Put your flies on a diet
|Slim version of a callibaetis nymph|
However, as I continued to watch their behavior reacting to my fly, a couple of things became apparent. First off, they did not like the fly just hanging there in front of their faces as it tends to do whilst connected to a floating indicator. Secondly, while the fly did garner some attention from a few fish as it descended through the water column, I realized that the bead-head fly passed way too quickly through their "eating zone". I would get a bit of notice and movement from a curious fish, but the fly would continue to drop as I stripped it in and I would again be on the losing end.
|Bead-Head Deep Dish Callibaetis|
So pulling from that lesson, there are a few things that I now make sure to incorporate into fly design when it comes to weighting or adding beads to patterns:
1. Consider the weight AND hydrodynamic (yes that's a big nerdy word) profile of a fly as it affects where in the water column a fly will travel. Remember weight will sink a fly but resistance from hair, hackle, dubbing etc will also affect the sink rate and the action in the water. One of the reasons I think the Cheech Leech, for example, is so effective is that it's not overly weighted with lead and other gizmo's and the copious amounts of marabou and dubbing help provide a bit of lift (and movement of course). To see what I mean, try throwing a Cheech Leech in a small shallow stream and see how it will literally glide through the water swimming more than it sinks.
|Fall Cheech Leech|
|Unweighted slim version of a callibaetis nymph|
At the end of the day, there are no hard and fast rules, but having similar fly patterns with varying sink rates in your arsenal will definitely be to your advantage. It sounds simple and logical to have both weighted and unweighted versions, but I'm slow on the up-take most days, so it's good to be reminded of this every now and again.