Anatomy of a Quality Nymph Pattern, Part 1



This angle of fly design could be alternately labeled as “shape”. The silhouette of your fly is the most important thing to consider in pattern design, as well as execution when tying. The silhouette of your fly encompasses several of the other aspects of fly design that will be discussed below. We’ve all seen a jacket or backpack hung on a chair in the dark and just about had a heart attack. The silhouette, or shape, of the jacket is similar to some sort of monster or demon that we see in horror movies, and provokes a knee-jerk reaction within us when we see it, and we associate it with something frightening. Even though the jacket couldn’t be farther from monsters in movies, at first glance, it fools the human brain. The human brain, the most advanced supercomputer and processor on Earth, is fooled into a primitive reaction, by a simple piece of cotton or polyester. The challenge to the insect architect is the same. As anglers and fly tyers, our goal is to get the much smaller and much simpler brain of the trout to have the same primitive split second reaction to our flies. They need to associate them with caloric biomass, and consume them. Silhouette, which encompasses size and shape, is the first and probably most important factor in the design of our flies.

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