Saturday, May 2, 2015

Mix and Match

I didn't have my good camera but I think you can still get an idea of what this is. It's just a "little green machine" tied with a different hook, thread color and dubbing. That's the beauty of fly fishing and tying flies especially. There is more than one way to skin a cat and experimenting is part of the journey. It's what makes fly fishing an art and not a science. Although there are best practices that may work better than others at times, no one fly or one method is the definitive route, which allows us to put our own stamp on things.
To interject some science, I was fishing with an optometrist a few years ago who actually dissected a trout's eye. What he found were the cones in the eye of the fish that he suggested would indicate that trout see the blues and purples better than other colors. I'm definitely not the first person to try purple but because of that little tidbit of knowledge, I did start tying streamers with blue and purple flashes and low and behold, it worked. It didn't always work but there were certain conditions that a white streamer with blue and purple accents absolutely crushed them when nothing else would. I also started tying those same streamers with chartreuse and again, there were days when those streamers out-fished everything else three-to-one.  
It's hard to say with absolute certainty, which colors work best in different conditions but matching the right color with the right light conditions seems to make sense to me. The more important point here though, is that you shouldn't be afraid to mix and match and try different colors or different materials with your favorite patterns and you might find something that just works better.
Take the little green machine for example. Some people take the approach that you need to replicate each ingredient exactly or it's just not the same fly. It's like a rendering or a classic musical piece where every note and every accent is scrutinized and in order to do the piece justice, you have to present it exactly the way it was initially intended. I say BS.
I didn't like using the little green machine for one reason. The hooks were too fine and I wound up losing a lot of fish because they were springing out. I realize the idea of the fly was to create a really fine profile but really? What's the point if you keep losing fish? I love tying flies on scud hooks because the presentation is a little more natural and they are stronger hooks so...
And like I said, I also experiment a lot with color and different types of dubbing and Mylar that reflect different colors and patterns so again, I experimented and again, fish ate it.
Fly fishing is an art folks that may very well be driven by science. Fish will eat certain things because of that science but we as anglers, should be artists in order to uncover different methods and approaches and interpretations of the natural world that just might work better.
Keep 'em where they live...

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