Belly Scratcha !

just looking at these two pics should dispense the need for any further commentary…

Belly Scratcher Minnow FlyFishFood

we’ve all seen a lot of awesome streamer patterns but in my opinion, if ever there was a ‘good as good gets’ little fish imitation with all the right elements then i haven’t seen it yet. as we clearly see on the top image, beads strung on a wire well away from the hook shank will force the fly to ride hook-point up, help to not snag so much on the river bed or debris and track straight. the weight is still in the front part of the pattern but the ballast’s placement provides a more horizontal swim than dumbbell eyes can give. specifically built for rivers on a floating line, i can see the basic design working anywhere. as noted in the vid, simply add more or less beads depending on your specific depth and current speed needs or if you want to fish them with sinking lines.

baby belly scratcher FFF

here’s the tying tutorial but be sure to click either pic to access the complete article on yet another fantastic tutorial from the bearded bros at FlyFishFood. enjoy !

something Special

” In certain circles, it is rumored that anciently there was a fly pattern that possessed such magical fish-catching mojo that no fish could resist its siren-esque call. A fly with material so secretive that it was said there existed only one source of it hidden high in the Andes of Patagonia on the testicles of a golden Guanaco. A fly pattern so powerful that any angler who should possess it was assured of 100 fish days and to whom women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano.”

yong special - flyfishfood

those kind of statements sure get my attention !.. because i know that this teeny-tiny fly will get a lot of fish’s attention as well.
simples as simples to tie as it gets, even when not fishing them on their own this is the kind of fly i most usually always have trailing behind a dry, wet or ‘standard’ nymph. they’re that effective. nope, it may not look like much or even special at all to us anglers but we’re not the ones racing to chomp them down either.
although the exact thread might not be the easiest to find for those of us outside of the US, the basic design is a proven one. in fact, when typically endowed with a few hackle fibres to represent a tail, this design is really the go-to for nymphing in France and neighbouring countries and highly favoured among competitors. now, i’ve mentioned many times how much i despise fishing competitions but that last point tells us that these flies can be counted on to be consistent producers: something us ‘amateurs’ can happily take to the water and enjoy without the stress of having to score points !

click the image above to access Curtis Fry‘s great tying tutorial and see the finer points of this little thing’s construction.

Oh, you’ve got green eyes Oh, you’ve got blue eyes Oh, you’ve got shrimp eyes.

it’s New Wave and Shrimp Eye Day here in the south of France, so without further ado, to start off the festivities here’s a brilliant burnt-mono shrimp eye tutorial by Curtis Fry at Fly Fish Food.

“I’m sure most anyone has seen or has created their own monofilament eyes. It’s not rocket science, but there are still a few things I’ve found that make it easier yet keep a bit of realism in the mix.

mono_eyes Curtis Fry FFF

So for this method, you’ll need: ” to click the pic above for the complete materials list and awesome how-to video with some very interesting tips and tricks to make your own great looking shrimpy eyes.
keep in mind that mono-eyes can be used for streamers, damsel and other nymph imitations as well as for dry flies: the big and bulging adult mayfly eyes come to mind but that’s far from all. use the same technique and vary sizes and colours to suit.

as for the New Wave, i’m not really into this soft and sticky stuff but since it’s about Shrimp Eyes….  enjoy !

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

Emergent_sparkle_pupa

“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.
however:
None of the investigators has any intention of taking the slightest notice of the results of this study.”
quote via troutnut.com

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 !