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Old 02-17-2014, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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smells?

I'm wondering if any of you have any thoughts, or experiences with various scents in the materials affecting the success of a given fly? No, I don't mean adding any attractant type stuff, although I am sure some folks do that. It's more that I have to wonder sometimes about some of the dyes and such that often impart a very unnatural odor to some of the furs and feathers I've worked with. I have one patch of ringneck that is dyed a very dark blue (which I love), but it smells strongly almost like oil and I have started to hesitate using the stuff. What do you all think?
JB
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Old 02-17-2014, 01:39 PM
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Hal Janssen would agree with you about smells from dies, head cement, tobacco, ect. Was talking with him about these issues at Spey-O-Rama a few years ago. He carries around a mini spray bottle and spritzes hands with vanilla extract. To mask any pheromones you could transfer to your leader or fly. Then he rubs his vanilla hands on his flies to mask any other scents or smells. He commented that the fish cannot smell this sent and it masks all other smells. I'm still not 100% sure on the issue, but Hal is defiantly an amazing fisherman and a even better coastal steelheader.
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:07 PM
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for what it's worth, I try to always fill my gas tank the day before a trip; I don't want my hands smelling like gasoline when I'm tying on that first fly.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:48 PM
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It may not be the same thing, but in the old days guys used to make floatant out of paraffin and kerosene, or anything that repelled water. I realize a dry fly is not subject to the same scrutiny as a swung wet fly, but the fact that a fish would take a fly in the oil slick that ensued from the treated fly always made me question the merit of fish being turned off to smell.

I am sure they are attracted to some smells, like a gob of nightcrawlers or salmon eggs sitting in slow moving water, but in normal stream situations where they dart out and grab a meal, I don't think it matters. CJ
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:18 PM
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As a pipe smoker I realize some scent is passed on to my flies, either via my hands when tying them on or by way of saliva when wetting the knot prior to tightening. However I think of it more of an attractant. By ashing my pipe in the river I introduce highly addictive nicotine to juveniles. They continue on their journey, never getting another fix of that sweet virginia blend until they return to their home waters. The scent on my fly reminds them of their adolescent encounter and voila, fish on.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:36 PM
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As a pipe smoker I realize some scent is passed on to my flies, either via my hands when tying them on or by way of saliva when wetting the knot prior to tightening. However I think of it more of an attractant. By ashing my pipe in the river I introduce highly addictive nicotine to juveniles. They continue on their journey, never getting another fix of that sweet virginia blend until they return to their home waters. The scent on my fly reminds them of their adolescent encounter and voila, fish on.
lmao!!!!


thats awesome for sure! but i to have wondered about that silly sally, hard as nails gives a great finish but my boxes wreak of the stuff. it would be nice to be able to get rid of that smell before getting them wet…

bd
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Jason View Post
I'm wondering if any of you have any thoughts, or experiences with various scents in the materials affecting the success of a given fly? No, I don't mean adding any attractant type stuff, although I am sure some folks do that. It's more that I have to wonder sometimes about some of the dyes and such that often impart a very unnatural odor to some of the furs and feathers I've worked with. I have one patch of ringneck that is dyed a very dark blue (which I love), but it smells strongly almost like oil and I have started to hesitate using the stuff. What do you all think?
JB
Does the cat care if the wiggling string smells like head cement and moth balls (and every other bad scent) whilst taking a swat at it?
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:55 PM
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Halibut long-liners in some areas absolutely soak their bait in WD40... Many Kenai River king salmon guides in the not too distant past "protected" their plugs every night with a big blast of WD40...

IME the halibut return for the WD40 soak was incredible. Both bigger and more fish.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:39 AM
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Yep, WD40 is a proven winner for salmon and saltwater fishing. I've heard rumours that WD40 has a lot of fish based oils in it...

But I'm a ways away from spraying my box with WD40.

As for tobacco, I never used to smoke much on the river, and caught fish. Now I usually have a few cigars through my day, my waders reek of smoke, and I'm sure it transfers to my flies and gear, but well, I still catch fish.

I hardly ever use headcement, so can't comment on it, other than the smell it gives off does not instill confidence, so I only use it on flies I don't plan to fish.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:55 AM
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The rumors of herring oil being the base of WD40 have been proven untrue... and herring oil stinks far worse than WD40.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:40 PM
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Been using various types of varnish, head cement and super glue on my flies for over 50 years; even on bonefish flies which were highly scrutinized ... then eaten! Have never been overly concerned about those smells.
Re: your feathers, have you tried giving them a gentle wash in mild soap and luke-warm water? Just a thought. Lots of instructions on specifics elsewhere on this page.

"There will always be days when the fishing is better than ones most optimistic forecast, others when it is far worse. *Either is a gain over just staying home."

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Old 02-19-2014, 01:15 AM
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I always rub a banana peel all over my flies and hands before stepping into the river!
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by paco pescado View Post
By ashing my pipe in the river I introduce highly addictive nicotine to juveniles. They continue on their journey, never getting another fix of that sweet virginia blend until they return to their home waters. The scent on my fly reminds them of their adolescent encounter and voila, fish on.
That was seriously funny! In my experience, scents don't matter. Years ago, I carried fisherman's soap and religiously washed my hands, and sometimes fly, prior to fishing. The soap was made with natural ingredients and anise oil so it could be done stream side without harm to the environment. I quit doing that and still catch fish.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by MJJ View Post
Hal Janssen would agree with you about smells from dies, head cement, tobacco, ect. Was talking with him about these issues at Spey-O-Rama a few years ago. He carries around a mini spray bottle and spritzes hands with vanilla extract. To mask any pheromones you could transfer to your leader or fly. Then he rubs his vanilla hands on his flies to mask any other scents or smells. He commented that the fish cannot smell this sent and it masks all other smells. I'm still not 100% sure on the issue, but Hal is defiantly an amazing fisherman and a even better coastal steelheader.
No offense, That might be the most retarded theory I've ever heard. Hey, I said no offense. How would anyone prove that they can't smell it? Then, how does "unsmellable smell" mask a scent? Complete logic fail.
(Also, this would be considered "bait" here in bc. )
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:20 AM
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not sure about materials......

I know a very dedicated flyfisherman and guide who would whenever possible only handle his flies with his forceps.
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