not imitations

photos by Mårten Lindhé

what i’m noticing more and more are fly tiers focussing on imitating other fly tier’s imitations rather than the naturals. true, very effective fishing flies don’t necessarily have to have a lot of detail and many, many of these effective flies don’t really look at all like their model… but i kind of see this situation similar to when a story gets passed on from word of mouth: it always gets transformed at each telling and often to the point where the end has little to do with the beginning. anyhow, here’s not only some eye candy but hopefully a little food for thought.

Baetidae from above and below –

Rhyacophila larva from the top –

and from the side –

Hydropsyche-larva side view and from above –

Leptophlebia marginata –

Leptophlebia marginata spent –

be sure to visit Mårten’s site for more awesome images. enjoy !

2 thoughts on “not imitations

  1. It’s easy for me to caught up in imitating photos from books — but they usually look so good. And to their credit, the flies pictured in books are probably excellent imitations of their real-world counterparts. However, when I add in my mistakes, poor technique, and other personal variations, I can end up pretty quick with something that is far less than a clear suggestion of the natural. The fly that constantly amazes me is the Pheasant Tail — its conception, simplicity, resemblance to many naturals, and its effectiveness is real marvels to me.

  2. Reblogged this on G0ne Fishin9 and commented:
    an exellent post on the Limp Cobra, tackling quite a deep issue.
    indeed, it’s all important to bear in mind how the insect
    still, the effectiveness of a fly, as far as I understood anything at all, is not directly related to its ressemblance to the natural. Wyatt argues that the fly takes not in spite of its difference to the actual insect but because of it. as a distorted version, it sticks out, and gets attention.
    now obviously you want your fly to present the correct triggers, and those come from the natural. but how do you select the correct ones? that’s where the newbie like me is grateful for centuries of efforts and selection of the good elements. That’s why you start making imitating imitations and not insects. quite like in art, where you learn more by studying paintings than looking at apples.
    still, you are perfectly right, if you never look at those apples, you’re doomed to crappy painting. but in my book, directly trying to imitate the natural is quite advanced fly ting.

Comments are closed.