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To flash or Not to flash??

1491 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Saltymykiss
So, in recent times, I see alot of synthetic flash and legs and all, Im not the biggest fan unless Im copying a pattern, so... I tend to lean on embossed, french tinsels, iridescent feathers and furs.

I know during my salt water surf fishing, just the use of good fox fur and no flash actually produced way better results. So when I look at this tube, I would rely on the dimpling in the embossed tinsel and the sheen of the badger fur guard hairs to reflect light in several angles.



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My thoughts on flash:

It's at least somewhat dependent on water conditions. With poor water clarity, I like a bit more flash in my flies. I fish for stripers over muddy saltwater flats quite a bit and include lots of it because the water is so murky. When fishing over sand where the water is much clearer, however, I use almost none. Last year when steelhead fishing some very chalky Lake Erie tribs, I had no joy on patterns where the only flash was tinsel ribbing. As soon as I switched over to flies with more flash, I had much better results. The opposite was true later in the week when I moved over to some clearer Lake Ontario tribs.

I also like to layer and/or veil it with opaque materials. For example, if I put flash in the wing or body, I will also have something like marabou, bucktail, etc. tied in sparsely over or around the flash. I like to think that as the opaque material wiggles around, the flash "winks" through the gaps, creating a more subtle "inner glow" and twinkling appearance. Of course, that may not be what is actually happening or how the fish perceive it, but I like it as a working theory. :D
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Very good information, i like that, flash peeking through!

I don't go overboard on flash but some of my flies have a couple strands of tinsel trailing in the materials. Generally I do this on tubes because it seems right to create large lures with some attractor qualities to them. The decision to use flash flies is not something I could tell you a guideline for. Generally I like it in fast moving water and for fish that I'm pretty sure may never have seen an artificial fly - lure before. The exception is when fishing for those steelhead with really dark patterns, just a tad of sparkle seems to help with them but only on a given day, sometimes I do better with a gray & brown Sculpin with no flash at all.

The flashiest fly I use is the Sunray Shadow seen below; pretty simple and lots of zing.

Those are easy to make and when fishing they answer the 'will some flash help' question quickly. If your rivers have any little shiny baitfish in them that pattern may be handy to have a few of.

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Well, All i have to say is that it's a heck of a lot easier to remove flash from a fly when it's clear, then it is to add it on.. I go a bit heavy on the flash, anticipating that i'll be trimming some of it off most days.
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