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haziz

"Wingless" Dry Flies?

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I was going to say "wingless Catskill style dry flies", but I figured that by making them wingless we are deviating from the Catskill style, and I realize that some originated elsewhere, e.g. the Adams originated in Michigan.

What do you think of "wingless" flies with traditional hackle and tailing, but lacking simulation of Mayfly wings? There is some tradition in this for e.g. Art Flick's Dun and Cream Variants.

Basically hackled variants of the Adams, BWO, Hendrickson, March Brown etc. in addition to the Art Flick's Variants (which I would also alter in the sense of a dubbed rather than quill body), but lacking the traditional "wing".

Does the trout care about the Mayfly wing? Do they see it clearly eyeing the fly from below? Do they care?

Obviously I am aiming at simplifying the tying of the fly from both a difficulty and time spent tying each perspective.

Opinions, feedback or banter welcome.

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Won't make any difference. Zero, zip, nada, none. The term Guide flies come to mind. Flies are interpretive. They are simply one persons creation. I rarely tie a fly exactly as somebody else tied it. The most widely used flies look nothing like a real bug to me so they probably look even less so to a fish yet they still eat them. Hackle grading, materials, exact proportions are not that important to me which is why I would never win a fly tying contest or make the center fold of fly tying magazine. What's more important to me and what I struggle to do is presenting the offering perfectly. A fish, trout included, will hit a "poorly" tied fly if presented perfectly and they won't hit a "perfect" fly presented poorly. I know this from experience. 

I say tie away and fish your flies perfectly. Of course there is nothing wrong with perfectly fishing someone's idea of a perfect fly but tying someone else's idea of a perfect fly just isn't in my DNA. 

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I have only tied one fly with wings. Mostly I tie an Adams without the wings.  I call it the Simple Simon as it's simple to tie. I'm cheap as I can't see buying feathers to use just one part. Since I only tie 6-8 flies, the rest of the feather would gather dust. BTW, it can be tied with different colors for variety.

 

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I haver not tied on wings for a long time. Still have caught some fish. With Poopdeck, presentation is more important.

 

Rick 

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I'm sure most of the time you can get by without wings, however I think wings can be important. Yes trout can see the wings. In fact the tips of the wings are the first part of the fly, after surface dimples, that becomes visible to the trout. Remember that Art Flick's Variants weren't just Catskill flies without wings. They were a style with very long hackles.

 

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The only advantage to wings on a hackled fly is to make it easier for the angler to see.   I do often add wings on patterns that traditionally have them for that reason, but most of the dries that I fish are wingless.  Offsetting the "easier to see" advantage is that winged flies can land upside down. 

You won't find any real difference in catch rate.

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Think about it ! The Hackle is a good representation of the wing . The exception.

Parachute flies which have a wing so that the Hackle can be wrapped . If you can't put em on it's ok !

P_20210301_143530.jpg

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Wings add a degree of difficulty to tying dry's.  I'm NOT a dry fly purist in fact dries are a SMALL proportion of my box.  With insects being under water for a year or more and out of it in a day or so the math never made sense to me!  Just look at the Cammando pattern - quick and easy tie!  Now tie a similar light pattern and time yourself and you'll see the difference.

Kim

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1 hour ago, redietz said:

winged flies can land upside down

Don't know if it makes a difference to the fish cause I aint a fish. All flying bugs that land in the water as far as I know have wings. If the recipe asks for wings I putt on wings. I think it can also help the fly from tumbling in faster moving waters.

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Back when I was a 9 year old and got a fly thing kit (long before all of the YouTube tutorial videos were even an idea, and when the only resource I had to learn how to tie flies was Jack Dennis’ Western Trout Fly Tying Manual that I constantly had checked out from my local library!) I must’ve tied wingless dry flies for at least three years before I figured out how to actually put wings on my flies. The lesson I learned during that time: wing less dry flies catch trout. If wings are hard, just work at them, but in the mean time learn how to wrap hackle without wings in the way. 
-Nathan

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Never tied a parachute dry fly. Tried and it was too much trouble. I just watch for the signs of a feeding fish. I have had good luck fishing a dry fly by fishing it downstream. I let it sink at the end of the drift and hold in the current then strip in a couple of feet.

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7 hours ago, Poopdeck said:

Won't make any difference. Zero, zip, nada, none.

If you are talking purely about Mayfly duns, you are probably correct, even with attractor patterns.  However, once you need to fish Mayfly spinners, wings are essential.  Additionally its rare to see an adult caddis or stonefly pattern without a wing element.

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