Fly Pattern Authorship: What's your view [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Fly Pattern Authorship: What's your view

05-13-2004, 11:36 PM
In light of some of the recent discussions we've been having regarding patterns and their originators, or those who lay claim to the development of a particular pattern, it's gotten me thinking more and more that my philosophy behind my own tying is safe, for me:

I take no credit for any pattern that I work on, because even though I may not have seen the pattern illustrated somewhere and the concept I'm working with is totally new to me, it's highly likely that someone, somewhere, in their infinite wisdom, has tied it before I have. Therefore, I typically post a pattern and say nothing more than, "this is a pattern I've been working on", rather than, "Hey, check out this totally new pattern that I developed; there's no other like it anywhere on Earth". I may one day come up with a pattern that's totally new, like Striblue and some of the other incredibly talented tiers on the forum do from time to time, but even then I really don't care enough to say that this is my fly; rather, I'm totally happy to post a picture and answer questions, should there be any. Let me add that the fact that some of you guys come up with these innovative and really cool patterns in this day when true innovation is so hard to come by is a true testament to your insight, and for that you should be recognized and commended.

So the question amidst all of this is: how important is it that you brand your name on a pattern or tying technique? Do most people care, or are they just content with sitting down at the vise and coming up with something new (to them) to try out on the water tomorrow?

05-14-2004, 12:31 AM
don't know why,,i ve had success with really ragged versions of patterns,,,several times i've tied on `orphans',,,,bugs that never went strait thru the tying,either i got interupted,or was trying another feather wing fly that,,well,,i said `trying',and got picked up,finished off later,added to the boxes,as a last thought,sort of a freebie!!,seems the more raggedy,the better,,like an Abduhli!!!?:hehe:

Sharp Steelie
05-14-2004, 01:58 AM
My fly fishing partner from just this past summer
came up with the "Sharp Steelie" name. Actually
came up with the fly many years ago - didn't
actually think about naming it myself. Created the
"Passion Fly" in 1988. Didn't name that one until
after the "Sharp Steelie" in 2003. Figured might as
well come up with something. The brown nymph
that has worked for Steelies is just that -
a Brown Steelie Nymph. My sentimental favorite
is simply just a wooly worm with a green butt -
Okay, how about a Green Butted Wooly Worm.
I feel very honored that my good buddy came
up with the Sharp Steelie name. He thought that
something that made his year should be named
for my family - well it stuck. Up until the fall of
2003, had never named anything - wasn't a big

05-14-2004, 06:49 AM
Sharp Steelie -

Your comments about this "miracle pattern" of sorts are what prompted me to post in the first place. From the sounds of it, you've re-created a pattern that was in existence a century prior, and given it a name. Tell me, what do you think the odds are that no fly angler since the dawn of the sport has come up with something so simple as that pattern, and you come along less than two decades ago and contrive this fly? Honestly, the notion is outrageous. I've been tying long enough to know that simply changing the number of strands of floss on a pattern doesn't make it original when the overall pattern is already in use.

This topic, by the way, was not intended to be a place for people to showcase their patterns and talk about how wonderful they are; please re-read the original post. I think that you'll find everyone on this forum that ties to be interested and fair, and most are very knowledgeable; claims that are made when it comes to so-called "new patterns" are considered very carefully. We're a tight-knit community of fly fisherman, not a group of individuals bent on out-doing each other. Anyway, now I've gotten off topic. Well, you keep on going out there and "inventing" new patterns by using three hackle-wraps rather than four, or wine-colored floss rather than cerise, or mallard flank rather than teal flank. We'll no doubt see you in the hall of fame.

Off my soap-box.

All comments from members regarding the original topic of this post are of course welcome.

Dble Haul
05-14-2004, 08:21 AM
Originally posted by flyfisha1

So the question amidst all of this is: how important is it that you brand your name on a pattern or tying technique? Do most people care, or are they just content with sitting down at the vise and coming up with something new (to them) to try out on the water tomorrow?

Based on recent discussion, it's painfully obvious that some people in this world DO care.

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

05-14-2004, 08:46 AM
I think the big question here is what is the incentive to share anything if you don't get credit for it. I personally feel that if the proper research is done as to a flies originality and effectiveness the tier deserves the credit. Where would we be without Bob Popovics, Lou Tabory etc... I don't think they are in it for the the money. But without the compensation I don't think we would see their and others ideas to the extent we do today. I think we are all better for it. I do agree that not all who share meet the requirements set above but often seek the recognition anyway. Hopefully like in everything in life those issues sort themselves out over time.

my $.02


05-14-2004, 08:49 AM
Sean - those are very good points. You're right, we'd all be a lot less successful out on the water were it not for the generosity of guys that strike upon a revolutionary concept, or even just tweak one, from time to time.

