Name these flys [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Name these flys

John Desjardins
01-24-2003, 09:25 AM
Heres a challenge for every one. Name these flys. All are pretty common dry flys. What may throw you off is that the picture was taken using a scanner set up to back light the flys. So the flys are shown as a fish would see them. I'll post the scan of them taken the normal way for comparison on monday.

John Desjardins
01-24-2003, 09:29 AM
Heres a sample of the comparison to show you how the views change to help your guessing. The fly is an experiment of mine with chickabou to make a flufferbugger.

01-24-2003, 10:24 AM
Hmm - the Backlighting makes for an interesting twist!

Here are my guesses:

A: Adams Wulff

B: Mosquito (although the body appears to be dubbed rather than quill). Maybe a Dark Hendrickson? (Swift River Favorite)


D: the stumper - if the dubbing is tan, a Light Hendricson. If the dubbing is pale yellow, a Sulphur

May the guessing continue!

John Desjardins
01-24-2003, 11:08 AM
Well Dave, you nailed it. Next time I'll have to make the pictures fuzzy.

A - Adams Wulff
B - Mosquito - Stripped quill
D- Light hendrickson

As fishermen we typically look at flies with front lighting. The fish see the fly, especially flys on the surface, backlit. Differences in the coloring make a big difference as we see them, but not as much from the fishes view. This sort of explains how sometimes a fly that bears no resemblence to the naturals will be successfull. Just my rambling thoughts.

Oh yah the comparison pic is below.

01-24-2003, 11:11 AM

That Flutter Bugger is a killer for many species been tying ones similar to that for a few years now. Olive is a favorite color.

Ty them with the plastic beads, gold, and brass bead heads and tungsten beads/cones.

Tungsten ones sink like "Red October"

PM Out

John Desjardins
01-24-2003, 11:16 AM
Hal, thanks I'll try it in olive.

01-24-2003, 01:11 PM
Olive grizzly marabou feathers, to be specific, great all around fly.

PM Out

01-24-2003, 02:30 PM
A. Dark Hendrickson
B. March brown
C. Blue Wing Olive
D. Cream Variant

These are my choices

01-24-2003, 03:05 PM
Originally posted by John Desjardins
As fishermen we typically look at flies with front lighting. The fish see the fly, especially flys on the surface, backlit.

Good point, John. Another thing to consider is how the fish percieves the shadows created by the contact points between the fly and the meniscus. This is why I have gone to using parachutes almost exlusively, or even waterwisps for really picky fish.

Can't wait to see those first Hendricksons of the year popping off!

01-24-2003, 06:00 PM
I guess the real question is how do the natural insects, which likely pass more light than these artificials, look while backlit? The even more difficult question that fly-tyers have been struggling with for at least a century is how to come up with an imitation that matches that backlit insect, particularly when the body of imitation gets wet...


John Desjardins
01-24-2003, 09:14 PM
Poul & Dave, you hit the crux of my problem in thinking through dry fly design. I would love to see good pictures of hatches and comparable flies from below the surface. Of course it would look different depending upon time of day, weather, etc. It's all part of why we call it fishing rather than catching.

Cohocola, Good try.

01-24-2003, 09:30 PM
keep them coming

01-28-2003, 07:43 AM
Yeah, but how do they look from underneath when floating on the water, and do trout "see" things the same way we do? You realize, of course, that books have been written on the subject...

And the best thing, is that we will never know! We will each develop our "pet theories", but we will really never know how right (or wrong) we are. But, as long as we are fishermen, and we catch some without doing serious damage to the fish population, it's great!

Besides, it does keep the tackle manufacturers in business! Want to laugh at ourselves? Just think about this- the last rod you bought. Did you REALLY need it? Are you REALLY catching more fish now than you did before? Are your casts REALLY that much longer, more accurate, etc. than before? Is life REALLY better?

BobK :hehe:

01-28-2003, 05:06 PM

Interesting thread!

I'm curious about the backlighting technique. I tried that with my scanner to try to eliminate the shadow of the fly on the background and brighten up the background a bit, but also keep the underside of the fly visible and not silhouetted like yours. I used a piece of white paper behind the flies and shined a light onto the back of the paper, but the "backlighting" shows up as orange or pink, not white. Maybe I need a brighter light? Or maybe put the paper closer to the light and farther from the scanner? I'd be interested to know if your technique could be used to accomplish what I was trying to do.



John Desjardins
01-28-2003, 08:10 PM
Q, I did the backlighting with a transparency adapter for the scanner at work. It shuts off the normal front lighting when the transparency adapter is selected in the software. The orange-pink color you get may be from a mismatch of the color temperature in the light you used versus what the scanner uses to illuminate the scan.

01-29-2003, 02:09 PM
To get an idea of what fish 'see', the Proprietor of has an interesting article in the "Flies Only" section. Worth perusing.

John Desjardins
01-29-2003, 08:51 PM
Thanks Dave very interesting pictures there. Worthy of a long examination.

01-31-2003, 04:31 PM
I agree with the choices for A,B,C but is D a PMD or PED???

John Desjardins
02-03-2003, 09:07 AM
Moosestang, over the weekend I spent some time on the throne looking at one of the many catalogs of fly fishing products that are coming out now. You are right, D is not a light hendrickson. The hackle is not the right color.

Unfortunatelty I tossed all the flies back into my dry fly box after taking the picture so I'll never be able to say with certainty what it is. It could be a light cahill, PMD, sulphur or a variant of some sort. I have all of them in the box.

I'm sorry for any confusion I caused.