This is not how I was taught

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by GAT, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. Hans Weilenmann Active Member

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    The small head is a by-product, and one which happens to be pleasing to me, the tier. I do not believe it is a key to making a pattern more effective in itself.

    The main driver is a construction and a result which I believe to be superior in durability in a number of ways, as well as being easier and faster to tie.

    I fail to see the problem with that :cool:

    YMMV...

    Cheers,
    Hans W
  2. ansas The Good Ol' Days are Now!

    Posts: 91
    Eastern, WA
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    A consideration relative to if and when the head of a fly can make a difference is if and to what extent the head is visible to a fish. The more prominent a feature the head is to the overall
    impression of an imitated fly and how deep that head is in the surface film or under it is a consideration.

    Take a PMD (this one courtesy of Westfly) if it is a high dry riding on its hackle and tail then the overall size shape and color win the day and a neat little head is probably no big deal. But if it is a spinner fishing down into the film I'd be inclined to make the head both bigger and orange-brown. Sic.....
    [IMG]
    Nymphs....sure. Stoneflies, dragonflies, chironamids...sure. According to Mike Lawson's account about the origin of the Henry's Fork Hopper fly, a cigarette butt will be taken by the odd fish, in which case (the cigarette butt fish) the details are not important.

    The greater the pressure and the softer the water the more important the details. Tail water, spring creeks, and high pressure areas are legend for frustrated anglers trying "everything in the box" without success until the pattern with the correct detail was found.
  3. Hans Weilenmann Active Member

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    ansas,

    You weave a convincing story, but I am left with this one question... how do we 'think away' the eye of the hook?

    My story is a little different - I consider the hook eye an integral part of the imitation - let's call it the head of the bug :cool:

    Cheers,
    Hans W
  4. ansas The Good Ol' Days are Now!

    Posts: 91
    Eastern, WA
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    My purpose is not critical, nor to advocate for one vs the other approach.

    I tied and fished Leisenring's patterns for several years to exclusion, and was caught up in the Halford vs Skues until the facts were known to me that: first both of men were fishing ONLY to rising fish, and second that here in Washington the water I was fishing is decidedly different. Well that was liberating because the austerity of their approach is way more self flagellation and standing on principle than is comfortable on a Saturday. And, subsequently although the preference is for fur and feathers, there were no worries and no shame fishing another technique, and to include dare I say it, garden hackle.

    With respect to the hook, I suspect that the hook is mostly seen from below and possibly blends into the silhouette of the fly, or possibly as zen leecher aka bill w subtly suggested: fish aren't too smart.

    A fish brain is small enough that they aren't probably thinking about much, but I'm not the fish psychologist and do not profess to know what a fish thinks.

    I do know that if they eat one thing over and over to the exclusion of other fare, they will under the right circumstances do so to the exclusion of everything else. I have personally seen it and have personally seen also those fish that have seen enough to know that what you've shown them this time is not quite right somehow.

    WHY FISH BITE and WHY THEY DON'T (J Westman)

    Often pondered, much pontificated, but never proven.
  5. Nick Clayton Active Member

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    All I can add for certain to this conversation is that silvers love a bright red head on my chartreuse/white clousers.
  6. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,989
    Willamette Valley, OR
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    Yesterday, I performed a field test of the WB tied with no head and it didn't work...
    of course neither did the other 15 patterns I tried so perhaps it wasn't a good test. Nothing was working, head or not. :)
    Mark Mercer likes this.
  7. ansas The Good Ol' Days are Now!

    Posts: 91
    Eastern, WA
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    ?About the red on the Clouser, there was a piece in a book that described minnows flashing their gills when frightened. I wonder if it is like the gasp that we humans make when surprised and get a fright!?
    A number of minnow and streamer patterns have a flash of red at or near the front end of the fly. http://goo.gl/KJiFL
  8. GAT Active Member

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    Willamette Valley, OR
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    Well, anyway, regardless of the head or no head factor, I've found tying in the hackle feather first does make things a bit easier for tying soft hackles and WBs. Probably other patterns as well but I'm not tying those at this time... it's subsurface stillwater pattern time.
  9. Hans Weilenmann Active Member

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    Just as easy on the other hackled patterns. Gene :cool:

    Sub-surface stillwater patterns for me also - meeting a friend from UK at Lake O this weekend.

    Cheers,
    Hans W
  10. GAT Active Member

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    Willamette Valley, OR
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    Hans, I hope your stillwater trip turns out better than the one we went on Saturday. I don't have enough of my ass remaining to freeze off much more . ... especially when I'm catching no trout.
  11. Hans Weilenmann Active Member

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    Lake O is a special place - saltwater lake holding serious size rainbows and some browns.
  12. GAT Active Member

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    Willamette Valley, OR
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    If you end up with any photos, please post them.
  13. Daryle Holmstrom retiredfishak

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    Mount Vernon, WA
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    Use Red Hooks for that trigger factor ;)