Talk:Fly tying

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Is it really a science??? CobaltBlueTony 14:03, Jun 1, 2005 (UTC)

It's not a Science, but it could be argued that it follows a scientific method in the development of new flies in the sense of create a hypothesis of what sort of fly a fish will hit upon, tye that fly, and attempt. If it works, continue to use it, if it doesn't, continue variations until you find something that will. Fish psychology combined with art? --BLP 04:14, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

      • I think it can be loosely argued as a scientific discipline, especially when stream entomology is used to "match the hatch". Biology is as important a science as anything. -rockspecialist 2006

Bass Bugs[edit]

The categories were a good addition. I created a Misc category of flies to handle things like Bass Bugs and crab immitations often used in saltwater fishing. I don't think these things fit into the "streamer" category.

Potential Conflict of Interest Mike Cline[edit]

In the past I have sold flies and fly rods that I have built to friends and occasionally on Ebay. I don't make my living from Fly Fishing. Please evaluate any contributions I make to this article for NPOV in light of the above.--Mike Cline 10:42, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Tiers and tyers[edit]

Is there an agreed upon acceptable spelling? JStripes 14:44, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Really should maintain Separate Notes and References sections[edit]

See WP:Citing sources see relevant guidelines below

Maintaining a separate "References" section in addition to "Notes" It can be helpful when footnotes are used that a separate "References" section also be maintained, in which the sources that were used are listed in alphabetical order. With articles that have lots of footnotes, it can become hard to see after a while exactly which sources have been used, particularly when the footnotes also contain explanatory text. A References section, which lists citations in alphabetical order, helps readers to see at a glance the quality of the references used.

--Mike Cline 12:03, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

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Tying Aids[edit]

While tying the artificial fly can be fun and rewarding, there are instances where the fingers themselves may need some attention as fine threads (some being silk), feathers and fur can be caught on the rough skin. Static electricity can also cause these materials to "stick" to the fingers which can be an aggravation.

Consumer hand-cremes are generally manufactured with various scents to tantalize our senses, it is common thinking that these hand-cremes transfer these scents/odors to the hand-tied fly and can be a true detriment to the catching of fish.

While at this time there is one "finger treatment" made available specifically for use for fly tyer's, there are a number of commercial products available for softening the hands for use while milking cows, as well as banker's hand cremes which are often used for handling dollar bills. The latter of the two are a creme for use on the entire hand and may or not harbor odors that could linger on the finished fly. This may or may not effect the actual "fish strike" or the taking of the fly.

The fly fishermans' Finger Treatment noted above is intentionally made to contain a minimun of oder containing products and is intended to not leave any residual odor on the finished fly. 18:38, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Undertaken a Structural Rewrite of Article[edit]

I have undertaken a structural re-write of this article to expand on historical aspects of fly tying and provide more historical and comptemporary imagery. I really think the article should focus on FLY TYING and DESIGN, not necessarily the zillions of flies the process has produced. Additionally, I have expanded the references and cites to include both comtemporary and historical works. I removed the laundry list of fly types, how they are fished and example flies, as this can be, should be and is covered in fly fishing and artificial fly articles. The text of those sections is preserved here for the time being.

