black #6
abdomen and thorax: peacock herl
legs: fine black rubber
body and head: striped foam about 1/2 inch wide, black with colored middle stripe

debarb the hook and cover it with thread, eye to bend
cut a piece of narrow striped foam sheet 1 1/2 times as long as the hook into a point at one end. tie the point onto the hook just above the bend. leave it sticking up in the air while you
tie in two or three peacock herls. doing what the books tell you, wind on a nice fuzzy abdomen and thorax, ending up an eye-length back of the eye. tie off and clip the excess.
work the thread back down the fuzzy bit a little ways without squashing the fuzz and tie on legs, two on each side. make them long enough to hold on to at this point.
flip the foam strip over towards the eye, and pinch it firmly lengthways down the middle. tie it down in front of the legs at the end of the herl, using five or six turns of thread. then tip the end of the foam up and wind three or four turns of thread up under the chin, so to speak. whip finish and clip the thread.
holding sissors on top of the hook eye, trim the foam strip off square over the hook eye. cut the square corners off , making sure not to cut into the stripe.
trim the legs so they stick out pretty stiffly, not more than 1/4 inch long.

why i do it this way:
the stripe comes in bright yellow, bright green, and bright orange and you can see it very nicely in all sorts of terrible conditions like foam specks and steel-colored just-after-sunset water.

the beetle rights itself after the cast in a charming manner, and gets hit at this point pretty often.

it will hold up quite a big nymph if you hate float indicators like i do, and insist on a double rig.

pinch hard when tying the foam on so the stripe doesn't show from underneath--i've had refusals on this account. also, you trim the head like i said because it looks like jaws from underneath.

for the life of me i could not tie the legs on properly over the foam body like in the books, so i tied them on underneath on the herl. i think this looks more like what Jason's bugs look like: the legs on a beetle don't hitch on to the sides, they come from the middle somewhere. anyway, they catch fish for me this way.

"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
Shawnny3December 11th, 2006, 8:27 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
JAD, don't worry about using just the old standbys - there's a reason they're called "standbys". While I'm flattered by your remarks, let me assure you I am no expert on anything except being a beginner. I've made all the mistakes before and still feel like a beginner more times than not when I take to the stream.

That said, I honestly think that anyone's interest in the sport would grow exponentially if he invented his own flies. I can still remember vividly the first stupid stockie I caught while first flogging the water with my first atrocious invention on the end of my line - an awesome feeling. The way I like to describe it is fooling a fish from start to finish. There's just no satisfaction like it.

I would advise anyone thinking of developing his own patterns to try to think like a fish - what would I like to clamp down on if I were watching a whole bunch of crap floating down the stream? Then, go about trying to replicate the most important features of what you think the trout would bite, letting real trout teach you as you go. A hint: Movement, or the illusion of it, usually trumps form - try to make your flies look alive. Remember, you are only limited by your own creativity. Even the most traditional of materials can still be used in innovative ways. Also, don't get caught up in the "latest synthetic crap" mentality. There are a lot of manufacturers out there trying to make a buck selling you a bunch of stuff you simply don't need by giving it a sexy name like "Z-lon" and telling you that Lefty Kreh loves it. Instead, only buy new materials that suit a certain need you have already identified. I can't tell you how many household items have found their way into my flies, just because they did what I needed them to do and I didn't have to pay for them.

And remember, they're just fish. Last season I found myself in a pinch during a sulphur hatch, so I snipped everything off a pattern I'd tied except for about a half-inch of cream vernille that I clipped off at the back so it was only attached at the front of the hook. It was a good enough version of a drowned sulphur dun that I caught as many fish on it as the deadly sulphur nymph it was trailing. Or maybe the fish thought it was something else - what does it matter? Presented well, you could probably catch a fish on just about anything tied to a hook. I've often looked down at a piece of lint on my carpet and mistaken it for a fly I've dropped on the floor.


