Saturday Shoutout / Flip On Flies

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You could get your advice on fly selection from worse guys than Flip Pallot.

I’ve long thought that there are two types of fly tyers, the Engineer and the Artist. I don’t make a qualitative distinction between the two. I simply recognize that each comes at it from a different perspective. The Engineer ties beautifully consistent versions of proven patterns, while the Artist is moved by emotion and curiosity, seldom tying the same fly twice.

I am definitely the Artist and I’m not always especially proud of it. I often envy my friends who knock out deadly patterns by the dozens, but theres no fighting it. I am what I am. It did make me extremely happy to learn that Flip is right there in the boat with me.

It’s pretty cool to hear a guy of Flip’s status admit that he’s sometimes just making it up as he goes. I think really good anglers do more of that than they are comfortable admitting. Flip has done us a favor. If it’s good enough for him, you can get away with it too.

Here’s Flip Pallot on fly tying and selection.


Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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4 thoughts on “Saturday Shoutout / Flip On Flies

  1. Engineering is a requirement for production tying. The problem with engineering “beautifully consistent versions of proven patterns” is that you end up with a lack of variation.

    Artistry produces variation. Most prey items in the fishes world have variation.

    If I tie a dozen perfect #18 olives and the hatch I encounter is a #18 body with a #16 wing I may not be successful. I purposely like to vary flies for this reason.

  2. I heartily agree! I much prefer to tie impressionistic flies. To tie physically perfect patterns to me is restrictive and requires too many doo-dads and foo-fraws. A good friend is a professional aquatic biologist and fisherman of much renown. Plus he can out catch most. His fly box looks entirely creative in what he produces. Plus it’s more fun to experiment

  3. Trout are opportunistic preditors who instinctively know the energy exerted/energy input ratio. They will look for and selectively take insects that they perceive as injured, dying, dead, unable to escape. These characteristics are in affect triggers and should be seen in the same light as a yellow colored zelon immitating an egg sac, or a wing up and a wing in the water, or a spent lying flat or twisted in the surface film.

  4. I got a kick out of the last comments on the video. Even if the wind is blowing and the reports are bad, if I just tied up a bunch of new flies, I’m going!

    I’ve definitely had days like that. It can be challenging for me as well to focus on cranking out dozens of the same pattern, but if I get the wild hair going to tinker with a pattern, I might tie several variants to see which I like best…

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