Capt.Castafly

Fly Design, Here’s something to think about?

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Take a very careful look at these two similar pictures of a mature bay anchovy.

Pay particular attention to the ambient background in each photo.

The first obviously is against the sand.

This is how most of us perceive the colors of the specimen and will try to match the same with fly tying materials. This is how most likely the baitfish will appear in shallow water against a sandy bottom.

The second photo shows the baitfish in my hand. Notice now the pink hue of my skin color replaces the tan sand color in all the translucent areas of the fish.

 

There are two parts to the equations when tying and designing small baitfish imitations.

The first is obvious, all the dominate colors and marking always stand out like eyes, lateral lines, outline of the fish, stomach, and gills.

These features are the most important part to a fly tier to try to reproduce on a hook. What are left are background colors that make up the rest of the fly.

The materials you use in this case, is like stuffing to a doll, they fill out the body so that all the dominate materials stay in place and are located in the right positons.

Most of us go by the theory, green over white works best.

The fact is whatever colors you choose represents the translucent portion of any baitfish.

 

Therefore consider this notion… Where we fish makes a difference?

Clear waters, or tinted waters, whatever the shades in between, try and use the same shade of materials of the local environment in your fly design. Tie up a few and see.

I know it goes against the norm, but you can't beat forensic evidence.       

Picture1.jpg

Picture2.png

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Interesting how dominant the color of the background sand is. The pink is a bit more subtle, but definitely there.

 

What do you think of the theory that some pink should be included in most patterns for albies? Same for other species?

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I am pretty sure what you note is the premise of what Kenney Abrames notes about fly tying.

 

In my mind, naturalistric and stand out are two major strategies. The fish  will let us know which they prefer.  Naturalustic is what you are noting here.  Chartruese over white is a stand out type of pattern....is equally valid but for different utility.

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2 mins ago, puppet said:

I am pretty sure what you note is the premise of what Kenney Abrames notes about fly tying.

 

In my mind, naturalistric and stand out are two major strategies. The fish  will let us know which they prefer.  Naturalustic is what you are noting here.  Chartruese over white is a stand out type of pattern....is equally valid but for different utility.

Indeed this is a major tenant of his philosophy.

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4 hours ago, puppet said:

I am pretty sure what you note is the premise of what Kenney Abrames notes about fly tying.

 

 

I agree about the principle about background translucency. These baitfish patterns are not creating the illusion of larger flies undulating to conceal their actual size. That where this method differs. These smaller patterns are not tied anywhere near sparse. It's more of a design feature and engineering function to add materials to keep dominate colors in place.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Capt.Castafly said:

I agree about the principle about background translucency. These baitfish patterns are not creating the illusion of larger flies undulating to conceal their actual size. That where this method differs. These smaller patterns are not tied anywhere near sparse. It's more of a design feature and engineering function to add materials to keep dominate colors in place.

I suspect a generalization here is made and also a gross misunderstanding of what a person like Kenney Abrames contributes to the medium of flyfishing.  We often can have selective hearing or understanding.

 

I have a background in the visual arts and know there is a state when a student is not ready to absorb a concept, but it lingers for a time and then down the road the concept is absorbed and the dots connected. Sometimes the person thinks it is a unique concept, but really it was a concept absorbed but not completely digested. I do not say this to criticize, as it is normal, and it happens to anyone who is open to learning.  In general I feel I am a slow processor and it takes me time(years) to digest so many things.

this video is sort of qued to what you describe, please let me know if I misinterpreted your notes.

https://youtu.be/Kvm2OEb1HkU?t=723

 

So to summarize. I have a masters in fine arts. What Kenney touches on here may be completely lost to a person who does not understand color theory and how color is perceived. What he is sharing in that video is very much the basis of what you note. Kenney Abrames is a master. I cannot watch this particular video enough times as his details and focus are on another level.  This is not about flatwings.  This is about providing a naturalistic fly of any size or for any species.  Anything Kenney speaks of needs to be considered as an abstract concept applied to anything.  I even apply his thinking to my spin fishing with plugs.  Kenney is probably one of the most brilliant speakers I have ever heard, yet I have never met him in person.....only had his books and these videos.  Very impactful if you open your mind.

