The Oliver Edwards Approach to Imitative Fly fishing

Trout and Grayling 'learn' from an early age what is edible and what is not. They make this identification in a flash by the outline or silhouette of the food items. These silhouettes are a combination of the shape of the abdomen, thorax and head - the body of the insect - and I have christened this the 'Primary Trigger'. It is the foundation of all my artificials.

"Fish have very acute vision, even in fast broken water they can snap up minute organisms."

There are however other bits and pieces attached to aquatic creatures. How important are legs for instance? Do these also play a part in confirming edibility? Fish have very acute vision, even in fast broken water they can snap up minute organisms such as very early instar nymphs that are less than 1mm long.

"I am convinced these add considerable fish deceiving qualities to my artificials."

These are not accidentally sucked in but are picked off one by one. So it is reasonable to assume that fish see legs, tails and wing pads very easily indeed. These details I call the 'Secondary Triggers'. I am convinced these add considerable fish deceiving qualities to my artificials.Copying the primary and secondary triggers are the cornerstones of imitative, or as I prefer to call it, superimpressionistic fly tying.

"It is the only way to match the insects on your local rivers."

This video covers entomology, tying and fishing. You don't have to go the whole nine yards from the beginning and tie the patterns before you start to fish. But don't skip the fly tying. Watch how I design and tie the flies and you will acquire the knowledge to make the correct choices with shop bought flies. However, I would urge you to tie your own, it is the only way to match the insects on your local rivers but more importantly, nothing comes close to the pleasure you get from tying your own flies and catching fish with them - it's your choice!

Oliver Edwards

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