Weather  MDC

Fly Design

All natural foods upon which trout feed - such as aquatic and terrestrial insects, minnows, worms, crustaceans, shellfish, amphibians, rodents, and reptiles - can be imitated by today's fly tying methods... Imitation is best accomplished when these foods are properly identified and their life cycles clearly understood. "How and when do they interest the trout?" we must ask before we can make or obtain fly designs and patterns that best stimulate these foods ...

Missouri Department of Conservation Fly Definition

Flies, Lures and Baits: The following classes of lures are authorized for use, except where restricted. See A Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations pages 16-20 and 28-40.

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Descriptive Fly Type

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Definitions of Terms Size, Action, Texture, Color and Shape

  1. Size - The length, width, and thickness of a natural aquatic food or the imitation of this food. Generally, the exact length is most important to imitate with the smallest foods (1/8" to 1/2"), then width and thickness becomes more important as overall size increases (over 1/2").

  2. Action - The movement or degree of movement of a natural or imitation including its own muscular movement and what the water or entrapment on the water gives it. The imitation when fished is given proper live imitative action by the angler's manipulation of cast, rod, line, leader, general design or shape of imitation and water's movement. Action thus depicts living movement, vulnerability, and proper attitude of the imitation to a trout.

  3. Texture - The overall feel, softness or rigidity, of a natural or imitation. Each natural food has a particular identifiable texture or feel when touched or bitten by a trout. So an imitation of such foods, should have this same general feel. The tying material considered or used for an imitation should be chosen with the same feel or texture. Very hard or very soft imitations seldom fall in to this realistic texture range.

  4. Shape - The overall outline or silhouette of an aquatic trout food within its three dimensional size. Shape should be considered closely when fly imitation designing is done. The best or most versatile imitations usually have the more impressionistic shapes which give the idea of many possible aquatic trout foods.

  5. Color - Natural aquatic trout foods have distinctive shades and tones of many colors as well as specific
    patterns of these colors. Normally exact duplication of chroma or color is not necessary because even within a common group of naturals there will be wide variations in shades and tones of these colors. Imitations usually are effective if they are generally color pattern imitative.

........Dave Whitlock

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