Hot Spot Flies

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Big E, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Big E Moderator

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    Coon Bay
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    This is a side conversation that developed on Gene's "Secret Fly" thread...

    I think that adding a "hot spot" to any fly is worthwhile. I first ran across this while I lived in the UK where they added bright florescent colors to pretty much anything...nymphs, scuds, clousers, baitfish, etc. I no longer think that bright colors are reserved for steelhead. You can add a hot spot to the tail, head, body or to all three. From what I've seen, the amount of color is only dictated by water conditions and the agressiveness of the fish. Flies that are now gaining popularity here in the states such as a posting here recently of the Kreelex or similar "sparkler" or "blob" flies tied with an overabundance of flash, that are quite common in the flyboxes on the stillwaters in England, attest to that.

    When I fished in SD I had a underwater camera and learned quite a bit about fish behavior and more often than not ended up with something with floro green on one lake. Five miles down the road, they liked orange and I would do dismal on green. My first year fishing salmon hard and it's all about color.

    I guess my point is, don't be afraid to add some color to your flies, you may just find that it increases your productivity.

    Below are some of the flies I've tied over the years that have hot spots and brightness.

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    Jackd likes this.
  2. Big E Moderator

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    I think Brian Stone (Stonefish) will back me up on this...here's a pic of his clousers from a couple year ago that he slays on the beaches with...

    [IMG]
  3. GAT Active Member

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    Willamette Valley, OR
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    I agree. Perhaps the Japanese knew what they were doing when during the 70s, they added a red tail to all the patterns they sold in the blister packs :)

    It seems in GB they like to create a lot of "bloody" patterns where they've added red. I do know a red tag at the tail of a midge emerger can make all the difference at one stillwater I fish.

    And, as Eric mentioned, a chartreuse thorax is the hot deal at different stillwater fishery.

    I've never forgotten something someone once said in regards to flies tied on hooks... which you'd think the fish could see. Fish look for a reason to eat a pattern, not for a reason not to. A hot spot may very well be all they need to provide the reason to eat the fly.
  4. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,862
    Pipers Creek
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    Eric,
    Those are indeed my flies. I can't remember how long ago it was I sent you that picture.
    While those worked great and accounted for many beach coho, I've changed how I tie them considerably since then. It is always fun to continue to tweak your favorite patterns.
    They are a lot sparser now, almost always with a stinger, yellow Real Eyes, UV Krystal Flash has been added and a silver or pearl diamond braid body.
    Always a red or flame orange thread gill hot spot behind the eyes.
    Kudos to Bob Clouser for originating such a great fish catching pattern.

    Chironomid patterns with a red thread butt have been really successful for me as well.
    Brian
  5. GAT Active Member

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    Willamette Valley, OR
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    Here's the midge emerger I tie with a red hot spot. I have never seen the natural bug with a red butt so I have no idea why it would work, but at one lake, it sure does.

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  6. Jack Devlin Active Member

    Posts: 1,202
    Western Washington, Puget Sound area
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    Do you guys consider a red gill slit on a fly (wet fly, streamer etc) a hot spot? I have come to tie one on many of my flies. I have no proof it works but I think it does help???? I regularly tie "bleeding gills" on my clousers.
    Jack
  7. GAT Active Member

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    Yes. I normally add a touch of red somewhere around the gill area for my baitfish patterns.

    Like this:

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    Or this bass pattern... when the sucker must really be bleeding! :)

    [IMG]
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  8. Jack Devlin Active Member

    Posts: 1,202
    Western Washington, Puget Sound area
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    Maybe I'm confusing the fish with this one? Isn't more better?
    Jack DSC03202.JPG
  9. psycho Active Member

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    B.C. Canada
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    Those red butt chironomids have been around for about 15 years up here. Sometimes they work like a hot damn and other times not so much so. Like most things in fly fishing, just when you think that you have the holy grail, reality smacks you in the face.:D
    GAT likes this.
  10. Big E Moderator

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    I don't think so. Depending on the shyness / agressiveness of the fish IMO will dictate where the line is between too much and just right. I think you want enough for a fish to say "WTF" and investigate but not so much that they turn and book.
  11. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

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    I got turned onto the red butts on a trip to Tunkwa in the early 80's. Some Canucks in camp were nice enough to help out this newbie at the time as I watched them catch fish after fish on them. They've become a staple in my chironomid box. Olive, brown and black all work well.
    I agree with you, when the fish are keyed in on them fishing can be lights out.

    As far as the red or orange gill on baitfish goes, I think it helps out a great deal.

    GAT,
    I've witnessed the red butt before on the naturals. If I can find the picture I took of them I'll post it up.

    SF
  12. GAT Active Member

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    SF, I'd like to see a photo. I'm trying to figure out why the hell a midge emerger would have a red butt...

    Jack, when it comes to bass, you can get carried away with the red bit. Trout... not so much. Nice streamer, BTW.
  13. Jeff Dodd Active Member

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    When I think of hot spot flies, one that comes to mind is the Olive Willy.

    At times this fly will flat out catch fish, and I attribute this success to the red bead. ?
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  14. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

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    GAT,
    Sorry, this is the best picture I can find at this time. Click on the picture to make it larger. These are Chromies. Note the red butt on the bug right near the middle of the dish. Chrome body with a red butt. I've seen them on brown, black and olive pupa as well.
    Looking at the silver bodies with the red ribs, it is no wonder Phil Rowley's Chromie pattern works so well.
    Board member Taxon (Roger) explained in detail in the past how the red butt occurs in the naturals. He is a wealth of knowledge and perhaps he can chime in again on the subject again.
    SF
    lakes 024.jpg
  15. GAT Active Member

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    SF, you're right! Some of the emergers do have a red butt. I wonder if that is some remaining bit of the blood worm before they become emergers. Midges are interesting characters, starting out as a worm and all.

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  16. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

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    Gene,
    The red butt is even more pronounce when the body color of the pupa is black, brown or olive.
    SF
  17. Ben Guss Member

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    Olympia, WA
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    @Stonefish- got a photo of your newer version?
    Sounds goooood~!
    Thanks,
    Ben
  18. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

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    Ben,
    I'll try and get a pic up in the next few days.
    SF
  19. Irafly Active Member

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    Everett, Washington, USA.
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    What I really love about this picture is you can really see how multi colored mids can turn. Randy Diefert on this forum started using white thread that he colors with multi colors and then wraps with liquid lace. The flies are fantastic.

    Chironomids in this phase by the way are not commonly known as emergers they are known as pupa, although the blood worms in there are the larval stage of the midge. There is also one of the midges that as a chromy in the fishes gullet found an amazing respite through the gunnel of a throat pump. Once pushed out into the petri dish it most likely immediately took the opportunity to hatch. They spin amazingly quick from pupal chrome to emerged.
  20. GAT Active Member

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    In their worm form, they are certainly a bright red... what an unfortunate color when you are potential fish food. Kind'a like Larson's buck deer with a birthmark on its side that looks like a target.