The Perfect Fly Story
Why More Flies?
In order to have a specific pattern for everything trout eat. Flies should imitate
both the appearance and behavior of things trout eat. Anglers should select their
flies to imitate food items that the trout (in a certain location and at a certain time)
are most likely eating BUT there can be problems in doing this.
1. It is difficult to imagine what some flies were designed to imitate. Many of them
are labeled with names that have nothing to do with the food items they are
intended to imitate - Blue Dun, Adams, Trude, Blue Quill, for example. Most of
these types of flies are considered non-specific or searching flies that were
designed to imitate a wide variety of trout food. We suppose you use them when
you don't know what you are trying to imitate.
2. The flies that are named for the food item they were intended to imitate -
Green Drake, Quill Gordon, for example, are usually for only for the adult or dun
stage of life. In many cases, the larvae or nymphal stage and the egg layers or
spinners do not have specific imitations.
3. Believe it or not, there are many items of trout food that do not have specific
imitations that are commercially available even though there are thousands of
trout flies on the market.
4. The process of selecting a fly to imitate a specific aquatic insect at the
appropriate stage of life is complicated by names that can be very misleading
and the lack of specific patterns.
Our purpose and intent was simple. We wanted a specific fly pattern for
everything trout eat. When it came to aquatic insects, some of the various
species where so similar to each other that it would take a magnifying glass to
determine the difference. If we couldn't see much difference in them with the
naked eye we figured the trout couldn't either. In those cases, we selected one fly
that imitated more than one species. For example, we have one pattern for both
the Ephemerella infrequens and the inermis mayfly nymphs.In other cases, there
was a noticeable difference in species of the same genus and in those cases we
selected a specific pattern for each of the species. For example, we have
separate patterns for the duns of the American March Brown and the Light Cahill
even though both are species of the Maccaffertium genus.
We named the flies for the food items they imitate. To help avoid confusion,
these flies were cross-referenced with both the common names and scientific
names. The results were specific fly patterns for everything that is important to
imitate for the entire United States. If you know what the trout are eating (or at
least most likely eating) selecting a fly that closely imitates it is very simple.
We not only wanted to select patterns that imitates certain food items, we wanted
to select patterns that are better than most others. We wanted each fly to look
and act like the real thing as much as possible. This resulted in flies that many
would consider to be slightly more realistic than most others. Our options were
not unlimited because we wanted the materials to be as natural and as
economical as feasibly possible. To keep the cost reasonable, we also wanted
the tying process to be as simple and easy as possible and the flies to last a
reasonable amount of time without tearing up. The results was Perfect Flies.
Our Perfect Mayflies:
There are basically four types of mayfly nymphs-swimmers, burrowers, crawlers
and clingers. Most clinger mayfly nymphs look about as much alike a burrower
mayfly nymph as an elk looks like an antelope. The slim, streamlined swimming
nymphs don't resemble the crawlers very much either. Generally speaking, this
fact alone requires at least four basic types of mayfly nymph patterns. Some of
the nymphs within the same category are quite different. While it is true that many
mayfly nymph species can be imitated well by just varying the size and color of
the same pattern, others require features with different shapes and forms.
Our swimmer nymphs are slim and narrow like the real ones. Biots are used for
those less than a hook size 14 because it closely imitates the segmentation of the
real mayfly nymphs abdomens. Larger nymphs, our super models, use course
dubbing for the abdomens. The burrowers use ostrich that moves in the water.
The clinger nymphs are flatter and wider like the real ones and our crawlers use
EMU to imitate the gills as well as soft hackle for the legs and tails.
Imitation can only represent the emerging insect at a specific stage at a specific
time during this short interval of time. Trout take advantage of the emerging
mayflies during this transition time, eating them with ease. Our emergers use a
curved hook, a biot body to show the segmentation and CDC feathers that
resemble the unfolding wings. This fly floats in the surface skim.
Some mayflies emerge on the bottom or somewhere in between the bottom and
the surface, and swim to the surface as duns. For this we use a wet fly designed
to sink and then be brought to the surface.
Emergers with Trailing Shucks:
Our trailing shuck emerger or emerging combination nymph and dun, has the
shuck still hanging or trailing on the "almost" emerged dun. The trailing shuck
nymph resembles a mayfly taking a jump suit off.
Fully emerged adult mayfly duns, our dun patterns, have two main upright divided
wings like real mayflies. They do not have a single wing or just totally lack wings
like some mayfly imitations. When upright, these wings sit back at an angle to the
body, not straight up like the few imitations that do have wings. We don't go so
far as to add the tiny hind wings for those species that have them, but we do
think the main wings, which represent almost half of the total configuration or
silhouette of a mayfly, should be somewhat realistic.
Biots are used for the bodies on flies smaller than size 14 to get the natural look
of a real mayfly abdomen. The larger mayflies use extended bodies. We use a
parachute style of hackle to represent the legs of the dun. This places the legs in
a pattern more like the real thing than thorax or other styles of dry fly hackle.
We use split nylon tails that look like more the real thing, not a huge clump of
feathers or hair that isn't natural.
When mayflies become sexually mature, they lose their dull outer covering and
become what anglers call spinners. Although some species of these spinners
may die and fall in ripples and faster moving water, they eventually wind up
concentrated in eddies or smoother flowing water such as pockets and the tail
end of pools. This is usually where the trout go to take in the easy offerings.
Our "Perfect Fly" imitations are selected to catch trout in the type of water that
trout feed in depending upon the particular species of mayfly. Presentations
made in turbulent water will drown most of our spinners. In that event, you
probably presented the fly in the wrong place, but even so, that is exactly what
happens to natural spinners that fall in turbulent water. They get drowned and
even then, your fly is properly imitating the natural.
The wings of spent spinners lie flat on the water, not upright like the duns. This
fact, added to the fact that spinners float low in the surface film, make them
difficult to see even in the best situations, especially the smaller spinners- the
real ones and the fakes ones.
Spinners are yet a different body and wing color from that of the dun, sometimes
drastically different. They are thinner, slimmer and usually have clear or
transparent wings and a tail that is usually longer than the duns tail. The female
spinners are either involved with the mating process and are generally not
available for the trout to eat; or they are in the process of laying their eggs and
may or may not be available for the trout; or they have collapsed after laying their
eggs with spent wings and a body that is void of eggs. The male spinners may or
may not be available, depending on where they die, on water or on land.
Copyright 2015 James Marsh
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