Yes, No? On Butterflies and Moths?

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by jami_wa, Apr 4, 2006.

  1. jami_wa New Member

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    I was standing out in the sun today and this tiny light blue butterfly flew by, made me think, I never see butterfly or moth patterns. Why not? Or maybe they do have them and I have just never seen them. It's a bug wouldn't fish eat it? Lots of them come out at the same time a lot to kinda like a hatch?
  2. Calvin1 Member

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    Seattle, WA
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    There is an important White Moth hatch on the West Fork of the Bitteroot. It's the only Moth/Butterfly action that I'm aware of.
  3. jami_wa New Member

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    Thanks for the reply! hmmm I guess I just find it odd there arn't more patterns...maybe the wings are tricky to replicate?
  4. Calvin1 Member

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    Seattle, WA
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    I don't know about the butterfly, but I would imagine that a downwing pattern for the moth would be your go to. Simiilar to a stimulator. I would think that once they are on the water they would not be too happy about it and there would be a lot of fluttering which is the activity simulated by a downwing.
  5. Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Posts: 1,590
    .Redmond, WA
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    Years ago there were moth patterns widely sold in western sporting goods stores. These were called "Millers"; white miller, tan miller, etc. At the Campbell River museum a few years ago there was a Roderick Haig-Brown exhibit. One of his fly boxes held several miller style patterns. I have an old (circa 1920 +-) and very fragile booklet of fly tying patterns that lists both a white miller and white moth.
    Roy Patrick's "Pacific Northwest Fly Patterns" lists the whitle miller and white moth as well.
    The Dusty Miller is still in fairly wide use in the eastern United States and the Maritmes of Canada. I'm sure if you dig into older books you'll find more references to moth and miller patterns. They are certainly still effective; just out of favor.
    Good Tying,
    Les Johnson
  6. crobarr New Member

    Posts: 74
    hillsboro, oregon
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    the only butterfly "patterns" i've seen where in a wood/glass display "case". VERY intricate and colorfull. perhaps i can talk to the guy that tied them and get a picture. i have moth and dragonfly patterns i use for bass, but they will hit anything...... even seen them go after bats.

    if you tie some up, use feather tips for the wings (or small partridge feathers), and treat the fly with watershed or hydrostop so you don't mess up the wings with floatant.
  7. Scott Catlin Member

    Posts: 72
    Redmond, WA
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    Butterflies don't breed, hatch or feed in water. I imagine butterfly caterpillar patterns would work if you tossed them close to the bank under an overhanging tree (as if they dropped from the leaves), but adult butterflies are more attracted to flowers and blossoms than they are to water.
  8. cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Posts: 1,722
    Olympia, WA
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    Our impression of the importance of catepillars is biased by our big freestone rivers in the west, lots of exposed cobble-stone covered banks during the summer fishing season. Back in the Appalachians through Maine, the riparian trees develop a complete canopy over the streams (like casting in a green tunnel) and significant shrubs overhang the banks during the summer. Hoppers aren't as big a deal, but other terrestrial bugs, like caterpillars, beetles, ants, etc. can be very productive. In the south, the vegetation can be thick with the caterpillars of catalpa moths and there are several patterns that imitate this stage (see or A wooly bugger in various colors would probably match local caterpillars quite well.

  9. hikepat Patrick

    Posts: 1,803
    Des Moines, WA, USA.
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    There is at least two lakes up on the Peninsula some where that if you hit it just right a large light colored Caddis or small Stimi is just the ticket for the moths all over the lake in the evenings in Sept.
    That all I will say on this subject.
  10. Philster New Member

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    Back in California there used to be a huge seasonal blow in of butterflies in Lake Tahoe. I'm talking you either hit it or you didn't. One or two afternoons, and that was it. Nobody fished it with butterfly patterns per se, but it did bring the lake trout to the surface within easy reach of fly tactics, mostly folks threw big zonkers.
  11. AFJBugger New Member

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    Redmond, WA, USA.
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    I remember seeing a video (available at the library) where Paul Jorgenson tied a quad caddis. I would think that would cover the moth patterns well. I think I saw on Jeopardy the other night that Monarch butterflies are know to be very bitter in taste. :confused:

    Good luck!
  12. jami_wa New Member

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    There is a fly called the "Adult May" By Shane Stalcup, beautiful fly by the way, he uses a material called Medallion Sheeting for the wings. Anyone ever worked with this? It's supposed to be durable. I could see this used for small butterfly wings. The reason I brought up butterflies is, we have a pond out front, sometimes dead butterflies will be on the water floating, wings kinda messed up, would a fish not respond to it just beacuse it's dead?

    Also, I have seen some amazing flies used from odd everyday materials that work. Tent catterpillars have their nests (tents) in tree branchs. I have in mind a few things to use to replicate one. I just don't know if anything will eat it. I know Monarchs taste bad, the color markings let the animals know that. I am all for the "known, tried and true flies" but, I would love to tie something odd and not so well known that would work. I dream of big fish and can't help but to dream of new bugs!
  13. Willy New Member

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    Ithaca, NY
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    Edward Hewitt's Neversink Skaters were said to be butterfly patterns. I tied some up and I'm anxiously awaiting some warmer weather to try them.