P.S. Oh, and Gonzo, I should be clear that my self-righteousness doesn't go so far that I wouldn't take money from a publisher for my originals. I could be bought, to be sure. Whether people would get their money's worth from my ideas is a whole other issue, though. I guess a fool and his money...
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
TroutnutDecember 11th, 2006, 10:59 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2736
There are a lot of manufacturers out there trying to make a buck selling you a bunch of stuff you simply don't need by giving it a sexy name like "Z-lon" and telling you that Lefty Kreh loves it.

Well put! I really like synthetics, especially sparkle yarn, but marketing is a big part of that whole game. In fact I think the yarn is one of the least silly areas out there, because different sparkle yarns are as different in behavior as different types of deer hair. Rubber legs, mayfly tails, and many other odds and ends are much more ridiculous when it comes to the amount of identical stuff being marketed as new breakthroughs.

I'm a bit reluctant to reveal my favorite fly, not out of fear that it will be copied, but because it's a little bit embarrassing: it's the Royal Wulff. Mostly that reflects the fact that I've been fishing quite a few unpressured small streams this year and it's hard to beat for that purpose. It floats well, it's easy to see, and it seems to catch more fish for me than the Adams and other popular alternatives. I may recover some shred of dignity by saying I really prefer LaFontaine's "Double Wing" attractor in the Royal color scheme, but it takes a long time to tie for a small-stream fly I'm prone to losing in the trees a couple times a day.

On more civilized water, I have a more respectable favorite: that one-winged, curved-hook cripple/spinner from Kelly Galloup's book "Cripples & Spinners." I tie it with a quill body on a 3X-fine hook and it works beautifully.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
MartinlfDecember 12th, 2006, 7:26 am
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3198
JaD, I wouldn't be at all surprised if you catch more fish than I do using your standard ties. Jeff had a post in another forum that reminded me that I probably spend so much time tinkering and experimenting that I miss out on some good fishing. But I also realize that the tinkering is fun for me, and fun's the ultimate name of the game. Do what you enjoy--life's short. Some tie flies, some buy flies, some try to invent flies. If you are experiencing some satisfaction with your approach, along with a sense that growth is happening and there is more to come, for my two cents, life doesn't get any better.

Shawn, I COMPLETELY understand on posting patterns, and appreciate your general advice on synthetics.

Casey, thanks for the beetle. A fellow angler showed me a pattern similar to yours last summer. It had a black foam strip topped by a slightly thinner orange foam strip (you tie the orange strip down first; I use a bit of Gorilla glue between the strips for durability). I sometimes use black krystal flash for the legs. This has become one of my favorites.

Hey Jason, I have a couple of the Galloup style Hendrickson spinners I tied a year or so ago for some tough trout on one special stream, though I haven't gotten to try them yet. I think I'll tie some more up this winter. What hook are you using?

Also, Eric of Spruce Creek Fly Company published an article a while back about slaying trout (metaphorically, of course) one day on the tough technical water of Penns Creek with a Royal Wulff. Nothing to be ashamed of there. And I really liked Gonzo's suggestion elsewhere of a Klinkhammer Royal Wulff. So now I have two more to add to the January tying list. I may come to regret starting this whole thread!!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TroutnutDecember 12th, 2006, 8:43 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2736
I think I'll tie some more up this winter. What hook are you using?

Mustad's 3X Fine dry fly hook... I think the number is 94833.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Shawnny3December 12th, 2006, 10:37 am
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Funny that the Royal Wulff is considered "low brow" when it is such a beautiful fly, is quite technical to tie, and produces fish really well. Maybe there's some good advice to be found in that: You don't have to head to the stream with exact replicas of every obscure mayfly in 3 different sizes and in all 9 different forms in which a trout may find them drifting down the stream.

I found, Jason, on some of the same little streams you're fishing, that the Royal Wulff was also my best fly. And it's such a pleasure to fish, like you've got a hot-rod on the end of your line. No apologies necessary. And, by the way, I've heard that guy Wulff was a pretty smart fisherman.

