Why tube flies?


The editor of Flyfishing , when it was called that, sent me flyfishing and angling magazines from England... it was from those magazines that I learned most of what I know about stillwater flyfishing... Anyway, they would refer to any fly patterns that didn't represent an aquatic insect as "lures". I always thought that was interesting.

I used some of the pattens they covered in the magazines for my flytying column. The editor told me I could write about any pattern I wanted except the popular fly style in England called Boobies. I never understood why he didn't want me to cover a fly by that name :)


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With a strict reading of the language, I'd interpret that to mean that a lure has to have more than one hook, otherwise they would've said "complete with a hook or hooks" or "one or more hooks".
In the RCW and WAC, I believe only a fly and fly fishing have legal definitions (as does a 'lead jig'). The bottom line is the fly fishing only regs state what requirements your fly, fly line and reel must meet and if any of these things don't meet those definitions, one is committing a violation. A bare hook is a bare hook whether or not that bare hook is attached to a tube or a spoon or used as a trailer on an Intruder or with a corkie and yarn in an egg loop.


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If I dress the single pointed barbless hook by tying on marabou, it's not a bare hook, and if I use this dressed single hook with a tube fly, the tube fly is not a weight, and the line is tied directly to said hook, is it legal in flyfishing only waters?

Now I could pose the same question with a tiny plug whose only hook is a marabou dressed single barbless hook. The hook is single barbless and not bare, the plug body is not a weight , but in this case the line is tied to the plug body, not directly to the hook. (These work great, by the way, where they are legal, in selective gear rule lakes.)

This post addresses hooks being bare or not.

The weights question is also interesting and I will save this for another post.



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It may turn on the language " angler may use ONLY the following tackle ... Flies... Fly line... Backing.... Leader.... " and not "fixed spool reels ... Bait... Weight attached to the leader or line". ...

If the tube fly in my previous post, with the hook itself dressed enough to qualify as a fly, covering a minimum of half of the shank of the hook, AND the tube is attached to the hook, the tube could be regarded as part of the legal fly. So if said tube has the flexible tubing to hold it onto the hook, and said hook qualifies as a fly, then this could be construed as compliant. The definitions of lure and fly do not require that things attached to the hook be attached by any particular method or degree of permanence. ( though it does say manufactured, without definition)

On the other hand , if the tube is still not regarded as a " an integral part of the design of the fly pattern" or failed to meet the idea of "manufacture", then a tube fly as specified above might still not be compliant as it would be something in addition to the ONLY items above.

NOW.. This train of thought brings us to indicators! In flyfishing only waters an indicator would be something in addition to the ONLY items that are listed above. So are indicators illegal in flyfishing only waters?


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