==Fly Patterns== Since the first development of the fishing fly, many different patterns have been created. The Professional Fly Tying manual classifies flies into five main groups. Flies are usually classified as being wet, dry, streamer, nymph or other. Although the classifications below denote the original intent of the designer of the fly (that it should float, sink or is intended to represent a particular food item) - in practice an angler may take a wet fly and fish it on the surface, or make a dry fly sink as needs demand. For an angler, rather than a fly tyer, a dry fly is one that is fished on the surface and a wet fly is one that is fished sub-surface - no matter what its designer intended. The main aim is to catch fish! ===Dry Fly=== A dry fly floats on the surface film of the water. They can imitate aquatic insects that have just emerged, insects that dapping on the surface of the water and depositing eggs, or those that have expired and fallen back into the water (spinners). Imitations of terrestrial insects that have accidentally fallen into the water are also tied as a dry fly. ===Terrestrial=== A terrestrial is a dry or wet fly designed to imitate a terrestrial ground insect, including crickets, grasshoppers, ants, spiders, and beetles. Larger terrestrial creatures such as mice may also be tied as a terrestrial dry fly for use in bass fly fishing. ===Wet Fly=== A wet fly is a fly that is fished below the surface of the water. They are usually tied to imitate the adult or immature form of mobile aquatic insects. The wet fly category covers a vast array of sizes and patterns, from nymphs and streamers to crawfish, leeches, and freshwater shrimp. ===Emerger=== The term Emerger refers to a wet fly that imitates the transitional form of an aquatic insect emerging from its nymphal cocoon into an adult, normally found anywhere from the river bottom to just below the surface. Emergers typically have small vertical wings, with a tail that trails down into the water. ===Nymph=== The term nymph is a type of wet fly that imitates the immature form of an aquatic insect such as the mayfly, damselfly, and dragonfly. Nymphs comprise the major part of the diet of trout and salmon. Nymphs are normally fished subsurface, and are often employed to catch fish holding in deeper current. Nymphs can be weighted or unweighted, and with or without a bead head of brass or [[tungsten]]. Un-weighted nymphs are employed in shallow water, while weighted or beadhead nymphs are used to reach the deeper reaches of a stream or river. [[George F. Grant]] was an early pioneer of nymphs for trout. He began his innovative style of fly-tying in the early 1930s, and patented his unique method in 1939 (U.S. Patent No. 2,178.031). He was one of the first anglers to realize that large trout fed primarily beneath the surface on nymphs -- especially large stone flies -- and that one needed to imitate and learn to fish this insect-stage if one wanted to consistently catch large trout. In recognition for this work he received the Fly Fishing Federation’s coveted [ Buszek Award]in 1973. ===Bouncer Flies=== Contemporary Design. Snag resistant flies Innovative, fun, effective and long lasting. Design can be adapted to many fly patterns. Developed by Steve Duckett. ===Streamer=== A streamer is a type of wet fly that typically represents a bait fish or minnow. Though it can represent various creatures, streamers are usually constructed to represent minnows, sculpin, tadpoles, or other baitfish. Consequently, they tend to be fished in a more active fashion. Some are very beautiful, such as salmon or steelhead streamers. A certain percentage of artificial flies may never be fished, but are instead sought by collectors for their beauty and complexity. ===Others=== There are many other types of fly that may be used, limited only by the imagination and skill of the individual fly-tyer. These include bass bugs, 'sliders', and 'poppers' - surface lures often made of cork, foam, or deer hair. They may be designed to imitate frogs, mice, or injured baitfish. Other fly patterns are tied as wet flies in order to represent different subsurface aquatic creatures such as leeches, crawfish, freshwater shrimp, baby sunfish, or immature game fish such as trout or bass. Salt water patterns are often created to imitate a baitfish, [[Emerita (genus)|sand flea]], or other saltwater creature. ==Common Patterns== There are many fly patterns in the world. A few of the more widely-recognized and common patterns are listed below: ===Dry Fly=== [[Image:Harrop's Trico.jpg|thumb|200px|right|large Tricorythode imitation]] Humpy, Royal Wulff, Adams, Hendrickson, Royal Coachman, Blue Dun, Light Cahill, Stimulator, Black Spinner, Trico, Red Tag, Griffith's Gnat and Elk Hair Caddis ===Emerger=== Klinkhammer, DHE, Shaving Brush, Cripple, Parachutte Adams ===Nymph=== Hare and Copper, [[Pheasant Tail Nymph]], Montana Nymph, Flash Back Nymph, [[Diawl Bach (Little Devil)]], Brassie, Copper John ===Wet=== [[March Brown]], [[Muddler Minnow]], [[Woolly_Worm_(imitation)|Woolly Worm]], [[Invicta]], [[Butcher]], [[Mallard and Claret]], Mrs Simpson ===Streamer=== Matuka, Zonker, Lefty's Deceiver, Double Bunny, [[Egg sucking leech]], [[Clouser Deep Minnow]] and [[Woolly Bugger]] ===Others=== Gurgler (The Gurgler is a versatile surface fly for salt or fresh water, particularly striped bass), Crazy Charlie, Bass Bug, Merkin Crab, Deer Hair Mouse

--Mike Cline (talk) 21:03, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Attractor Too Narrow Focus and Wrong Context[edit]

The term "Attractor" as applied to a school of fly design is really too narrowly focused for this article and is essentially out of context for several reasons.