And speaking of Lee Wulff, I read an article of his in which he listed his favorite patterns, and his favorite fly was a completely undressed Adams' body, I guess what many would refer to as a muskrat or sowbug. He said he'd caught more fish on it than on any other fly. So if all you want to do is catch fish, invest $5 in some hooks, grab some of your wife's sewing thread, kill a small, grayish mammal (or steal some fur from your tabby, as I have been known to do), and in an hour you'll have a dozen or more flies that will catch fish on practically any stream in the world.

Let's be honest: Most of our tying complexities are for us, not the fish.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
GONZODecember 12th, 2006, 3:56 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Let's be honest: Most of our tying complexities are for us, not the fish.

Rats!!! ...another lifetime shot to hell! :)
SundulaDecember 12th, 2006, 6:37 pm
Littleton, Colorado

Posts: 35
Mine is a toss up, first let me begin by saying "If I can't tie it in less than 5 min. I would rather buy it and if I have to buy it I don't want to use it. That being said my favorites are the: RS2, Mercury RS2, and the Mercury Black Beauty. If I was dropped into a trout stream and told I was forbidden to leave ever, and was only allowed to fish one pattern it would have to be the Mercury RS2.
TroutnutDecember 12th, 2006, 7:22 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2736
Most of our tying complexities are for us, not the fish.

I take some comfort in the fact that, although most of the time our tying nuance might not matter, the most fun fishing corresponds to the times that it does!
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
LittleJDecember 12th, 2006, 8:29 pm
Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
"Most of our tying complexities are for us, not the fish"
I agree I've had some good days w/ a #20 zebra midge.

Louis don't feel to bad about your presentation, as the old saying goes it's the journey not the destination, and what else is there to do on a january evening, you might as well be tinkering w/leaders,flies,etc. I suppose most of us may have work to do, but what fun is that.

I'm afraid to ask but what is an rs2...maybe I should spend less time casting and more time learning patterns.
GONZODecember 12th, 2006, 9:26 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
This is a very diverse list of favorites: an upside-down caddis, a scud, a marabou/mohair leech, a foam/peacock beetle, a famous attractor dry, a tricky spinner, and tiny mayfly/midge emergers.

At first blush, there is no rhyme or reason to the list, no obvious pattern to the choices, and little consensus. Is this just another pointless expression of opinion? Or madness with no method?

Take another look. But this time, put each fly in its context. Consider the water, the fish, and the fishing experience that the situations provide. See the pattern? See the hidden method? I do.

Louis chose a fly for a stream (the Tulpehocken) famous for it's caddis hatches and fussy, pressured fish--the upside-down CDC caddis.

I chose a fly that represents a predominant food on degraded suburban limestoners--the scud.

Brett picked a fly with broad appeal to everything from Alaskan rainbows to bluegills and redear sunfish--the marabou/mohair leech.

Casey chose one of the most appealing and practical terrestrial flies for those stocked suburban VA streams--the peacock/foam beetle.

Jason likes (as do others) a time-tested attractor for small, lightly pressured streams--the Royal Wulff. And he recommends a novel new spinner for "civilized" streams and their fussier fish.

Ben chose flies--little mayfly/midge emergers like the RS2 and Mercury Black Beauty--that are appropriate for his home waters on the South Platte, which is one of the first places in the West where small
flies took hold.

See the pattern now? These are not random choices driven by fly-tier's whimsy. They are all eminently practical flies that perfectly reflect the conditions each angler faces. We and our opinions about flies and fishing are shaped by the waters we fish. And those same waters shape the choices that the trout that live in them make as well.

"Though this be madness, yet there is method in't."

PS--Jeff, the RS2 (for Rim Semblance 2) is a highly regarded, but very simple, little emerger pattern.

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Re: What a differnce a day makes!
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1Dec 31, 2016
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1Jul 1, 2009
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Re: Tying In Hand
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3Feb 4, 2010
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New Flies Uploaded
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Re: October Caddis
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Re: What Flies should I use?
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3Apr 6, 2021
by Wbranch
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