Sunday, February 23, 2014

Fly Design

If you are interest in seeing the types of flies traditionally with a tenkara rod, a quick search on google can provide an interesting variety of regional and personal favorite patterns.   I first started to do some research about five years ago, when I first heard about fishing a fixed length line system.  As I looked at the various fly samples and patterns, what primarily struck me was not so much the differences I saw in the various patterns, but the similarities.

Just about all the “traditional” flies one sees are fairly generic patterns, you don't see an attempt to suggest anything too specific (i.e. a may fly wing). The flies tend to have a fair basic body profile along with some hackle wraps.  What is primarily different  body color and placement of the hackle as well as the angle to which it is applied. 

As I started tying and fishing flies based upon some of the more traditional patterns, I thought about the various environments where I would be using the flies.  I tend to fish somewhat varied water type - still  lakes and ponds, some very rapid rivers, and some streams in between.  I thought about what profile I want the fly to project, and used a design and materials to try to achieve the desired effect.  Alot may depend on your style of fishing and the way you present your flies as well.  Do you tend to use an active presentation, or prefer to dead drift your offerings?

I do tie my flies using some different colors of bodies and hackle, but to be honest, I think it is for my own amusement rather than that the fish care too much.  What I do think is much more important characteristics are size, and hackle stiffness.  I personally tie the majority of my flies with lessor quality hackle.  Since it is less stiff than the premium hackle, it provides more movement in slower flowing waters.  I also like the slightly thicker barb diameter it provides in the way it looks on the fly and in the water.  The other obvious advantage, it’s much cheap to buy than prime dry fly hackle.

As with most things fish related, we all develop our own ideas and theories.  You may want to play around with some variables next time you sit down to tie.  Try some different hackle stiffness along with whatever base pattern and color combinations you use.  Go out and fish them, and see what you think. 

have fun,

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