There are many, many useful fly patterns, and just as many opinions on which they are. Suffice to say, the fly tyers will pick a pattern that is seen in a fly tyers guide. These are usually the work of expert or show tyers; excellent stuff. These patterns can be reduced to the fundamental elements and reproduced in perhaps simpler forms.
Now it’s great to tie up a masterpiece, but you may need a fly shop of supplies to create four versatile expert patterns. When choosing a pattern look for the basic element, consider water color and conditions and taxonomic veracity. Fish don’t read books; generally they don’t have great visual acuity. These factors taken into account, you may find most beautiful fly patterns attract as many or more fly fisherman than fish. I enjoy watching some of my fly fishing clients musing over the masterful flies they create. After a few strikes the masterpiece often loses some of its magnificence and a few of its fancier elements, yet it works as well or often even better than in its original state. This would lead me to believe that a simpler interpretation of the basic elements of most flies is a better way to fly, at least in the slightly tannic, shallow and often cloudy waters of Southwest Florida.
Here are a several examples of the liberally modified, four most useful patterns we engage on our outings.
The conventional fly names are applied here; hopefully you’ll see these very simple flies come close enough to work. Although reduced in construction materials, these patterns can be cast on 5-9wt. rods loaded with weight forward lines under most conditions.In a previous blog I suggested inexpensive material you can find at the hardware, dollar store, and craft shops; here’s a good place to use ‘em. Represented here are a red and white, “Halloween Hair Whistler”, an altered Clouser, “Trashcan Shrimp”, and a “Jo Ann Fabric Gurgler”. No offense intended, just homeboy innovation. “Keep it simple.” All these units are tied on a Mustad 3407DT 1/0 O’Shaughnessy Ringed Duratin hook, around $7 a hundred.
Capt. Ron Kowalyk