Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 46 - Name This Fly

I love to tie flies. It offers me a little bit of serenity in a day filled with errands, demands, and otherwise chaos. When I belly up to the vise, its a mini fly fishing trip: not on the stream, but thinking about the stream.

One of the greatest things about fly tying is the opportunity for creativity. You start out with just a hook, but even that hook is selected with care. Do I choose a heavy wire hook (which will sink the fly), or do I take the extra long light wire hook (good for hopper patterns)? Do I use a big #12 hook, or a small #20 hook?

After choosing your hook (based in part by where you want to fish, want you want to imitate, and what pattern to tie) comes the building stage. Most tyers start with a thread base and move to the bend of the hook. A couple pieces of barbels of feather clumped together form a tail. Bright colored dubbing twisted onto the thread is wrapped forward. A hackle feather, selected based upon how long the barbels are, is tied on next. And then the magic happens as you wrap the feather around the hook, barbels are sprung to life and give your fly shape.

This process is done in thousands of different ways with thousands of different tyers. Each person signing their masterpiece by how they judge proportion, choose colors, tie on hackle, how many thread wraps to finish the head... it can go on and on. What's truly amazing is that each fly is intended for one purpose, to fool fish: art to be destroyed by the mauls of a hungry water beast.

Today I sat down at the vise to do a little tinkering, to express my creative side so to speak. A week or so ago I had purchased a pheasant tail dyed scarlet. It is truly beautiful to look at. As you probably guessed it was purchased from Hobby Lobby. Anyway, I wanted to incorporate this scarlet feather into a creation. I chose to do a Bead Head Pheasant Tail pattern.

My reason I decided on this pattern was because the Bead Head Pheasant Tail is a proven fish producer. It can produce fish in almost any water setting. I thought the scarlet color of the fly, while unique, would also act as an attractor pattern. My thoughts on this pattern was that maybe it could be a double pronged attack, both imitating a nymph and generally pissing off a trout. I don't know... maybe something will happen from it.

And this leads me to my sticking point. How do you know if a pattern is good? Odds are someone will come up with something creative and try it a few times on a stream. If it works it the fly will get made again, if not the fly is rejected never to be thought of again. But what if this pattern was fished by a noob angler? Or if the water conditions weren't normal? My point here is that an incredible new pattern can be lost due to bad timing.

So, I'm offering 6 free flies to the person that can come up with a winning name for this fly I created today (assuming that this fly isn't already branded with another name). Just post your comments here. If the impartial judging panel chooses your name, I will somehow get in contact with you. As a word of warning: the French judge has been known to take bribes.

The ???? Fly Pattern
Hook: Daiichi 1260; size 14-16
Thread: 8/0 Red Uni-thread
Bead: 2.3 mm Gold
Tail: Scarlet Pheasant Tail
Ribbing: Fine silver wire; folded in half
Body: Wrapped Scarlet Pheasant Tail
Thorax: 3 strands of Peacock Herl
Wingcase: Scarlet Pheasant Tail
Legs: Scarlet Pheasant Tail Tips; tied back and down


  1. - Scarlet Letter
    - Miss Scarlet
    - Scarlet Fever
    - Scarlet Darter (seriously, check this out:

  2. I have a few names that come to mind...

    1. Senor Diablo Dragon
    2. H1N1
    3. CAYENNE coyote
    4. Optimus Prime
    5. Red Karma
    6. Beowulf
    7. krazy Kraken

  3. Knowing my husband, John, I think you have a winner at #4...

  4. Rojo la Cebra
    Red Zebra
    and from my daughter Lauren: Woody
    Woody Troutpecker

  5. eToro is the ultimate forex trading platform for novice and advanced traders.