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Old 03-16-2010, 10:53 AM
jross jross is offline
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Default does fly color matter?

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?
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:02 PM
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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
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:16 PM
Carlito Carlito is offline
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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.
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jross View Post
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.
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:31 PM
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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.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:15 PM
jross jross is offline
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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!
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:46 PM
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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.
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MadisonBoats View Post
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.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:15 AM
eastprong eastprong is offline
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Care to post the shaft lengths of the hooks you mention?
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:49 AM
jross jross is offline
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"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. "

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!
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