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Ronan's report

Wednesday 18th November, 2009

Synthetic materials have revolutionized modern fly tying just as graphite technology revolutionized fly rod performance.

And, just as there are anglers who prefer not to trade in their cane rods and silk lines, there are fly tiers who will not tie with synthetic materials. Now, I'm not particularly interesting in the synthetics vs. naturals debate. While I respect those who tie with only natural materials, I also think synthetics have a place in fly tying because, if nothing else, they add variety.

Of the synthetics, I find the different types of "flash" fascinating. The applications vary from subtle (just a hint of sparkle on a PT nymph) to serious (Flash Flies for silver salmon) and everything in between.

Most serious anglers have at least a sense, if not a fully developed theory of attraction when it comes to fish, flies, and flash. These theories can be complex, and typically the most complex theories are also the most thought out.

I personally feel like flash materials have narrowed the gap between my own theories of attraction (flyfishing) and those more commonly held in by conventional anglers fishing with spoons, spinners, and other flashy metal lures. Even so, I don't dare leave home without drab, flashless patterns for certain conditions.

I know anglers who think that flash is inappropriate in very clear water, but critical in turbid conditions. I know others who think the opposite. I've heard a theory that under the same conditions, a small but very flashy fly can be as attractive to fish as a very large one with no flash that is much harder to cast. I've heard that flashy flies are better in colder water than in warmer water.

You may notice that I've been very careful so far not to mention any specific species of fish, and I've dont that for a reason. Maybe some fish species prefer more flash than others?

I'll stop here and invite everyone to join into this discussion over on The Board. What are some of your theories of attraction as they pertain to flash in flies?

Fish On,

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