How to Tie Guide Flies


Guide Flies have magic powers.  They induce a bite when the river has gone so dead you begin to doubt that there is a living trout within miles.  These flies are highly guarded.  Only a guides inner circle will be privy to the recipes of these flies.  You may catch a glimpse of one but you will never get to touch it.  You could, however, create your own Guide Fly.   You could create a fly designed to out fish everyone on the water and awaken the sleeping beasts from the depths.  They don’t always work but they always work better than your average fly.
Here are some tips on how to tie your own “guide flies.”

1.  Guide flies are often tied specifically for a body of water.  So before you do anything you need to know this body of water and the fish that reside in it.  
2.  Start with a common pattern known as one of the favorites on that body of water.  For example, does everyone throw CDC Caddis for the caddis hatch or are zebra midges the go to subsurface fly?  Is the general consensus that olive is the best color on the stream?  Being able to answer some of these questions will give you a starting point.
3.  Start to make subtle changes to the fly (come up with a couple options to test)
4.  Get out and test the changes on fish.   If you don’t know the water this is a waste of time, go back to step one.  If you do know the water and the fish that reside in it…test the crap out of some of your subtle changes.
5.  Make more drastic changes by incorporating different or better materials.
6.  Guide flies are often simple to tie without decorative frills. A guide knows that there will be nights of tying for an unanticipated booking.  So guide flies are often easy or quick to tie.  Simplify your pattern while keeping the effective changes you have made.  Look for ways to streamline the number of steps used in tying it.
7.  Re-Test.
8.  Keep your flies a secret.

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