Warm Fuzzy - and a question

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Hans Weilenmann, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Hans Weilenmann Active Member

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    I have been thinking a bit on the following, without having reached any firm conclusion, and decided to put it to the forum.

    In the early days of lake fishing with chironomid larva/pupa imitations the bodies tended to be soft/fuzzy - for example peacock herl, pheasant tail barbs, dubbing. Then there was a shift to hard/shiny bodies - a thread underbody with a coating of epoxy or varnish. These have become the de facto standard - without or with a bead. No more soft/fuzzy bodied imitations to be found.

    Why? What makes the hard/shiny bodied imitations better, more effective? Indeed, are they better, more effective?

    Interested in your views and opinions.

    Oh, and here for comparison is a sample soft/fuzzy sample :cool:

    [IMG]
    Warm Fuzzy

    [IMG]
    Warm Fuzzy (soaked, with the associated color shift)

    Cheers,
    Hans W
  2. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,992
    Willamette Valley, OR
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    I for one have not switched over to the epoxy or "hard bodies".

    I still use the materials you mentioned for tying the bodies. I prefer using pheasant tail fibers or micro chenille or Magic Dub when tying midge emergers. And I still include wraps of peacock herl at the head.
  3. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,144
    Moses Lake, WA
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    When a pupa is ready to emerge gasses form under the skin to aid in climbing the water column. These gasses give the skin a shiny, metallic look.
    Chris Johnson likes this.
  4. Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Posts: 1,684
    Outer Duvall
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    I haven't switched to hard bodies but I have always been a fan of floss bodies with tinsel and a thicker thorax. Floss keeps the body thin and I don't recall ever seeing a thick bodied chironomid. In theory tinsel serves to create an illusion of shiny gas bubbles.

    TC
  5. Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Posts: 1,042
    Des Moines
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    The glossy looking ones started catching a lot more fishermen in the fly shops bins...but also I like their translucency
  6. GAT Active Member

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    Willamette Valley, OR
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    BINGO!

    Sure, they look nice to a human but how close are the trout really paying attention to the shine of a bug while the fish is cruising around with an open mouth eating anything that looks vaguely real.

    Because the take can be so danged subtle, I like my patterns to have some texture so the trout may hang on to it a tad longer and I can detect the strike.
  7. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,144
    Moses Lake, WA
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    Once you start fishing them you will understand.
  8. GAT Active Member

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    That would mean I'd have to tie some first :)

    Truthfully, I fish midge emergers so infrequently I have a box full of the suckers I never use now. The shiny guys may very well work like magic for the indicator system... which I seldom use. So I'm not really qualified to say if they work better or not.

    If I ever run low on the dozens of midge patterns I have in stock, I'll tie some of the shiny guys and give them a try. Just don't hold your breath.
  9. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,144
    Moses Lake, WA
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    Gene... Gene...Gene.... for having as much of your artwork in flytying magazines you sure haven't read the chronie articles. (I had to say it)

    It's ok with me that anyone wanting to fish chronies fish them anyway they want and tie them anyway they want.

    There's been big advances in chironomid pupa patterns from the TDC of the 50's and 60's. I myself had a "Bill's Midge" pattern that worked well in the 70's but I sure wouldn't have confidence in it today.
  10. GAT Active Member

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    Willamette Valley, OR
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    Why would a pattern that worked in the 70s suddenly stop working today? I don't think the trout talk among themselves.

    If the new style patterns will work with sinking lines and you are not required to use the bobber system (yeah, yeah, I know it works) than I might give them a try. Otherwise, if they primarily work best with bobbers, chances are, I won't have the hots to try them.
  11. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,144
    Moses Lake, WA
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    Which is better? A Model T or a Z-28? Both will get you from Point A to Point B.

    I didn't say the pattern stopped working, only that it was improved, changed, evolved to a better working one.

    No more on this from me as it's not my mission to change how people fish.
    cabezon and Irafly like this.
  12. Irafly Active Member

    Posts: 3,610
    Everett, Washington, USA.
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    I'll take over for you then zen. Chironomids when viewed seem hard bodied thus the switch to a harder look. When they stage to hatch as zen has pointed out they will begin to produce gasses to help them move up in the water column. Sometimes it may take them a few attempts so they will build up the gasses and then move back down again to start over. Patterns that include a silver shine, epoxy build up, chrome coloration mimic this process very well and in truth this is where the mids are at most of the time after hatching out of their bloodworm pupal stage. The old patterns worked because they still looked like food and they were fished in a highly, highly effective method. They also worked because when the bugs are first staging or losing their gasses they will look a bit plain. When the fish are on the chrome stage though, it becomes tough to pick them up on anything else. GAT you mentioned how would the fish know. When they swim around with their mouths open like that they will look for any trigger to hit and that little bit of shine can make all the difference.
    cabezon and troutpocket like this.
  13. GAT Active Member

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    Willamette Valley, OR
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    You bobber guys stick together :p
  14. Olive bugger Active Member

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    Woodinville, WA
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    Ah, there sir, is your mistake. There is a trout gossip line that only lacks a back yard fence.
  15. GAT Active Member

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    Willamette Valley, OR
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    There's a cartoon in that one.
    Olive bugger likes this.
  16. Steve Saville Active Member

    Posts: 2,482
    Tacoma, WA
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    There must be a new cartoon in here somewhere. Personally, I think the fish are more sophisticated than 50 years ago. :)
  17. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,992
    Willamette Valley, OR
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    Yes, over the years they've evolved to prefer Power Bait over anything else. Power Bait is the new worm.:)

    Only the most intelligent fish fall for fly patterns so naturally their tastes constantly change.
  18. Olive bugger Active Member

    Posts: 2,378
    Woodinville, WA
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    Sooooo, has anybody got a pattern for the power bait sparkle Bug,
    Tied with polyester yarn?
  19. GAT Active Member

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    Willamette Valley, OR
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    I'm working on one to represent the nymph stage. The ones I tied to imitate Power Bait duns didn't work worth crap. :cool:
    Gary Knowels likes this.
  20. Olive bugger Active Member

    Posts: 2,378
    Woodinville, WA
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    Well, there could be the source of the problem. The duns do not hatch out until AFTER the summer solstice. TODAY COULD BE YOUR DAY! Back to the vise and assortment of power bait and yarn....