The beauty of the outdoors is so alluring that it drives us to attempt to blend in with our scenic surroundings. We accomplish this through clothing that blends in with the environment, calls that produce sounds like the game we pursue, and even mimicking life itself through decoys and lures. Those in this community strive to mirror and better understand what surrounds us in the outdoors.
Take a moment now and imagine yourself standing in a flowing stream. In your hand you hold a fly rod, delicately casting the line back and forth almost like paint strokes on a canvas. Through patience, persistence, and skill you finish this artistic process as your fly lightly lands on the water’s surface. In this moment you are truly lost in sweet bliss. There is nothing but you and the stream that surrounds you, mimicking the predator and prey relationship between fish and insect right before your own eyes.
The whole process that you just imagined wouldn’t have been possible without that one small fly at the end of your line. How can such a small component to fly fishing be arguably the most important? Oftentimes we overlook these small details and objects but take a moment now to appreciate and acknowledge what goes into creating them.
There are hundreds of patterns that anglers can use to allure fish so where do you begin when it comes to tying flies? The intention of an artificial fly is to imitate the natural prey of the fish you are going after which requires a knowledge of that fish and its biology. Through a combination of vibrant feathers, furs, hooks, threads, and various other materials we are able to construct a near replication of a living organism.
Members from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point collegiate club tied flies with the help of a local outfitter, Fall Line Outfitters. Skills ranged from novice to devout fly fisherman which provided a unique experience for each student who attended. The pattern we made that evening was a “Wooly Bugger.” These wooly buggers are fished under the water’s surface to replicate the movement of large invertebrates, crustaceans, and baitfish. With this pattern we continued to pursue the art of mimicry like many before us have tried, hoping we finally land that big one.
Keep up with the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point club on Instagram: @uwsp_bha
UWSP BHA is hosting their 2nd annual Gear & Beer Bash: A Night Out for Conservation on February 9th, 2023. RSVP HERE!