Sunshine and the Dry Fly

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narcodog
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Sunshine and the Dry Fly

Post by narcodog » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:02 pm

Today O received a copy of Sunshine and the Dry Fly. As I was paging through the book I noticed a passage on not waxing silk as it diminishes the translucency of the silk. Also there was a section fly patterns that contain a list of materials that I'm not familiar with and there seems to be no list of them in the book. Machine silk, ribbing M1; and such. So those of you that have the book could you enlighten me.
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wsbailey
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Re: Sunshine and the Dry Fly

Post by wsbailey » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:57 pm

Bob,

That is one of the fly tying mysteries that may never be solved. No one that I know of has found the correct silk. Dunne's entire approach was to meticulously match the color of a mayfly body and oil the silk for translucency. He also painted his hooks white. Halford also tried to exactly match insect colors and nobody ties his flies anymore either. I guess tyers realized that trout aren't really that demanding about color.
Bazzer69
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Re: Sunshine and the Dry Fly

Post by Bazzer69 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:33 pm

I personally believe that flies are changed for changes sake as they say. Fish have excellent colour vision so why would colour be unimportant? I believe that our forefathers got it pretty well right in most flies. Do we need all the garish colours that are so often used today? Again, I personally doubt it. In all my years of fishing and guiding I have no evidence to support the Christmas tree colours of today. I have had my best success by far with subdued colours and little or no bling. If I was in a One Fly contest my choice of fly would be either a Frank Sawyer PT or a Birds Nest. But who am I to know?
Barry
Love both fly fishing and fly tying, been doing it for a while
But not much good at either
wsbailey
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Re: Sunshine and the Dry Fly

Post by wsbailey » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:09 pm

I'm not saying color isn't important but pulling apart silk floss and counting the individual strands to precisely imitate an insect body is beyond what most people would be willing to do. Besides, the company that made the floss is long gone and it would take an extraordinary stroke of luck to find some intact spools of it.
zen leecher
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Re: Sunshine and the Dry Fly

Post by zen leecher » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:36 pm

I would ask the question "do all nymphs of a given species look exactly alike?". I think they only do to us but there is lots of variation we do not pick up on.
Bazzer69
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Re: Sunshine and the Dry Fly

Post by Bazzer69 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:07 am

wsbailey wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:09 pm
I'm not saying color isn't important but pulling apart silk floss and counting the individual strands to precisely imitate an insect body is beyond what most people would be willing to do. Besides, the company that made the floss is long gone and it would take an extraordinary stroke of luck to find some intact spools of it.
Bill, I’ve not read the book, but excact imitations have never worked for me either. Counting the strands of silk? That’s over the top. I once tied some lovely weaved body Caddis flies, they looked great to me, but I couldn’t even get a take on them. I throw them all out in disgust in the end. I once read that a fly should be like a impressionist painting , a jumble of colours and
Shapes so the fish, like is, can make them look like anything they fancy. I’m not sure that’s not totally true especially when it comes to spider patterns and flymphs.
B
Love both fly fishing and fly tying, been doing it for a while
But not much good at either
Bazzer69
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Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:49 pm
Location: Redding California

Re: Sunshine and the Dry Fly

Post by Bazzer69 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:09 am

Bazzer69 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:07 am
wsbailey wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:09 pm
I'm not saying color isn't important but pulling apart silk floss and counting the individual strands to precisely imitate an insect body is beyond what most people would be willing to do. Besides, the company that made the floss is long gone and it would take an extraordinary stroke of luck to find some intact spools of it.
Bill, I’ve not read the book, but excact imitations have never worked for me either. Counting the strands of silk? That’s over the top. I once tied some lovely weaved body Caddis flies, they looked great to me, but I couldn’t even get a take on them. I threw them all out in disgust in the end. I once read that a fly should be like a impressionist painting , a jumble of colours and Shapes so the fish, like us, can make them look like anything they fancy. I’m not sure that’s not totally true especially when it comes to spider patterns and flymphs.
B
Love both fly fishing and fly tying, been doing it for a while
But not much good at either
wsbailey
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Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:30 pm
Location: Fort Wayne Indiana

Re: Sunshine and the Dry Fly

Post by wsbailey » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:20 am

A lot of fly fishing authors give more credence to size and presentation before color. If we had to precisely and exactly match the color we'd never catch anything. Even if you exactly matched the color of one fly; there's bound to be some variation. In fast water the fish don't even have time for a close look. J. W. Dunne's theories apparently didn't last long and to me the reason is obvious; fly fishing is a sport not a drudge.
upstatetrout
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Re: Sunshine and the Dry Fly

Post by upstatetrout » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:26 am

Imagenearest american express office

In my own copy a previous owner has posted a clipping dealing with Dunne's hackles and Pearsalls tying threads.It is interesting as Dunne used Cellulite (machine made thread) coated with a special oil over hook Shanks painted with white enamel for his bodies. I have seen spools of this thread and it is indeed different. I surmise without having seen any of his actual flies that the Pearsalls was for general tying of the fly and the cellulite one color or mixed was used for the body. His mathematical formulas for fly tying never appealed to me but his writings on translucency to try and imitate life in the dry fly have.

Tom



Tom
Last edited by upstatetrout on Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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tie2fish
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Re: Sunshine and the Dry Fly

Post by tie2fish » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:47 am

The following synopsis taken from a 1924 issue of the journal "Nature" may be of interest regarding the premise of Dunne's book Sunshine and the Dry Fly ...

MR. DUNNE'S book will be read with great interest by the devotees of dry-fly fishing, if only for its unortho-doxy, amounting almost to heresy, in its attitude to the works of Halford, hitherto regarded as the standard works on the art of dry-fly making, and slavishly used by most anglers. The author objects that Halford obtained the colours of his dry flies from the natural flies seen under wrong conditions of light, and that his record of colour is therefore erroneous. Mr. Halford placed the natural flies on their dorsal surfaces in a white saucer and allowed strong light to fall on their ventral surfaces, and in this way sought to obtain the colours of the fly as seen by the fish. As Mr. Dunne points out, this method reduced the light showing through from the back of the fly and increased that reflected from the ventral surface, with the result that Halford's colours are darker than they should be. Further errors crept in from the use of preserving fluids, which materially altered the colour of the natural flies preserved in them for copying purposes.
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