Edited by puppet

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6 hours ago, KidDkivahh said:

Tie your flies as sparse as can be in the colours of the bait and the back ground takes care of it's self.  

I tie a bit so I’ll give that a shot. 

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Posted (edited)

12 hours ago, puppet said:

I suspect a generalization here is made and also a gross misunderstanding of what a person like Kenney Abrames contributes to the medium of flyfishing.  We often can have selective hearing or understanding.

 

I have a background in the visual arts and know there is a state when a student is not ready to absorb a concept, but it lingers for a time and then down the road the concept is absorbed and the dots connected. Sometimes the person thinks it is a unique concept, but really it was a concept absorbed but not completely digested. I do not say this to criticize, as it is normal, and it happens to anyone who is open to learning.  In general I feel I am a slow processor and it takes me time(years) to digest so many things.

this video is sort of qued to what you describe, please let me know if I misinterpreted your notes.

https://youtu.be/Kvm2OEb1HkU?t=723

 

So to summarize. I have a masters in fine arts. What Kenney touches on here may be completely lost to a person who does not understand color theory and how color is perceived. What he is sharing in that video is very much the basis of what you note. Kenney Abrames is a master. I cannot watch this particular video enough times as his details and focus are on another level.  This is not about flatwings.  This is about providing a naturalistic fly of any size or for any species.  Anything Kenney speaks of needs to be considered as an abstract concept applied to anything.  I even apply his thinking to my spin fishing with plugs.  Kenney is probably one of the most brilliant speakers I have ever heard, yet I have never met him in person.....only had his books and these videos.  Very impactful if you open your mind.

There's no way that can I ever convey my expressions or my writing in words so eloquent and well said, like a wordsmith as your self.

I simple cannot compete that way in the arena. What I can justify is using science and physics to better understand and debate my position.

Your debate could sway a jury on your defensive side in a situation where the prosecution has him dead to rights. You're that well versed and read. I was unable to view the video.   Will try later to see it's content. I'm sure it's interesting.

 

If someone defines a certain concept and someone else uses an axiom that might define the opposite, I can't see where one bolsters the other or vice or versa as you said? If someone had a theory there is a god, I can't see where someone argues that there is a devil is related to the first statement. 

Here's something to consider that different from your theory. His flies are designed to use the environment as support colors in his fly designs, tying them sparse with dominate colors. Mine, I'm adding extra materials to do the same to match the background. They are different. Flies that use the environment as a background for illusion, can not be picked up by the lateral senses of a striped bass.

There is no physical material present. My flies reflect a physical presents, occupy space, and are physical matter to reflex a signal back.

That's a difference between the two hypothesis.   

 

 

     

Edited by Capt.Castafly

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@Capt.Castafly
It sounds like I am incorrect. My appology for missing your intent. I am only responding to your leading notes of this thread.  Which to me seemed spot on to so many beats that echo Abrames.

 

That said .  It sounds that in adding  more material you are not doing the same. Really, even if you were matching  something similar it would still be your own spin. 

 

My notes are not do much about authorship as they are with general concept.   We all learn from eachother and it is always is a melting pot. 

 

In terms of non visible signature in water displacemeint .  It would be hard to quantify what amount of material matches the hatch. Fish are very streamlined and hydrodynamic. How a fish swims also factors.  i imagine sand eels probably send off a crazy signature compared to a bay amchoviw.

 

Sort of like bright color adding more material can be an advantage as a bigger profile providing a bigger signature may allow our offering to stand out.

 

Abrames often notes giving bass less to refuse.  That is for picky fish.  For fish feeding with abandon, we often want shimething to stand out.

 

The last several seasons I have almost excludively fished plugs over 11 imches or bucktails paired with teasers when I fish spinning.  Pretty simplistic really large and/or small. It is a theory that has put me on some decent fishing.

