Billions and billions of fly patterns - how to keep
them sorted by type or function? Every Fly Angler/Tier
comes to that dilemma, sooner or later. If you save
fly pattern recipes, how do you keep the recipes organized
so you can have quick and easy access to the recipe? How
do you organize your fly boxes that you are going to use
on the stream or open water?
Many flies have the same name, but can be tied as a dry,
wet, streamer, nymph, or terrestrial. Some flies have
names that do not describe the fly pattern at all (There
is a Salmon/Steelhead pattern that is called "Red Ant"
that looks nothing like an Ant). What about Saltwater
Patterns, where do they fit in, and just what makes a
Salmon/Steelhead Pattern different from the other patterns
previously mentioned? This is the problem I will try to
make some sense of today. This is only my way of trying
to keep things straight and organized.
I find fishing for the same fish, on the same water,
with the same flies very boring. I have had great
success at catching fish with flies that are designed
for other waters, or fish. As examples, I use Saltwater
and Salmon/Steelhead Patterns for freshwater fish such
as Bass, and Pike. I turn Streamer Patterns into
Salmon/Steelhead Patterns. I use Shrimp Patterns
(saltwater) for crawfish flies; just about every fly
angler, saltwater and freshwater has used Clouser Minnows.
So what makes a fly saltwater or freshwater? Is it the
hook used, or is it the water it is used on? There is a
word that best describes this action is permutation
(a major or fundamental change). Here is my attempt
at sorting everything into an order that I can find
what I need.
I have five categories of fly patterns each category
Dry Flies (flies that are floated on top the water surface)
Wet Flies (flies that are in or just below the water surface)
- Typical Dry Fly Patterns (e.g. mayfly, caddis, and damsels).
- Emerger Patterns (nymphs metamorphosis into airborne
insect with majority of the fly floating on or above the water surface)
Nymphs (flies below the water surface or on water surface)
- Typical Wet Flies.
- Emergers (nymphs metamorphosis into airborne
insect with majority of the fly is floating beneath
the water surface)
- Snails (mollusk)
Streamers (These flies can be Dry or Wet.)
- Subsurface Insect (Nymph & Pupa) in pre-emerger stage.
- Scuds (freshwater shrimp).
- Snails (mollusk).
Terrestrials (Land-based insects that only thru accident
would end up in the water)
- Swine (because of Jim Hatch, I had to add this sub-category).
- Reptiles & Amphibians.
- Crustacean (shrimp & crawfish).
- Salmon/Steelhead (you tie it on a salmon hook, it is a salmon fly).
- Saltwater (anything on a stainless hook, even if it is for Muskellunge).
Where do the egg patterns go, or some specific
fly pattern? You make up your system which will
work for you. Mine may not be the best, but at
least I know where to find my recipes. ~ Parnelli
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