fish vision- zeroing in on lunch

i often wonder how fish see our flies.
we know that the vast majority of fish can see but we have no exact idea how they see.

constantly intrigued and amazed that they could mistake our imitations or suggestive flies to the point where they’ll feel confident enough to open their mouths, further questioning their visual capabilities… i guess i’m glad they do because fly fishing would become boring really quickly if they never did.

here’s an imaginative and highly inaccurate yet hopefully, visually pleasant rendition of the last second before a fly is taken.

'how they might see our flies' M.Fauvet:TLC 6-10-14

two flies of a feather

same hook, same hen feather.
spider 2 m.fauvet:tlc 19-3-14 one spider has a yellow abdomen and orange head, the other all orange.
i think they’ll make a smashing couple on the water.

spider m.fauvet:tlc 19-3-14

hook & hen cape- TroutLine
thread- Veevus

itsy bitsy

itsy bitsy TLC 30-11-13

hook- Maruto wet fly #18
thread- Veevus 16/0 black
abdomen- tip of a porcupine bristle
thorax- Mad Rabbit dubbing (hare mask)
hackle- partridge

Spider Perfection

what else is there to say ?

Moorhen & Gold by Hans Weilenmann 

moorhen_gold Hans Weilenmann

Hook: Grip 14723BL #14
Thread: Pearsall’s Gossamer silk (Antique Gold)
Hackle: Moorhen marginal wing covert – one side stripped
Body: Tying silk

Fly tying step-bysteps: Harelug & Plover, Stewart-style

by Roy Christie via UKFlyDressing

Origin of LUG
Middle English luggen to pull by the hair or ear, drag, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian lugga to pull by the hair. “Tiny pinch of dark fur from root of hare’s ear”

Plovers (/ˈplʌvər/ or /ˈplvər/) are a widely distributed group of wading birds belonging to the subfamily Charadriinae.
“Golden plover hackle, long enough of fiber to reach almost into the bend, NO longer, long enough to reach the barb is fine.”
The plover group of birds has a distraction display subcategorized as false brooding, pretending to change position, to sit on an imaginary nest site…

ringed-plover-38674

“This fly is tied here – NOT in the traditional collar hackled version, but Stewart Spider style, it is my preferred spider construction for action and durability.”

by Stewart-style we’ll take the example of his notorious Black Spider where instead of tight wraps of the hackle against the hook eye (collared), the same amount of wraps (and therefore volume) is distributed over a longer section of the hook shank. fish find this sexier.
the tier unfamiliar with traditional UK patters should take note that the wax used is cobbler’s wax which is usually black or brown and not the ‘average’ light-beige or clear wax typically found in the tying section of your local shop. as you might guess, this tints the tying thread in a more irregular buggy tone difficult to achieve with straight store-bought silks and threads. more sexy.

Harelug & Plover 1 - R. Christieat over two hundred years old and as productive now as ever this fly is well worth having in different sizes as a staple in any trout box.
it’s construction is pretty straightforward but be sure to click either fly’s pic to access Roy’s step-by-step for all the fine details.

Harelug & Plover 2 - R. Chrisie

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Pearsall’s problems ?

not all bobbins are created equal and that can be a little annoying when we want to use ‘out of the norm’ materials such as sexy Pearsall’s silks for tying say, traditional North Country Spiders or nylon or other cool looking threads found at a sewing shop.
here’s a few examples of different bobbin sizes and some work around solutions.

the ‘standard’ bobbin top right is 33mm wide along it’s axis, the tan one from Hends is 25mm and the orange silk, 17mm.
safe to say neither one will comfortably fit on the same bobbin holder, specially any of the tension adjustment types.
pearsall's on bobbin holder

in the video below from Jay Nicholas at The Caddis Fly Shop we’ll see a groovy-nifty quick-fix, short term solution that enables us to use our every day bobbin holder to knock out a few flies.

for a longer term use, specially with materials found on bulk spools such as nylon, it might be worth finding an empty ‘standard’ size bobbin, a screw and nut-
(ok, the spool below isn’t empty. just pretend)
screwed bobbin
and wind it up all pretty and neat with a power drill.
power drill
(if you re-spool monofilament nylon be sure to have a rubber band or similar thing at hand to slip over the tag end when finished or be prepared for a big frustrating mess if you let go of the tag… )

if you plan on using smaller bobbins on a somewhat regular basis, i’d highly recommend finding a cheap, bargain-bin bobbin holder as in the first pic at the top of the post and bending the arms in to size.
i’ve had that one for a while but if memory is correct i bought it for something like 2€ (2,60 $ or 1,70£) and it holds the tiniest of bobbins quite well.
not a bad investment.

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