A Rose By Any Other Name

A Rose By Any Other Name

Martyn White | Thursday, 22 June 2023

We seem to be coming to the end of rainy season here. Last week we had mostly nice weather until my days off when the rain came back and made the rivers unfishable again. It's looking more favourable this week which is great because I've not fished for 3 weeks because of the weather.

Luckily Juan at Sport Fishing Asia got in touch and asked me to tie him some billfish flies for the charters in Rompin, so they kept me busy. The flies he'd requested are essentially 90 Percenter tubes, which are like an offshore banger with a big mylar skirt wrapped around the head and feathers. They look simple but always end up taking longer to make than I expect. I like making them though, and they always get me thinkng about the potential for making a return to Rompin-Along with a snakehead fishing adventure with Paul, the Rompin sailfish is a strong recommendation from me. Not only is the fishing experience great, but Malaysia is a pretty interesting place in its own right with diverse cultures, great food and lovely people. It's a long journey for most to get there so why not combine both?

While I was waiting for the glue to dry on the tubes & heads, I was looking at some fly tying chat online and noticed some guys having the tiresome argument about a squirmy worm not being a fly. It's not something I'm generally interested in, I'm very much a fish what you want kind of person-although I draw the line at chumming and saying you're flyfishing, bait isn't fly fishing. Anyway, one of the justifactions for the squirmy-and another soft plastic thing- was that it was tied with thread. Normally I'd not have given it a second thought, It just so happened I was "tying" those 90 percenters at the time and it struck me that they'd fail on that criteria. There was no thread or really any fly tying tools being used in making them. I had some big scissors, a toothpick and a cutting pad. The whole fly is basically glued together. But It does contain feathers, so maybe that's something!

Other billfish flies would more comfortably fit in the fly category, Cam Sigler's fly, flashy profiles and klingons all require actualy tying on the vice. They all work and do slightly different things which may or may not matter on a given day, but none of it matters really. If you're IGFA compliant it's the delivery method that counts, if you're not then it matters even less! I think they're flies, no matter what other people think they might be, after all regardless of what you want to call them, you couldn't realistically fish them on fish appropriate conventional taclkle.