That's Not a Fly. It's a Lure!

Learn the rules!!!  dang rookie

Is this a fly or a lure.  Do you care? Neither do I.

I think we have all seen it happen before on the interwebs, an expo, or on the river.  I frequently see this type of expert authoritatively prance into the expo room floor.  He's dressed in his zip-off wet wading pants and long sleeve "technical" casting shirt with sandals and socks.  His flip up polarized lenses are ready to be slapped into place in the event that he needs to cut glare on any water he may confront.  He has an Indiana Jones style hat perched upon his crown with a lambswool patch that masterfully shows which "flies" he has been catching trout on.  His right hand is tightly gripping his wading staff as he scouts for people who need to be "educated," and his left hand is jostling for something deep inside his black leather fanny pack that he wears facing forward (probably a fly box of patented "flies".)  He spots a young tyer who is happily dressing some foam poppers out of 90% synthetic materials and super glue, and he is now locked on like a mako shark on a chum trail.  Our expert has found his pupil so he plops down in front of him and proclaims....  "NICE LURE!"  With those two words our expert has educated this young simpleton that "flies" are tied out of feathers n' fur dammit!  Not polyurethane, antron, and resin!!  What he was "making" were, gasp, "LURES."  

Fly or lure?  Don't Cuuuuurrrrrrr
I'm always looking for forms of entertainment in my life, and witnessing this behavior is about as good as it gets for me.  As I have said many times, I really enjoy fishing.  Fishing with flies...  Fishing with lures... Fishing with bait...  Ice Fishing...  All of it.  I really like fishing!  The beauty of this is that I don't have to make up sets of phony rules that dictate how I will fool fish into eating hooks.  I don't have to limit myself to what I put on a hook and call a fly (because that's how I'll present it to the fish.)  Really though...  who cares!!??!!  Who cares what the thing on the end of your line is called as long as you are having fun, right?  Lure? yep.  Fly? yep.  Fun? yep.  Let me be very clear though.  This is just my opinion, and you don't have to agree with it at all.  The reason I bring this up is that there are a lot of experts like our "Expo-Educator" who really can't sleep at night if they don't convert everyone to their way of thinking.  One of these days I'll get one of them to show me the manual with the rules. 

I worked in a shop for a little while some years ago, and the owner always would say "these are the good-ol-days of fly tying." Meaning that we have more variety and quality in materials than ever before.  There are pre formed hopper legs, curly tails, tungsten formed stonefly heads, and soft squishy eggs.  The question I have is, where to you draw the line?  No synthetics? No beads? No delicious soft squishy eggs? No pre-formed bodies? If I were to answer my own question, I'd say that you don't draw the line at all.  With the vast amount of synthetic materials out there, the definition between fly and lure is probably best left to the presentation of said lure or fly.  If you can cast it on a fly rod, you are fly fishing.  If you can cast it on a conventional rod, then you are lure fishing.  Or how about this...  If you throw it in the water in hopes to fool a fish, it is called fishing. 

This is definitely in no way a dig at anyone who prefers to tie flies or fish a certain way.  If all you do is wear tweed, fish a bamboo and a hardy, and swing classic wet flies?  More power to you.  If that's how you have fun, then you are doing it right.  What I have an issue with is when people "educate" others about the do's and don'ts of fly fishing and fly tying when it's unsolicited.  Maybe I'm way off base here, so I welcome any comments on why it might be important to make sure we follow the supposed rules of "fly" vs. "lure." 

~ Cheech