Welcome to Just Old Flies

Welcome to 'just old flies,' a section of methods and flies that used-to-be. These flies were tied with the only materials available. Long before the advent of 'modern' tying materials, they were created and improved upon at a far slower pace than todays modern counterparts; limited by materials available and the tiers imagination.

Once long gone, there existed a 'fraternity' of anglers who felt an obligation to use only the 'standard' patterns of the day. We hope to bring a bit of nostalgia to these pages and to you. And sometimes what you find here will not always be about fishing. Perhaps you will enjoy them. Perhaps you will fish the flies. Perhaps . . .

Part Twenty



By "Old Rupe"

Have you ever sat in a "meat market singles bar" waiting for the perfect "honey" to enter? The perfect brunette with long legs and all the stuff to compliment the act.

Now you understand trout search patterns.

Trout during the course of a hatch establish a search pattern due to the repeated passing of the nymph, fly, spinner, or egg through their window. After seeing enough flies they define a search pattern much like you do in a singles bar. They only hit on those insects that match the search pattern, like you do in the singles bar, fat girls and other flies do without.

The hatch defines the search pattern and the trout follow this lead in filtering out everything that doesn't match the flies that pass over them. Woe is the "honey" that enters the bar and doesn't "fit" the mold. The same principle applies with the "presented artificial fly." If it doesn't fit the pattern it just won't hunt.

"Honeys" have learned over the centuries that if they walk in like the rest they won't get "taken." If they look like the previous one hundred that entered the bar they just do without. They just know they have to have an edge. It's this edge that they work on 2-3 hours every day. Presentation is the solution. She knows that she has to enhance her positive aspects. This enhancement act works for "honeys" and it works for trout.

Short, dumpy "honeys" that are fat and ugly, just don't go to the dance. In order for a trout fly to succeed during a hatch it has to distance itself from the pack. It has to stand out from the crowd. It has to not only personify the hatch but have one or more characteristics that separate it from the thousands of naturals that flood the trouts window. It needs something in the search pattern that will cause the trout to accept it over the natural.

The basic search pattern can't be altered without diminishing it. Alter the size or general pattern and the fly-fisher does without. What then can the sharp fisher do?

The secret like the "honeys" found out is "enhance what you already have." If a fly is green, make it real green, if a fly is yellow make it real yellow. In fact, like the Catskill tiers, a yellow fly becomes red. Personify the fly without making it an example so garish that it will scare your mother-in-law.

Augment the natural color so as to enhance the chance that your fly will be "ate." If the fly is green make your imitation greener. Try to present a fly that elicits a more than natural response.

A super fly. A fly that the trout brain will see as a better act. A building process that the trout brain will accept. If green is good then greener is better. If yellow shines then red or flourescent yellow should be great.

It is necessary to maximize the neural response of the search pattern so as to separate the natural from the imitation. In this case more is better. Brighter is better than dull. Key that fact into the tying process and the search pattern that results is able to stimulate the brain better than the natural. An enhanced color is better than the evolutionally conceived "blend in" that nature conceived in nymphs. Cross purposes here, my artificial wants to stand out from the natural and catch trout where the natural wants to blend in and be ignored.

The winning act is not to make the yellow too yellow or the red too red and the green can't scare the bus driver. Enhance the color but don't scare the fish. Separate the naturals from the imitations by enhancing the color but don't scare the object of the search.~ "Old Rupe"

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