X flies – I want to believe…

Madam X

Two great patterns but do they really have the X factor ?

X Caddis

We all have patterns that for some reason or another, deliver every time, here are two that I just wouldn’t go fishing without.  But its strange, some of my fishing friends know how many fish I catch with these patterns, especially when nothing else will work, but they still wont use them. They wouldn’t even consider  having them in their box, not to mention tying them on !

What’s that about ? No really, I mean it,  is it all down to personal taste or does it go deeper into aesthetics and traditions or is it just down right stubbornness ? Which leads to the next question, do you have to really believe in a pattern for it to work ?

“If you fish the wrong fly long and hard enough it sooner or later becomes the right fly” – John Gierach

Although I tie flies to fish for just about everything that has fins, and then some… When it comes to trout fishing I am a simple soul, and could probably manage with a handfull of patterns, that would cover most situations on most waters. But what about you ?

Let me know why you choose the flies you do and why you don’t or wont fish with others.

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4 thoughts on “X flies – I want to believe…

  1. Hi Barry. Greetings from Ireland. You make some interesting points regarding why people often seem reluctant to try out and persevere with new patterns that certain others have used with great success. Personally, I believe that this is down to the anglers ‘faith’ in the flies being used. After all, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. When an angler is under pressure to catch a fish, they will invariably stick with the fly that produced the most for them in similar past situations.
    As anglers, we do indeed need to experiment more. On more than one occasion, when catching trout on a particular favourite of mine, I deliberately changed to quite a different fly and soon enough was catching as many fish as before. The way I fished the pattern made all the difference. I think that fish key in to certain movements of the prey they eat. Sometimes a static sedge pattern hasn’t worked very well for me but as soon as I made the fly twitch and jump on the water the fish gave chase and I was catching again.
    I suppose, we are just creatures of habit and have certain targets set when we go fishing.Those of us who wish to learn each time we venture out will, I believe, be more prone to experiment and therein lie the keys to success.

    Just a thought! Now to tie up some samples of the flies you posted and try them out on my next visit to the lovely river Erkina.
    Tight lines.

    Peter Dunne

    1. Hi Peter, and greetings from Norway! Yeah it is interesting, with regard to salmon fly choice, Hugh Falkus said give me a bucket filled with different salmon flies and I can close my eyes and pick one to fish with, as long as I get to choose the hook size the pattern doesn’t matter ! maybe he was right !

      It will be interesting to hear how you get on with the flies on the Erkina.


    2. Barry,
      Just to let you know that the Streaking Caddis worked really well on the Erkina. I also tied up more samples to send to a good fishing friend of mine. He won’t get the chance to use them till next year now, but I will keep in touch with him on the matter and let you know of his success. He is an excellent angler. By the way, where do you source your materials for the sand eel pattern (the foil-eye material that is?)
      Finally, what vice are you using now? Looking at the step by step photos of the sand eel pattern, I didn’t recognise the vice?
      Thanks in advance.

      Peter Dunne. Ireland.

    3. Hi Peter,
      That sounds good, its a great fly. All the info for the sand eel materials is at the end of the article on the blog with links, so you can just click to the site. Regarding the vice, I used a HMH for years but always struggled when I needed full centerd rotation. So a few years ago I changed to a Renzetti, that I have only one complaint about. The securing nut in the pedistal is a grub screw which requires an Allen key. This is a real pain in the backside when I wish to swing the vice head from left to right, or have to remove the vice for photography! I contacted Renzetti about this elementary design fault and they offered to sell me a screw from another vice at a ridiculous price plus shipping. So I am still wresling with the Allen key.

      All the best