Fly Tying: Variations On A Theme (part one of …)

There is an old saying about boats; “…a boat is a hole in the water inwhich you throw your money”.  I equate fly tying to this.

One of the biggest lies that flyfishers tell themselves (and their significant other) is “I will save money by tying my own”.  That is a super sized pile of B.S..  

So lets be intelectually honest with ourselves, we want to tie flies because it is cool.  We can recreate fish food organisms and catch fish on something we created, that works for me!

Fly tying has been around that we know of, since the Macidonians.  They were fooling fish with hooks adorned with wool and feathers about 25oo years ago.  Which leads me to another point, fly pattern originality.  

Today, flytiers want to believe that they created the masterpiece that has never been tied before.  That window of oportunity has been all but shut.  

With a few exceptions, we are taking old patterns, adding new materials and calling them ours.  What we really have done was created a “variation on a theme”.  And that is okay.  I have been tying flies for over 40 years and with each session, I like to go back and revisit some of the classics and  change them up a little bit.

So with that in mind, I am going to pick a few patterns from time to time and highlight the changes.  Keep in mind, fish arn’t judging us on style, they are judging us on presentation.  So here is the first one:

The SPRUCE fly.  This pattern was tied in light and dark variations as well as with or without silver wire on the abdomen.  

It was origionally tied as a streamer pattern on a 3 or 4 extra long hook.

I always liked this pattern and had wonderful success with native brook trout and wild browns. I decided to try this theme on a standard wetfly hook size 10.  I also changed the color scheme.

As a fan of the pattern, I like the spectrum of opportunities for this one.  Tie a few and let me post them for you, giving you full credit obviously…but above all, have fun!

Tight Lines!

Jim

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