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DarrellP

most unrealistic fly that works

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Bob,

 

Do you think the red color imitates torn up pieces of red fish flesh, maybe tuna flesh, kind of like the "flesh" flies in AK that imitate the pink flesh of dead salmon?

 

flesh_flesh_solid.jpg

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I have absolutely no idea... When I first started filling orders for fly shops, one of them specified a big, garish orange fly for sharks... This is what I eventually provided... I've had orders for them in red/white, fl. chartreuse, and a few even more exotic colors. Remember that red or orange looks black when it's more that four feet under the surface - so lord only knows what a fish sees... Unlike freshwater where you're often feeding fish that are holding in a current -then pick and choose what to take and what to ignore.. We're much more actively tossing flies at fish that expect to dash out and ambush a passing food item - or in this case only making a cast at fish that are coming to the chum... or passing by while in migration mode...

 

In fact, a shark can't see what's right in front of them, but they see pretty well to the side. Their ability to hunt down and strike is much more following scent and/or sound to find prey and attack. I tell my anglers to only cast as the fish approaches and to do their best to keep the fly beside an eye while stripping to keep pace with the approaching animal... That bright color is much more to benefit my angler than anything else. You keep stripping until the shark moves it's head slightly - and the fly is simply gone... Come tight and the fish will do the rest -if you can keep all the line around your feet from snagging you (or anything else..) as it flies up to the rod -then away from the skiff... I also advise my anglers that after strip striking a fish (any fish, from one pound to bigger than you are...) not to try to use your line hand to apply any pressure as the fish surges away. They need to manage the line as it comes up off the deck until everything is tight and the reel is turning. If you try to apply any drag with your line hand with loose line on the deck -the fly line jumps about and will almost certainly be a problem (understatement... I've held onto more than one angler's belt while they hopped around on foot trying to clear line that caught on more than one obstacle.. their feet, the reel, and everything else under the sun... it's something we all go through -even experienced saltwater types....).

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I think that all flies represent a "thing" to a fish. "things" that move might be food, or a threat.

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I'll go one further and say very few of the flies we tie resemble what they are said to resemble. This is why I don't buy into the match the hatch as fervently as others. Only a few things come to mind that are close, like a foam beetle. As far as dry flies go, they all look unrealistic to me, which is why I don't eat them.

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Years ago I stood on the bridge over the boxcar hole on the Lester out of Dulut watching half a dozen drifting the one good run working in unison to prevent tangles. Off to the side of the hole some water was diverted into a little waterfall and I was sure I saw a couple of Chinook flash in that small runoff pool. I told a guy on the bridge if someone came around and fished that little pool they'd hook a chinook right away. Well, he said show me Mr. Knowitall. I went to my station wagon and looked in back and only rod I had was a spinning rod with a Whistler Jig left on from walleye fishing. I dug around, found some wool socks with orange tops, used my knife to hack off a strip about 2" long and hooked that on the jig. I walked down where everyone was fishing, walked the rocks around to that small pool being ignored, dropped that Whistler and sweat sock combo in and set the hook in a nice chinook about 10#s. Landed him and popped him on head. Went back, hooked one around 6#s, landed it and released it, took my one fish I kept home to smoke and before I left there were a couple of guys elbowing each other to get to that hole.

 

I got back to Finland and stopped at bar and one of my friends comes up and asked if I was the guy who did the sweat sock trick on the Lester? Seems one of the fishermen thought it was me and called him to give me hell for doing that to all the guys with their new Sages and Lamiglas in the main run.

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Im sure its already been said, but Chernobyl ant.... probably one of the more effective dries (given the right situation) but looks like absolutely nothing in the bug world...

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A lot of my warm water flies don't imitate anything. One of my favorites was designed to match one of the first spinner baits, the Hawaiian Wiggler, but it's proved effective. The Calcasieu Pig Boat. I tie them in different colors and have updated them a bit but white has been my most effective color.

 

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Here's a South Jersey bass I caught on it.

 

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I've had decent luck with mop flies. In this case floating mop flies. You can see the front of it in the jaw. It was 2 inches long with yellow body.

 

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I have no idea what the fish think this one is. It's probably most productive pan fish flies the last several years. Also deadly on Canadian smallmouth. I fish it as a top water and also off a sinking line. Yellow seems to work best.

 

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A couple of fish I caught on it from a lake in Vermont.

 

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I think maybe Geirach said that fish buy into an exaggerated feature of the fly. Maybe color, movement, wings, etc.

 

For streamers it seems to be movement, pushing water, size, color.

 

For LMB it seems to be stuff dangling from a hook and wiggling.

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For LMB it seems to be stuff dangling from a hook and wiggling.

 

Yep! I was out at a pond a couple years back and saw a small bass cruising by the bank. It was obviously guarding it's bed. I threw a different color wooly buggers by it, and watched it follow the buggers but never commit. Then I saw a single fly in my box, a wooly bugger type fly that had 4 black rubber legs for tail instead of marabou. What the heck, let's try this. Bam! That bass didn't hesitate. It saw the fly and pounced on it right away. This made me a believer in using rubber legs on bass flies.

 

I have no idea what the bass thought it was, but previous to that fly I had thrown virtually every other streamer I could think of. Now that fly is a staple in my box.

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Maybe not unrealistic but unconventional, ArkansasTailwaterHatcheryFoodPellet. Fresh stockers jump on it....

 

IMG-5160.jpg

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One of our go-to patterns for our western spring creeks or smooth flowing rivers like Henry's Fork of the Snake or the Missouri River is a #18 - #22 Royal Wulff. We'ere not sure why that fly works so well for us but it seems to be particularly effective when multiple hatches are happening which is a common occurrence on those waters. Take care & ...

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What did Lee Wulff say? Strawberry shortcake. I think peacock herl is magical for Trout, like rubber legs are for panfish and Bass.

 

Not sure what Steelhead flies represent, especially the intruder style. I tie some classic Steelhead flies (daughter lives in OR ), and those look like minnows from a nuclear reactor. As Geirach said, streamer fishing makes you think fish have "bad taste."

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Go back fifty or more years ago (maybe almost seventy years ago now) when a few were learning to fool bonefish with flies... Those early bugs were mostly steelhead patterns (at least that's what Harry Friedman told me...). You'll see a lot of Harry in those photos in the first books on saltwater fly fishing written by Joe Brooks.... and that was in the early fifties...

 

As noted - they look nothing like what the fish are actually feeding on day to day - but do a tiny bit of chumming and every fish coming will chew on one.... and if you're sharp enough you just might hook one or two of them....

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