Dble Haul
05-14-2004, 09:08 AM
Chris, you're right.....with the key word being revolutionary.

05-14-2004, 09:23 AM
i have a radio on my tying bench,,,surf the various stations,,,,the results,,if a song or group is playing,,well,,that's what I call the fly,like the `iron Maiden' house of hair,,etc,i'm not trying to reinvent the wheel,,just having fun,,i wish i could create a revolutionary design,but,small and blah for me,i'm playing with a `tie' right now that's actually just a peacock carey,,except,,,turkey,,so,,dumbell,,turkey carey!?:chuckle:

05-14-2004, 09:41 AM
In the saltwater arena... ask Joe Branham what he thinks and he will tell a story about Page Rogers and her flies....Visavis Lefty Kreh. But I don't want to get him started on that.

Sharp Steelie
05-14-2004, 12:46 PM
I honestly felt funny about putting a name on a fly - I was
not the one who named it! After some people coaxed me
into coming out of hiding I started to do some research.
Through that research, and research of some others I
could not find the same pattern. I did find some soft hackles
that where similar but they where not the same. I think
the whole trick to the fly is the tail and sparsely tied hackle -
it literally comes alive in the water. You know what, I have
been doing my own thing for years and have never really
been involved in the fly fishing community. There is a
reason I chose not to get involved many years ago -
can anyone guess what that is! My stuff works, I'm
not full of crap, and shame on anyone for slamming
someone for trying to be up front and honest - I now
have plenty of wonderful fishing partners who will
stand behind everything that I have posted. I shared
my stuff to be nice - I did not have to do it! Deal with

05-14-2004, 01:08 PM
I do not feel that this forum is the place to get into an in-depth discussion on what your intentions were or weren't. I, for one, read these posts and converse with the members because I want to learn and help others with questions that I feel qualified to discuss; I believe that it is the intention of all members of this forum to conduct themselves in the same way. I've had about enough of this back-and-forth chat, so this will be my last mention of the subject. I'm glad that your buddies "coaxed (you) into coming out of hiding". :rolleyes:

I will say one last thing, and that's that I'd like to apologize to any members of the forum and/or moderators if they feel that my remarks overstep sensible boundaries. I'm simply tired of this self-inflated... never mind. I suppose it's up to me to stop reading at this point.

05-23-2004, 08:27 PM
"Jung postulated the collective unconscious - the notion that we all share sub-conscious ideas, patterns, and images, which he called archetypes. In the Jungian view, every mind contains innate ideas and symbols with universal meaning.
New patterns are not inventions. They are discoveries - or, rather, rediscoveries of ideas floating around in the collective psyche. When two persons make a similar discovery, they attest not to mere serendipity, but to the power of the archetypes adrift in that universal river of ideation" From an Editorial by Art Sheck back when.
Nothing is new, its just something re-invented from another time. Max

05-24-2004, 01:24 AM
`the hammer' my namesake here is actually just a hairwing steelhead fly,,tied to match,,approximatelly,,suggestively,, the big yellow may flies in my section of river,,sure makes me wonder though,,about `al's special' or `al's yellow hammer',by al Knudsen,he lived in the area for a time,on the banks of the river ,as stated by trey combs in steelhead fly fishing and flies,my personal feelings are;Al saw them too,,but he had two or three variences in the pattern probably due to what he had to tie with at the time,,heck,we've got every sort of material just a click away,,adrift in that universal river of ideation,,Yeah!:hehe:

Sharp Steelie
05-24-2004, 01:39 AM
Maxg - that is a great analogy

05-24-2004, 02:31 AM
Hey, I didn't say anything, I just quoted Art, who only said noting is new, really. Mind you there are some significant flies, of modern times, like Lefty's Deceiver, but thats as far as I am prepared to go. Max

05-24-2004, 07:04 PM
I personally believe that its a little wrong to name a fly after your self, because as touched on you don't want some one talking to you about how his uncle use to tie those 20 years ago. I feel that all a name should be for is identification, not so you can get your name written in a cabelas catalog.

05-24-2004, 09:10 PM
What we have to remember in all of this "naming" thing, is that this SWF sport is not just 50 years old, but rather thousands and who knows what people have hung onto fishing lines over the thousands of years that they have been tying feathers and fur onto hooks. There are references to salt water fishing with flies in 50BC.

"Who has not seen the Scarus rise
decoyed and killed with fraudful flies".

You know the last 100 years is just the top of a very big mountain although it might have been the era of the greatest changes. Still its nice to remember those from the past, like the Herons who started it all. Max

05-25-2004, 01:52 AM
just call your flies whatever you'd like,unless you mass market ,,THEN,,, NAME a pattern,otherwise, have fun!