Fly Tying: Subtle Changes

If you fly fish a couple of streams a lot it isn’t hard to figure out what the fish are keyed in on.  It may change depending on the time of year or even the time of day but once you know the bug life of a body of water you can narrow down the number of flies you carry to a stream. This means you most likely will be focusing your time on the vise to fewer ties.  
But…….to amp up your effectiveness on these streams you could experiment with variations of your go to flies.  These variations often can up your game in various water conditions, allowing you to catch more fish in…let’s say cloudy or glass like water.  Making subtle changes to a fly also gives you the opportunity to throw an imitation that doesn’t look like the thousands of other flies Tom, Dick and Harry have been throwing at the fish all season.  Some places get fished hard and subtle changes to your fly will make you more effective on these streams as well.  

Here are ways 4 ways I make subtle changes to my go to flies.
1) Mess with the Head – Play with different ways to present the head of the bug.  Gold beads aren’t the only answer.
2) Flash Adjustments – Lots, little or sometimes removing all the flash is the way to go.
3) Tail – I like to mess with the colors and types of materials I use to make fly tails. 
4) Rubber Legs – Everyone knows fish like rubber legs.  Most people don’t experiment with the length, the colors or the  placement of the legs.  They should.
5) Hook Styles – Lighter gauge, upside down, bends –  all of these subtle changes can make a difference on a rough day.

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