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  • Tuesday, August 20, 2013

    A Commercial Ploy ?

    It'll Make A Lot Of Money
    who knows the difference ?
    Size 14 hook. Same pattern? Three sizes? Sell 'em, who cares?
    .. Fly patterns are funny things. Depending on the tyer and the fisher and the fish - some are just right and others are all wrong.
    Light Color Variety -  Original Pattern
    .. Through time, (and for various reasons,) the recipe for any pattern can change: the skill of the tyer, the available materials, the experience with fishing different patterns, and countless other factors enter into the equation.
    .. In time the resulting flies can come to be so divergent from the originals that they are, in fact, something entirely different.
    Yellow Variety by Jeff Kennedy
    .. One variable, in this pecuniary and avaricious time, is the economic factor. "Let's sell it and we'll get rich."
    .. Profit is a common reason for innovation and change among feather merchants. After all, they are in "business" to make "money."
    .. 'Latest and Greatest' is a surefire appeal to fly fishers of the affluent and egotistical sort. 'New and Different' comes in a very close second.
    .. Well, sports fans, you can now get the "Newest and Latest, and Greatest, and Most Different Feather Duster of all time!"
    Original by Wally Eagle
    .. It's being tied by hungry folks and sold in local feather merchant bins.
    .. It has a bead head, (WOWIE!,) is tied with orange thread, (YIPPEE SHIT!,) the ribbing is obscured by the dense plumage, (SUBTLE, DONTCHYAKNOW!,) it's silhouette is highly variable, (IF AT FIRST . . .,) the pheasant tail caripace, (thorax cover, pronotum, mesonotum, or whatever,) is of just three or four fibres, (ECONOMY FOR SURE!,) various size flies occur on the same size hook in the bins, (EXPEDITIOUS CAPRICE!,) and the seasonal help has told us that they are "Killer Flies." They then asked us what pattern they were!
    Yellow Variety. By The Neighbor Kids.
    .. This is not a rant against innovation. In fact we think that a Bead Head Feather Duster is a good idea. Wish we'd thought of it first.
    .. But the idea that putting a bead head on a highly variable, nondescript, (fluffy and fuzzy,) fly, no matter what the recipe, (if poorly tied, and sold as a killer fly,) borders on the criminal. Ah America.
    Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear
    .. We've fished feather duster patterns for decades. The ones that work the best are the ones that are shaped like the original.
    .. The rule of thirds seems to hold here. Forward third a bit greater in diameter and  fuzzy. Middle third smaller in diameter and less fuzzy, (clearly segmented.) Final third a substantial tail that can be individuated if necessary
    Lovely Thirds
    .. The size, shape, proportions, and general appearance of successful Feather Duster flies is very similar to the Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear fly, (which has made a successful transformation to bead heads.)
    .. In fact most nymphoidal imitations seem to follow the proportions of insects - by-and-large. Whether this is a function of tradition or considered imitation is open to debate - but there you have it.

    ½ & ½  Good Idea. What is it?

    .. We're usually not too anal about exactitude in fly patterns; yet, if there is so much difference that the patterns in a single bin don't seem to be the same we get a bit antsy.
    .. Some color varieties work better at some times and not at others. The key factors for this particular pattern to gall fish with regularity seem to be size, proportions, silhouette, and presentation.
    At least a dozen fish lurk here - probably more.
    .. Nothing too scientific here but: over the weekend, (on the Gallatin River in Yellowstone National Park,) we fished some commercial bead heads in tandem with the traditional ones.
    .. In about an hour and a half we caught one fish on the bead head fly and better than 12 on the traditional one. We broke-off and re-tied twice; who knows which fly was taken, (damn knots.)
    Madison Mauler
    .. Now, heaven knows that we fish some pretty nondescript patterns that don't follow many rules. They are sometimes strange or wierd looking - certainly not like any bug that we know of.
    .. The Madison Mauler is one that is a consistent winner.  It's recognizable as what it is, and the kid that ties them is particular that they look the same and work the same.
    .. It would seem that the folks selling and tying the bead head feather duster should have them resemble their namesake.
    .. They may eventually fish pretty good and catch some fish but they need a bit more pattern consistency for them to carry a  name as recognized as the feather duster for it to stick.
    Ought To Work - Right?  Sell It!
    .. We're going to tie up some of the bead head variety with the appropriate materials.
    .. We're going to adhere to the original proportions and fibre lengths.
    .. We're going to try some colors with the bead head too. We think the whole innovation is a good idea.
    .. Right now, however, we think it's a very poor idea for visitors to expect the locally available, commercial renditions to measure up to the original pattern.
    .. Maybe some professionals will pick up the idea and bring us a consistent pattern that we can count on, (conditions being conducive to it's use.) Money will surely be made and the fly will be the inheritor of a grand tradition.
    Multiple fly type testing facility