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jross
03-16-2010, 10:53 AM
I asked one time about fly pattern. Now that I'm tying flies I've come to more questions.....

Is the exact color specified in the recipe important or are there more important factors? For example...I've been tying up some Quill Gordons and I've been using mallard for wings not wood duck (as called for in the recipe). Will the color make a difference to the fish?

silvercreek
03-16-2010, 12:02 PM
Mallard probably will be close enough. You can dye that mallard with yellow onion skins to get closer to the wood duck color. Just steep the onion skins in hot water and then strain out the skin and use the resultant liquid to dye the mallard. Be sure to wash the mallard in soapy water and rinse well before dying. Silvercreek

Carlito
03-16-2010, 12:16 PM
I think the color matching is going to depend on the situation and how close you are getting with your substitute materials. Some probably think it is critical. I probably lean more towards it not really being that important in most cases compared to presentation.

ChemEAngler
03-16-2010, 12:24 PM
I asked one time about fly pattern. Now that I'm tying flies I've come to more questions.....

Is the exact color specified in the recipe important or are there more important factors? For example...I've been tying up some Quill Gordons and I've been using mallard for wings not wood duck (as called for in the recipe). Will the color make a difference to the fish?

I believe body color and hackle color are reasonably important, but with a good presentation I think you can overcome slight differences. Just try to be substituting materials that are very close in shade. As far as wings go, I know a couple guys who don't even tie the wings on their mayfly patterns, and they can catch fish all day long. Make sure your body proportions, hackle density, and overall length is accurate and I think you will be just fine.

MadisonBoats
03-16-2010, 12:31 PM
I believe that color matching is important in most situations dry fly situations; however, it is not a deal breaker. I would try matching the color closely if you are trying to match a hatch. Although, color matching is a huge deal if you are tying nymphs/midges. You need to get those very close.

The most important thing is getting the correct shape and SIZE. Size is probably the biggest area that most tyers do not focus on. Well, this is an area that I screw up on most of the time. I have shaking hands; so, I usually use size 20 hooks or smaller. This slight variation can reduce my strikes by 50% in not using a size 22-24 hook/fly in certain situations. Mostly; this comes in to play in areas that the majority of the food source is extremely small. Also, you need to make sure the fly's shape will give it the correct presentation that you are intending to mimic.

Don't be afraid to experiment. Some fish are keen to stimulating patterns and colors when feeding is selective and fishing is slow.

jross
03-16-2010, 01:15 PM
thanks for the advice! this is all new to me. (I hope my questions are helpful to others in the same boat as I am.)

so Madison boats, let's say I'm tying up quill gordons in size 14 and 12. Is That what you're talking about when you refer to size? I've been focusing on learning to tie proper proportions, sizes, and hackle. But last night I tied up some amazing looking flies, but i just didn't have the correct colors.

Oh by the way, Are nymphs really the colors we tie them? They look black to me!

MadisonBoats
03-16-2010, 02:46 PM
jross,
By size; I mean what the fishing are currently taking in the location you are fishing. The difference in hook size vs. what size the fish are eating is huge. You should find a simple seine net online or at a hobby shop that you can seine the water you fishing. This is a great help in identifying the color, size, and bug that is prevalent in the stream. Save some of them in a small watertight canister and use as reference at home - by copying them.

ChemEAngler
03-16-2010, 05:23 PM
jross,
By size; I mean what the fishing are currently taking in the location you are fishing. The difference in hook size vs. what size the fish are eating is huge. You should find a simple seine net online or at a hobby shop that you can seine the water you fishing. This is a great help in identifying the color, size, and bug that is prevalent in the stream. Save some of them in a small watertight canister and use as reference at home - by copying them.

Along these same lines it is also important to understand that just because a hook is size 12 doesn't mean the fly is a size 12. When I say they were taking a size 16 sulfur, that is the size of the insect (or fly body) that the fish are eating. A TMC 100 size 16 is completely different from a TMC 2488 size 16 or a TMC 2302 #16. It is important to know how to relate the insect size to the hook shank length not the hook size.

eastprong
03-17-2010, 10:15 AM
Care to post the shaft lengths of the hooks you mention?

jross
03-17-2010, 10:49 AM
"Along these same lines it is also important to understand that just because a hook is size 12 doesn't mean the fly is a size 12. When I say they were taking a size 16 sulfur, that is the size of the insect (or fly body) that the fish are eating. A TMC 100 size 16 is completely different from a TMC 2488 size 16 or a TMC 2302 #16. It is important to know how to relate the insect size to the hook shank length not the hook size. " :eek:

Gulp! just when I get pleased with myself at just being able to tie a fly, I find out it ain't as easy as I'd hoped....I suppose with every pursuit there is no limit on technicalities to learn!

buzzmcmanus
03-17-2010, 11:19 AM
Gulp! just when I get pleased with myself at just being able to tie a fly, I find out it ain't as easy as I'd hoped....

The guys above really know what they are talking about. But....remeber the KISS principle when fishing the mountains. When dark bugs are hatching, fish dark, buggy looking flies, when yellow sallies are hatching, fish yellow buggy looking flies, etc. To me, nothing looks more buggy than a caddis fly. I fish a size 16 caddis fly 90% of the time in the park, and I seem to do alright at catching fish. I don't try to exactly match the color, but I do want it close to the same general shade. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed with this. My main concern when tying flies is to keep it as cheap as possible.

