Simplify.

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Mark Kulikov, May 6, 2014.

  1. Mark Kulikov

    Mark Kulikov Active Member

    I'll admit that I'm still a rookie on the fly tying desk with only two years experience. In this time I've found that dressing flies, as well as fishing them, gives a man time to think and sometimes that creates questions. I opened one of my fly boxes yesterday and while introducing the new to spots reserved for them, I pondered at my small collection and wondered just exactly how much of tying is done for the benefit of the human eye as opposed to the eye of the trout. I gazed upon some intricate patterns, fairly difficult, often frustrating and time consuming to tie and they do look nice in the box....but...... does the trout really care? As an example, would a simple and quick to tie dry fly pattern in a few basic colors and sizes catch as many as the perfect "insert current popular parachute fly name here" that took 20 minutes to tie? Just curious as to how many have pondered or experimented with simplification of what goes into the fly box.
     
  2. ScottP

    ScottP Active Member

    One of the most effective flies I've found, the Zebra Midge, is little more than thread on a hook; 2 minutes, tops and takes trout anywhere. 20 minutes on a fly? Not unless it's a full-dress salmonfly (which would be warp speed for some of those patterns).
    One thing to consider as a new tyer; the more you tie, the easier those "complex" patterns become. Spend the time on the vise, start with the easier, simpler ties and those parachutes, which you really DO want to learn, will start filling your boxes, and catch fish. Learn to manage proportion and thread torque/tension and you can tie just about any trout fly well.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  3. GAT

    GAT Active Member

    What Scott said :)
     
  4. Teenage Entomologist

    Teenage Entomologist Gotta love the pteronarcys.

    Scott is right. I still like to take time on all of my flies though:)
     
  5. Alexander

    Alexander Fishon

    Another thing to consider - some flies fish just as well after the 20th fish has tagged and mangled it. doesn't look even close to what it looked like when it was fresh. So go figure. I've seen fly boxes of some fishermen where the flies look so so, well that is compared to what the pattern is said it should look like...but these same guys will catch fish all day long. One thing to really remember, especially with streamer patterns is that once they are wet whatever awesomeness it had in the vise for the picture shoot is gone. Nice bushy flowy marabou flies just turn to slinky looking flies...as intended..at that point, any imperfection is gone and the fish will grab on as long as you are fishing where the fish are. ;)

    Two weeks ago the fish were on a midge hatch on the lake, constantly rising. I threw an ugly foam hopper out there... I got violent almost takes... you know where the fish will come up, create a big wake ready to hit and and then realizes it doesn't even look close to anything else... I then threw a general pattern out there, like a crackle back and wham fish on. I think size matters more than anything else, then comes the rest.. but that's just mho from my experiences.
     
  6. Randall Clark

    Randall Clark Active Member

    Scott knows what he's talking about. search out his SBS patterns that he throws up periodically. Amazing.

    I still hate tying anything with a parachute. I still have a tendency to tie in such a manner where I tie something that works (through thorough non-scientific testing), I'll still tinker with that pattern to get it down to the fewest steps possible and yet still be as effective. Usually, I have a 3 1/2 year old running around demanding attention, so I'll get parts of flies tied at different times...sometimes, I'll get back to the vise and wonder where I was going with a particular pattern and it'll end up being different than I originally intended. I can only think of one instance where I've made a pattern take more steps....my version of the Clark's Stone. I used to use only elk body hair (nonstacked for a little more "buggy" look) but was finding that it was sinking to quickly (still worked great, even sunken) and I wanted it to float better so I just used the body hair for the underwing and added deer hair for the overwing (I still don't stack it, but the length is usually the same). These float much better and for longer than my original tie.
     
    Teenage Entomologist likes this.
  7. Cold

    Cold Member

    "Ninety percent of what a trout eats is brown and fuzzy and about five-eighths of an inch long."
     
    Alexander likes this.
  8. Nick Clayton

    Nick Clayton Active Member

    I love simplicity. I am no artist. I just like catching fish.

    I fish lakes and salt 99% of the time. I could probably tie nothing but Clousers and Micro Leeches in various sizes and not worry about anything else. Gotta love it.
     
  9. Michael v.d.Bogert

    Michael v.d.Bogert Active Member

    How many types flies do you need for a season fishing?


    Mike
     
  10. (BigDave)

    (BigDave) Member

    All I know is that I have a few bins of flies that will never see fish and were tied more for the tiers satisfaction than anything else. It was a crawfish pattern that sent me on the road to ruin...
     
    Ron McNeal likes this.
  11. GAT

    GAT Active Member

    As far as I can tell: 1,327 :)
     
  12. chewydog

    chewydog Active Member

    I never go anywhere without parachutes. midges through caddis and stones. Too effective to leave out. Like Scottp said, practice, practice, practice.
     
  13. Pat Lat

    Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Crawdads rule!
     
  14. Gary Knowels

    Gary Knowels Active Member

    Yours do! Mine are an entirely different story....
     
    Eyejuggler likes this.
  15. Jim Darden

    Jim Darden Active Member

    You are starting down the road to enjoyment! The pragmatist ties a few flies that catch fish and is done with it. You will find that after all your fly boxes are full, the artist starts to emerge. That damsel looks neater with eyes, the steelhead fly looks cool with spey hackle, the streamer looks better with red gills, that caddis works fine but you can make it more realistic. Pretty soon you are pulling the flys that work out of the boxes and replacing them with things YOU like better. So your find yourself spending more time on the things you are tying.....that's not bad, you are just enjoying yourself! Relax, you deserve it....
     
  16. Pat Lat

    Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Perfectly said Jim
     
  17. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    For many circumstances, a detailed pattern won't matter very much. But for picky trout that have seen it all, the better your pattern fits the natural the fewer refusals you will have. I have watched cruising triploids at Leach Lake refuse my flies several times until I had the style that that would interest them. Similarly, Yakima rainbows can become very picky about which BWO pattern they will take. Cracking the code with the right pattern can transform a mediocre trip to stellar. And it is part of the game that I enjoy.

    I know that my success has improved in the last decade as I have made the Pacific NW my home and not just been a seasonal visitor. I have specific boxes/ties for Callibaetis mayflies (lakes), damselflies (lakes), Skwala stoneflies (rivers) Blue winged olives (rivers), Pale morning duns (rivers), March Browns (rivers), October caddis (rivers). I also have a generic caddis box and several generic midge boxes, and a generic nymph box. Of course, this growth has occurred over a decade. I caught fish before on more generic patterns, I catch more fish now with more fine-tuned patterns.

    Steve