fly design, doctors, accurate inaccuracies and ‘oh, what the heck… !’


“Many doctors fish for trout, but there have been endless arguments over the best choice of fly. To extend evidence based practice from their professional into their leisure hours (where it might conceivably be more useful) Britton et al ( p 1678) carried out a randomised trial of five different dry flies (artificial floating flies) on the River Kennet in Berkshire. Before the trial the investigators had most confidence in the Grey Wulff and least in the Cinnamon Sedge. In the trial the Cinnamon Sedge caught the most trout and also seemed to be significantly favoured by brown as opposed to rainbow trout. These findings are of biological as well as practical importance, but the trial was small and the authors press the urgent need for much more research.
None of the investigators has any intention of taking the slightest notice of the results of this study.”
quote via

what a conundrum !
on one hand, we have flies like the one above based on LaFontaine’s Emergent Sparkle Pupa. it’s a classic in all its variants, it repeatedly catches fish all over the world:
it’s a go-to fly but it’s also based around elements that are more of a pipe dream than reality.
caddis pupa aren’t surrounded by some mysterious ‘force-fieldish’ type haze or veil as they’re working their way towards the surface and then there’s this ‘issue’ of a self-produced air bubble to assist them in reaching the surface that seemingly no entomologist has been able to observe in any considerable percentage (most haven’t observed them at all… ) meaning that this sometimes bubbly occurrence can’t be considered a biological fact, further meaning that from a practical/logical standpoint, this freakish element of a fly’s design is hardly worth considering.picture_2868_medium1
but then once again, this fly works very well and that’s the interesting part because it seems to me that it entices but not for the reasons we might think, further proving that the common saying “try to think like a fish” is bunk because a) fish don’t think, and b) we don’t even know how we think so it seems kinda dumb to be randomly transposing guesses and wishes onto creatures that can’t tell the difference between a ragged mess of fluff bound to a hook and the real thing.

and then on the other hand, we have the doctor’s example where even though a certain pattern entices fish more, it’s  scoffed for some mysterious reason and i’ll venture that reason is that they didn’t believe in/have faith or simply denied the cinnamon sedge’s mojo (even though the smarter docs caught most of the fish with it)(oops ! that implies the others weren’t very smart. oh well… )
ok, the doctor’s example is hardly scientific and can’t be considered as anything really serious but i chose to cite it here because it’s an example of a group that has a higher-than-most education level based on science and science is usually based on facts yet here their judgments seemed to have been based on tradition, which in turn, makes this all the more interesting because  this very same approach goes way beyond education or social status and can be found in all levels of people all over the planet, so if anything, we can leave logical reasoning out of the equation.

how does this happen ? why is that ???????
well, apart from just a few of many more possible ramblings mentioned above, i don’t have a clue and since this subject might be a good one for the Physiological studies à la Freud department, don’t expect any answers from me but if you want to see what is yet another great tying tutorial from Curtis Fry at Fly Fish Food on tying this awfully successful yet ‘make believe imitation’, ignore all this and click below. enjoy !

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