One of the many species, saltwater or freshwater, teased into a bite under adverse conditions. It is fished natural float mid-water or bumped along the bottom in a pure nymphing presentation. Worms are without border travelers. This San Juan Glo-Bug is pro-guide tied. Illustration above of the rainbow trout [Oncorhynchus mykiss], brown trout [Salmo trutta], and brook trout [Salvelinus fontinalis – a char genus] are by world-class watercolorist Thom Glace and used with permission. You can see his work here . . .

By Skip Clement

Over several decades, many destinations in every continent, and home waters of Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Idaho, and South Florida, I’ve learned to make friends with professional fly fishing guides who tie their flies. They are the fishing diviners of this fly fishing world.

What does that mean?

An excellent guide that’s invested in tying has only one objective in mind, that his clients catch fish in his fishery, and that in many cases the standard offerings of a named fly probably lacks some fundamental needs of the principal target species in his fishery. Concerning that statement, there are some flies without borders, but many of those get modifying haircuts or fitted with something new or deleted from that better interests targeted species.

Tying for these pros, I speak of, seldom tie a fly that involves dozens of steps, consumes a lot of time and materials, and requires expensive, hard to come by recipe ingredients. There are, of course, exceptions. However, a few of the current crop of voluminous tying tomes in the $100 range are not the exceptions. That is because they are too much about nothing.

NOTE: Featured Image is a largemouth bass [micropterus salmoides] underwater in natural habitat. Photo by H. Robert, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A public domain image.

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