Posts Tagged ‘location


Sly Fishing: Presentation

“Sly Fishing” I like that. I didn’t ‘coin’ the phrase, but it works for today’s post. There are many competing concepts in fishing and fly fishing in particular: matching the hatch, proper gear, the appropriate realistic fly pattern, timing, weather, lighting, location, reading the water and finally presentation, which in some ways combines much of the above considerations.

photography-fly tying-sparse-pattern-macro-swittersbSometimes the above images are insulting, challenging to fly fishers and tiers. Such simplicity flies in the face of the necessarily complex make up of fly fishing. I suppose, at times, there are required, exacting patterns that must be used on well bred, snobby, elitist fish. But, come on now, you know it is true….often simple patterns, sparse patterns are quite effective. It is the presentation and location of the offering that are often more important than some exacting pattern. 

I like to tie overdressed concoctions as much as the next tier. But, I annually come back around to the reality that all that material on that hook may not be necessary. At a minimum, tie some minimums. Sparse patterns that are suggestive, have movement, but are a fraction in quantity of materials and focus on presentation/location. It doesn’t lessen the sport to experiment and possess a few minimalist patterns for the less refined fish.

Read this fine piece by Tim Rolston (The Fishing Gene) entitled “The C Word” re patterns and confidence.

Marc Fauvet wrote about pattern and presentation also in this piece.


Photography & Fly Fishing: Images Sway Us…….

Images of the newest, touted better, innovations in many hobbies (to include photography & fly fishing) sway us to keep looking for the ‘magic bullet’ to improve our performance or outcomes. This is particularly true in fly tying.

~SB~swittersbThere is the fly fishing blogging world’s often used expression of ‘fish porn’; ‘sexy’ images of beautiful fish that stir the mind, the juices, the body to go forth and seek the same pleasures. ‘Fly Porn’ exists although it is less acknowledged. Photography, macro work, combines when done well to seduce us into finding that magic fly, that irresistible creation, that will entice the fish and perhaps lead to ‘The Moment’ when it all comes together.

Looking for the magic list of must have fly patterns..the top 10 if you will is pointless. There are too many possibilities today compared to 20 years ago. The ‘net, the explosion of knowledge and new fly tying materials have caused a gazillion patterns to emerge…so to speak. 

fly collage SWITTERSBWe all do this to some degree. I give more weight, in my mental assessments, to a fly pattern that is depicted with crisp macro goodness. The details are there. The magic of the materials pop…the imagination is engaged. All fine and part of the enjoyment.

The ‘but’ or ‘however’ here is one should couple that chase for the magic fly with equally detailed passion for entomology, habitat, location, presentations and retrieves. Imagination or visualization are all part of the magic of combining fly, presentation and location. Settle upon basic patterns for larva, pupa, emergers and adults as they relate to Caddis, Mayfly, Stonefly, Chironomids, Terrestrials, Damsels and Dragons and assorted other creatures that fish consume and then master where to those food sources hold and how do they behave (move).

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September 2020

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