 

I would dig seeing some pics of your flies, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

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@Capt.Castafly
 I would still encourage you to view that video if you can, as he talks about materials that shift based on light and environment conditions.  Those sorts of color theory details can be captialized upon.  If you fish new england you know the ever changing nature of conditions.  Conditions can really change how a fly appears. So colors you pick at the bench may not have the utility you intend in the field.  As you note in the image, environment plays a factor.

 

Truth be told,  I am just at the beginning of my journey fly fishing the salt.  Although I am aligned and intrigued with Abrames, In practice much of what I do is very simplistic.  Black flies, white flies, and some dark over light to satisfy a nauratistic category.  In general, I loose if fish get picky.  I prefer the genetalized  effectivrness and economy in this route, as boring as it might seem.

 

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Posted (edited)

If one sole has a journey of promoting one particular style of fly, I have no problem with their personal expression.

I let them be, good luck, hope they do well in their venture. I know there are many roads to get to the same location, so I keep an open mind to other possibilities. One fly can't possible fit all conditions like "One Size Fits All in clothing" ? There are too many changing conditions, variables, and factors for that to work. So I have my own methods to achieve success on the water, that plural that I may promote. I promote mine in a positive style... they catch fish. I don't have to say a negative word about anyone else's fishing style. I'm performance bound, based by results.   

 

Anyone who promotes a unique style of fishing better have all their ducks in a row. Be prepared to answer many questions from critics.

Would you only have one item on a menu? Fishing a floating line and tantalizing feathers only reaches the top level of the water column. Really, how often does that happen? I keep an open mind and know from years of experience on the water that I have to explore every foot from top to the bottom in the water column if my clients are going to have any kind of success. I may find that only 10 % of the fishing may be found near the surface. That doesn't give me much success if I fish solely fish that one method. My clients hire me for results. Yes having a great time on a boat trip, bonding with friends/family  is a by-product of a good day of catching.

 

I was able to view your video link, saw it a few times before in previous years. Know many of the people at the presentation. We all belong to the same club, Rhody Fly Rodders.   

Edited by Capt.Castafly

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Water clarity allowing light to penetrate makes all the difference in color , this is how the human eye sees color as for the fish to see …. 

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@Capt.CastaflyI agree with that and would add that ones preference in technique is ultimately tied to that anglers approach. Shore vs boat. Inlet vs open beach. Sand vs rocky shore. 

 

The choices we make are not simply applied as a universal solution for everyone.  What works for one angler has satisfied a matrix of requirements.  For the same method to work for another would require some significant overlap of requirements.

 

I am a bucktail junkie with spinning. So, I understand the advantages of deep presentations. I 100% agree with the limitations of top presentation only.  Even in 5 feet of water there are bites where bass may not move more than a foot from the bottm to take an offering.

 

This really complicates things for a shore bound fly fishing angler. Hazard consideration when casting to deep and retrieving to shallow creates limitations that dont exist as much for a boat bound angler.  The presentation angle from shore limits the choices of line to floating or intermediate.  The preference is debated which is better. I like floating for line control.  Really neither is optimal if there is any decent current. Taking my 5 foot of water example I use a 1 ro 1.5 ounce bucktail with spinning and a mainline thinner than most fly fishing tippet. Any decent  fly cast will have so much line drag on the presentation I find if highly improbable that I could target bottom holding fish in the same current unless I could somehow coax them to move more than a foot.  Even if the line got down, it is hard to say where the fly might be. Even a heavily weighed clouser can float/suspend in current, making deep presentations a real trick. The angler needs to find downward pulling current to drag the offering deep.  So many restrictions and challenges for a shore bound angler. That is the fun in it for sure .

 

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Posted (edited)

I had the good fortune of once accidentally snagging a live bay anchovy, and came up with these two flies as a result. Fly with the foil body has only the body coated with Tufflye, not the sparse bucktail on top.  Foundaton is a single, short feather from a white Flatwing saddle over a sparse white bucktail platform.  Bottom fly is a rays fly technique, but with the white bucktail rooled around the hook on the bottom, vice the top, so as to form a very long throat.

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Edited by FlatWing

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