In fly tying, we sometimes tend to seek perfection in what we tie

by Jessica Jackson on Jan 13, 2020 Fishing 48 Views

I love fly fishing. Shortly after making my first catches, I decided that to truly enjoy the experience, I needed to tie my own flies. For me, tying flies, casting them, and fooling the fish into taking them is what life is all about. The first fly I cut my teeth on is a local to Northern Utah. Not sure if that is still the case. Let’s just say that outside of Utah, I’ve not yet run into a fly tier that's heard of it. The story as I know it is as follows. The fly was developed by a warden, Dave Thomas, that lived in the Uinta Basin in Utah. The fly is aptly named the Dave Thomas Special. The hook size varies. Originally tied on a #8 long shank, and developed for Brown Trout and Brook Trout.

I believe the hooks I started on would have been in size 12 or 10. One of the reasons I started with this fly is its simplistic design. Much the same as most tiers that begin with Wooly Buggers and Gray Hackle Peacocks, the basic patterns are all about developing the muscle memory and basic techniques used to tie. Dave Thomas is a very basic pattern of a black chenille body with a single wrap of Grizzley hackle on the collar. The fly is meant to be fished wet. The fly is not meant to imitate a particular bug, but any number of aquatic insect. The man who introduced it to me always says, “It's the fly that imitates nothing really well and lots of things kind of poorly.”

Basically, it imitates everything and nothing. I have fished the fly in dozens of different waters, for different kinds of fish, and it’s surprising the results. I have used it as a searching pattern, as well as the “last resort fly”. It is very basic but is very versatile at the same time. In fly tying, we sometimes tend to seek perfection in what we tie. We also are always looking to improve upon those tier’s who've come before us. We forget sometimes that nature has not changed. A fly pattern that worked a hundred years ago is still going to work today. For the most part, we have simply forgotten about them.

Next time you need a new pattern to try or simply want to get nostalgic, grab a few snippets of fly fishing history and brush up on some now-forgotten fly patterns. May turn out to be the best fly you ever use.

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