Big "Y" Flies

Big "Y" Flies
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Discussing fishing flies, trout flies, salmon flies, fly fishing gear and equipment, Idaho and Montana fishing rivers, NW rivers, fly tying and fly fishing trips. Over 50 years experience in fly fishing, best flies, fly tying, fly fishing techniques, fish stories, directions to rivers and lakes and great fly fishing tall tales with special communications from area guides.

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Here is the scoop. We will also be going on some shorter side trips this summer as well. They will be posted here. If you live in Montana, Idaho or Washington state, you may want to contact IdahoAngler@live.com for details. You'll meet some really great fellow fishers!
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

A "Perfect" Fly

There is no such thing as a "perfect" fly. Almost all companies dealing in the sale of flies will tell you that their customers decide on the purchase of flies based on their appearance. The more visually appealing and "clean" looking a fly is the more apt the consumer is to purchase it. If you have fly fished for a number of years, you will now see what are known as "spent" flies being sold. These flies have aberrations which make them float differently and look unlike conventional flies. They are supposed to look DEAD. Just look into the water when a prolific hatch is occurring and you will see a multitude of flies of contorted shapes floating around. These are "spent" flies which have just a much protein as their living counterparts and are much easier pickings for the trout.

Cascade Crest Tying Kit
Living in the northwest, winters are not very conducive to fly fishing, so I pass a lot of my time tying flies. Some flies I tie well and some not so well. But you know what; even my ugly flies will catch fish. Sometimes they don't even float correctly, but they still work. As long as they are the correct size and color they'll work. Point being, if you can tie a half-hitch, you can tie flies. The initial investment is small and you can save a bundle. A few hooks, yarn, thread, feathers, some head cement and an inexpensive vise is all you need to start.

The following are a few suggestions for the starter fly tier. Go with an inexpensive, basic fly tying kit like the Cascade Crest. This kit has basically everything you need to get started depending on the specific flies you want to begin tying. Most of the basic feathers are included and usually delivery is quick. Here is a recent customer review: "I didn't buy this product for myself I purchased it as a gift for my brother who LOVES it. It gave me the most (very complete kit) for the money and arrived 3 days after I ordered it." As you progress, visit your local fly shop and add different feathers, thread colors and yarns. 

Now the important part of this discussion. Get yourself a really good basic fly tying book like "Fly Tying for Beginners" and learn the basics. The internet is full of tying instructions if you like, but a basic book is always a good idea. Start with easy flies like San Juan worms and scud patterns. These are really easy patterns to tie and are very effective in most rivers and streams. Realize colors and sizes may vary, so go to your local fly shop and check out what they are selling. Once you get simple patterns like these down, you can easily advance to the more complicated flies with parachute hackles and wings. Each time you tie a particular pattern, you will get faster and faster so don't give up. I promise you, if your fly doesn't look exactly like the one in the fly shop, it will still work. There is no greater thrill in this sport than catching your first fish on a fly you tied with the fly rod you built (discussion coming later on this blog).

Spring is just around the corner bringing long runs, deep pools and great fly fishing possibilities. What better way to begin the season than with a box full of flies you tied yourself. Try it and you will obtain great personal satisfaction and have some great stories to tell. Happy fishing and don't forget, Idaho fly fishing is the best!

Idaho Angler (IdahoAngler@live.com)

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