Tailwaters are another matter.

silvercreek
03-17-2010, 12:04 PM
jross, don't get overwhelmed by it all. Like Buzz says, keep it simple at first. If you see flys on the water or on the air, try to catch one or get a good look at it, particularly the underside of the fly. Then root around in you box for something that matches the size and color for dry flies. For nymphs, the fly is going to be slightly larger than the dry. You'll eventually learn your bugs. At first, I suggest you learn the difference between caddis, stoneflies and mayflies. If nothing is on the water, then prospect with some type of attractor. Fishing a matching fly becomes more critical when the trout are actively feeding. Then your success goes up when you can match the hatch. Regards, Silvercreek

Carlito
03-17-2010, 01:31 PM
Keeping in line w/ the whole K.I.S.S. philosophy, if the trout in the Park are rising for a hatch, I promise you'll catch plenty of fish if you can get a good drift on something approximately the same size, regardless of color or pattern. You would probably catch more if you have a perfect match to what is hatching, but don't get too bogged down in the details. All this stuff just starts coming naturally to you the more time you spend on the water. However, I am in no way discouraging you from your efforts to learn these important nuances of the sport! Party on.

MadisonBoats
03-17-2010, 02:16 PM
...remeber the KISS principle when fishing the mountains. When dark bugs are hatching, fish dark, buggy looking flies, when yellow sallies are hatching, fish yellow buggy looking flies, etc. To me, nothing looks more buggy than a caddis fly. I fish a size 16 caddis fly 90% of the time in the park, and I seem to do alright at catching fish. I don't try to exactly match the color, but I do want it close to the same general shade. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed with this.

Jross,
Don't get frustrated with the endless information:biggrin:; I personally go a little too far at times in my fly fishing. It hurts my productivity at times; but, that is what I enjoy about it. It is an art, science, passion, etc.....

You should follow Buzz's KISS philosophy and focus on having fun. The rest will come with time with curiosity and experience.

Keep in mind; fishing freestone streams and tailwaters are very different in many ways. With that thought; learn to understand why and adapt.

SM

littlerivermike
03-17-2010, 03:48 PM
Just finished Jim Gasque's '48 book "Hunting and Fishing in the Great Smokies" which had a chapter on Mark Cathy. Mark almost always used the same pattern when fishing in the Smokies and purportedly would always catch more fish than any other 3 fisherman on the same water on the same day. Why? 1) He knew exactly where the fish were and 2) His presentation was incredibly natural. Color didn't matter much to old Mark as long as it was a yellow body with gray hackle.

silvercreek
03-17-2010, 04:13 PM
Probably true on his home waters. Doubt it would work on a stream like Silvercreek in Idaho. Apparently he did care about color as it had to be yellow and grey. Most folks end up learning something about bugs if for no other reason than it is easier to blame the fly than the fisherman, or they are looking for an edge to catch a few more trout. Some folks enjoy the bug knowledge as a compliment to their fishing and fly tying. Some could not care less. Go with whatever gives you the most pleasure. Regardless you are going to have to learn to make that cast. Regards, Silvercreek

jross
03-17-2010, 04:50 PM
as always good stuff to learn from the replies....I wish I had some way to show my flies to someone who knows more than me.... Well, maybe next week I'll see one or two of ya'll either in LRO or on the water and get a lesson on fly tying!

buzzmcmanus
03-17-2010, 05:36 PM
Well, maybe next week I'll see one or two of ya'll either in LRO or on the water and get a lesson on fly tying!

No lesson about fly tying from me. If you saw my flies, you'd know why. But I may be able to slip out from work early one afternoon if you want someone to fish with. Shoot me an email if you do. ramappraisals@yahoo.com

jross
03-18-2010, 08:24 AM
thanks buzz, I sent you an email.

flyman
03-18-2010, 11:43 AM
I like bright colors, makes them easier to see when I get hung in the Rhododendron bushes:biggrin:

jross
03-18-2010, 03:24 PM
one more question!

I'm tying up some little mayfly type flies right now. I'm using a size 18 and 14 hook. should I be going for darker colors? For example I'm using olive thread with darker feathers like blues and browns. Or should I keep my flies lighter, to look more like a EHCaddis? I've noticed the EHC's I have are lighter than the other flies like QGs.

silvercreek
03-18-2010, 05:20 PM
jross, if you are going next week darker will probably be best. Here is a link to Hugh's excellent site and his Smoky Mountain hatch chart which should help you now and for trips later in the year. A good bet now for a dry fly would be a parachute adams in various sizes.
http://www.smokymountainflyguide.com/smoky%20mountain%20hatch%20charts.htm (http://www.smokymountainflyguide.com/smoky%20mountain%20hatch%20charts.htm)

ChemEAngler
03-19-2010, 09:30 AM
Care to post the shaft lengths of the hooks you mention?

Eastprong,

I started another discussion on this topic. Link below:

http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/showthread.php?p=78262#post78262