This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm

December 29th, 2003

Miss Something?

We had some rather interesting comments on our Fly of the Week (FOTW) last week. In case you 'overlooked' it, or were gone on holiday, it was the Drifting Oligochaete Worm.

One comment was, the last time a reader saw something like that he was driving a taxi, (you have to be from the region to know where - I assumed it was a 'red-light district'). Another person commented it looked like a pink pipe-cleaner wrapped on a hook. Yet another said the person who tied it must be a beginner.

So why did we run that particular fly?

Ever wonder how/why various flies are picked for FOTW?

I do want to mention here, your favorite flies are welcome here. We solicit flies from our readers for several reasons. You may have a regional or local fly which just isn't well known (or known at all). You might have discovered a tying method which really works! You may have created a variation of a known fly pattern which works better in your area. And finally, it's just a very neat thing to have one of your flies featured on FAOL! (If it makes you happy, why not?) We are always receptive to flies from our readers, and they can be for freshwater, saltwater, lakes, or non-trout species. If in fact, you have such a fly, contact me!

Back to how/why of the flies picked. Sometimes the fly is tied in a different manner. We've had some which detail hackling, stripped 'wally wings,' original flies for specific fish, flies with information on the insect and it's habitat, and with most, instructions on how to fish the fly. We also try to have a variety of difficulty in tying. Some for beginners and some for the more advanced tiers. If you are really advanced you should be trying some of the flies in the Atlantic Tying section. Some flies are presented because they are appropriate for the season - October Caddis were hatching - or at this time of year, little black stones or tiny black Baetis. Even if you don't have a particular insect or fish for that kind of fish, I'll bet there is something to learned from any FOTW. Yes, even the Creative Foam Fly Tying can be applied to trout - or saltwater flies!

For most, we are in winter in the US. The dry-fly trouters have hung up the rods for the duration - but - the warm-water anglers are still out there! We may feature more flies for the warm-water folks at this time of the year. We try to balance each issue, so if we come across something neat for the trouters, (like a method by A.K. Best in this week's FOTW) we'll use it.

So what was 'special' about the Drifting Oligochaete Worm? Several things. The author of the article, Fox Statler, did the research and found out what the worm was; observed and found out how it behaves. Then took the trouble to match the worm. Is it "matching the hatch?" In the larger sense, you bet!

Add to that there is a Sowbug Round-Up coming up in March exactly where the Drifting Oligochaete Worm is found. Maybe some of our FAOL folks who are going to be there might want to tie some up? What a concept.

By the way, the author of that article, Fox Statler, is not a beginner. He has been guiding and tying for many years, and is also the author of the book Fishing What They See.

Now if the neigh-sayers had bothered to read the article, they might have learned something. Moreover, one reading the article might just be inspired to take a better look at their favorite waters. What really lives there? How do they look at various times of the year? Are the insects maintaining their numbers? Increasing? Decreasing? Changing? Do you know?

The next time you see a FOTW you think isn't interesting, or "nothing I'd ever use" you might stop and read it anyway. FAOL is an information website - we do it for you. There may be some information in that article which really does apply to you.

Just think what you've been missing. ~ The LadyFisher

If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

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