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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am very new to fly fishing. I have been fly fishing twice now and have tied about 7 flys which haven't caught a fish yet.

At some locations, the Washington State Selective Gear Rules require only unscented artificial flies. What about the hair, feathers and glues that are used to make flies? Don’t these all have scents? Don't fish have good smellers?

I guess my questions is, do I need to take into account the scent of material used to tie flies?

Earl
 

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Be the guide...
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Your OK unless you are lacing the materials on purpose with trout attratant. But it would be hard for them to catch. They pretty much would have to see you apply stuff in the field because I really doubt they are going to do a taste test on the fly...
 
G

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Y'know, I've got a stick of dubbing wax that I've had about five years at least, now, and still haven't used it, but I'm keeping it because it's kinda hilarious and my last link to the "bait days"... it's an anise scented stick of friggin' dubbing wax. Geez Louise!

And, oh yeah - as a tier, I'd get used to the increasing numbers of flies you've tied that have never SEEN WATER, let alone caught a fish. But, if you want to make sure the flies you tie do catch fish, I'm getting a little thin on #18 (gasp) bwo's...

I'm not being serious.

Fish are good smellers. Unless you got ahold of my dubbing wax somehow, though, I think your store-bought or road-scraped tying materials should be fairly safe (and legal) and standardized. Just don't go getting "all quill" or anything on us, now...

:smokin
 

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The scent of the materials themselves is irrelevant unless you are tying with road kill!

Some fishing authors have claimed that the smell of head cement is relevant, particularly in lakes. I strongly believe that this is one of those claims that sounds good on paper but has absolutely no validity in the field.

Even if you are allowed to add scent to flies by law, you have to be careful because the oils in scent can inhibit the lifelike action of some materials like marabou.

Good luck.
 

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Is the scent of fly material important? NO.

Voodoo. All seems to be voodoo these days. A friend of mine in France wanted me to scour the country to find some "Kambuska." She had a sick sister (the big C), and she was convinced that this ? would cure her. It was just some sort of rotten algae like stuff that you grew in a special copper container. I got it out of L.A. (wouldn't you just know it) after a long search. Sent it. The sister died.
My granddaughter had warts as a baby. I was told by a mature woman that if I could give her a lock of the child's hair, she would take it to this hag in Paris and she would cure the warts in 30 days. I said no thanks and she was flabergasted, "What, she says, you don't want to help the child?" The warts dissappeared on their own about 3 mos. later, as is often the case with children and warts. No hag involved.
What does this have to do with your question? I think flies and scent is of the same ilk as the above stories: voodoo, just voodoo. I think the law against scent and flies is to prevent the use of bait being used as a fly.
Same with the barometer. Voodoo. Forget it.
Now, tides are another horse altogether: not voodoo in my book and I think most fishermen would agree.:thumb BL
 

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Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here
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RiverFishing

I'm also sure this applies to the use of something that is ADDED to the fly to enhance the scent.
When I was a semi-serious student of bass fishing, I was told that bass had a keen sense of smell, could easily pick up the human scent left on a lure by the handling, and it made perfect sense to take a new lure (jig, rubber worm, etc.) and rub river mud, algae, etc., on it to "kill" the human scent. I confess to doing this occasionally, but can't say it made me a better fisherman. However, I did stay at a Holiday Innn Express last night.
:rofl
As most of the sentiment here implies, you'll be fine doing what you're doing.
And as Terrence Mann told Ray Kinsela in "Field of Dreams,"

"Oh yes, Ray, they will come. They will most definitely come."

Tight Lines!

Mike:thumb
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks to everyone who responded. The answers surprised me, because it seems obvious that fish have a keen sense of smell, and most materials have a scent. However, I am going to take your advice and not worry about what smells good or bad to a fish, and concentrate on learning how to tie a good fly. And to go fishing more often.
 
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