  • 1) The concept of "Attractor" as a school of fly design is not well, if at all, supported by general fly design literature. I can find no general fly tying references that lay out an Imitation theory and a contrasting Attractor theory of fly design. If one exists please cite it.
  • 2) The general concept of Attractor patterns as far I can tell is limited to Trout patterns. Even then, it is not a universal construct. Dick Stewart and Farrow Allen in Trout Flies do not call the flies Attractors but instead General Purpose Dry Flies. On the other hand Saltwater flies, Bass and Panfish flies, Pike, Salmon, and possibly Steelhead flies are not label as "Attractors." In Deke Meyer's 700 Saltwater Patterns there is no Attractor or Imitator breakdown. This is an article about Fly Tying, not Tying Trout Flies. Should such an article be created that focused only on trout flies, the concept of Attractor might be appropriate. It isn't for this article.
  • 3) In general it appears that the term Attractor applies more to how a specific pattern is fished rather than its design. Gierach in Good Flies talks about fishing the "Royal Wulff" as an attractor when nothing is hatching. But clearly, the Royal Wulff was not designed as an Attractor pattern, it merely got that label very late in life. Indeed, a #10 Royal Wulff fished along Grasshopper bank on the Madison River on a windy day probably imitates a grasshopper pretty well to the fish.
  • 4) For the most part Attractor is a category label that fly retailers have used to segegrate trout flies that do not imitate anything specific. It is useful here to read the chapter in Frank Woolner's Hunting Trout (Winchester Press 1977) entitled "First Catch A Fisherman". He explains very adeptly that 90% of all [trout] flies are designed to catch fisherman whereas only a few patterns are really required to catch fish consistently. Using labels such as "Attractor" are part of that ploy.
  • 5) Finally, the most convincing argument in my view against using the term Attractor is from John Schullery in his three works: The Rise, The Royal Coachman and History of American Fly Fishing. Schullery contends that any school of fly design is a matter of perspective. From the Fishes' perspective, all successful flies IMITATE something to the fish and all successful flies ATTRACT strikes from fish, otherwise they would be useless. From the human perspective any given fly may imitate precisely or not so precisely some form of fish prey, and regardless of the degree of imitation, if a fly doesn't consistently ATTRACT strikes from fish, it is a useless fly.

--Mike Cline (talk) 13:15, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

I felt that "non-imitative" was a poor choice of words because, is you yourself said, "all successful flys imitate something to the fish"
I could spend an hour explaining why I thought "attractor" was a good choice of words, but I will respectfully disagree with the usage of the term "non-imitative" and submit "attractor" as the best substitute i know of.Flyfisher56 (talk) 23:16, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Flyfisher56 - Thanks for forcing me to do a better bit of research and rewriting the Imitation section. Indeed Non-Imitative was not very accurate, but I wanted to stay away from a purely "Trout" explaination. Although the rewrite does talk about "Trout", I think it does a better job of explaining the Imitation issues.--Mike Cline (talk) 12:55, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Dozens, To Hundreds, to Many types of materials[edit]

When I originally wrote Dozens several months ago, I feared I was overstating. By changing the phase to Hundreds, Flyfisher56 confirmed my original mistake. Originally if there were just hair, fur, feathers, and threads there were just four (4) types of material. Today there is, in addition to the above, mylar, nylon, rayon, epoxy, silicon, glass (to name some) that can be added to the list of materials available to the fly tier. That list is hardly in the hundreds. Indeed, there are an extraordinary amount of variations, colors and permutations of new synthetics, but the basic material list is pretty short. --Mike Cline (talk) 13:31, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

I would consider hair to be a category of material and deer hair, elk hair, polar bear hair, etc., to each be a type of material. However "many" is probably better, if less descriptive, considering the difference of interpretation.Flyfisher56 (talk) 22:49, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Eastern/Western Hatch Chart Links to Orvis Website Inappropriate[edit]

As much as the hatch charts on the Orvis website may be interesting the links to the site were deleted. The Orvis website is clearly a commercial website and inappropriate for this article. One might consider creating Eastern and Western Hatch Chart articles with information compiled from notable, but independent non-commercial sources. I am sure the Orvis hatch charts are extremely bias toward the flies they sell on their website.--Mike Cline (talk) 17:51, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Removed Commerical Link Reference from Tools Text[edit]

The following text was added to the tools section. Although it maybe true the only reference was a commercial fly tying site link. Find a reliable 3rd party published source and them include it.

"According to Leo Pucklis, an expert fly tyer a helpful finishing tool that can be used is the end of a turkey feather"

--Mike Cline (talk) 14:17, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

3000 dozens of flies[edit]

As I was reading through the article, I noticed that it said that:

"The professional, commercial fly tyer may produce upwards 3000 dozen flies annually".

I was just wondering if there was a good reason to use 3000 dozen instead of something like 36000. It seems to me that it would be more clear to most readers if we simplified this.

Moontumbo (talk) 18:57, 26 June 2009 (UTC)


Is there an accepted synonym for "fly tying" we could use in the article so that we repeat it less? Mtthwknnd4 (talk) 04:42, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Not sure there is. In the 100s of fly fishing and tying books I've read, I don't recall it being referred to by anything except "fly tying" or in the late 19th century, "fly making" (which isn't used today). There are "fly tyers" (fly tiers) but there are no "fly makers". --Mike Cline (talk) 14:25, 9 December 2014 (UTC)