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Thread: Fly names: specific names and scientific names in SA

  1. #1
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    Default Fly names: specific names and scientific names in SA

    What always amazed me when travelling across the world fishing in the different countries are the "specific names" the hatches of the flies have.
    It is the Blue winged Olive, or the White glove, or the March Brown, in the English speaking countries.
    in most of the European countries, non English mother tongue, the refer to the hatches in the scientific names.

    South Africa it is just a generic name, green caddis #16, or black may fly #18 etc.

    Is our lack of specific names due to the lack of definitive hatches, or just laziness to learn scientific names?
    Maybe ignorance?
    There are 2 or 3 fly fishers that I know, that know the real insects very well, but the rest, well.....
    Is it something we should focus a bit more on?
    maybe the fishing will improve if we are a bit more specific with our flies and matching the insects that live under the water and the flies that hatch?
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  2. #2

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    Korrie,
    Locally it is probably a lack of popular literature, that stops us from using names like blue wing olive.
    Most SA species would qualify under the popular names, it just requires someone to do it.
    Locals do refer to scientific names eg. Black choroterpes were hatching, or there were baetis spinners on the water, is just not common.
    Hopefully next year that will all be put to bed when "Aquatic Invertebrates of South Africa" is published.
    Regards
    Craig

  3. #3
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    As mentioned, there are a couple of fly fishers that very specific, but surely, there are enough insects in our rivers to be a bit more specific?
    Are we just to lazy to learn a couple of names?
    Or are our fish not so specific were we dont have to match a specific hatch?
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  4. Default

    Do you need to know the name to know what it looks like and tie a suitable imitation? Or is this just to impress your fellow fly fishers? I've never had a trout reject a pattern because I don't know it's scientific name.
    Mario Geldenhuys
    Smallstream fanatic, plus I do some other things that I can't tell you about

    "All the tips or magical insights in the world can't replace devotion, dedication, commitment, and gumption - and there is not secret in that" - Glenn Brackett

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Korrie View Post
    As mentioned, there are a couple of fly fishers that very specific, but surely, there are enough insects in our rivers to be a bit more specific?
    Are we just to lazy to learn a couple of names?
    Or are our fish not so specific were we dont have to match a specific hatch?
    In the Western Cape the streams are predominantly freestone and the trout are predominantly opportunistic feeders. We don't have regular hatches so it seldom matters if you are fishing a size #20 male Baetis Harrisonii imitation or a parachute adams. On the Vaal I think it's a different story as you will get regular hatches - that is why people like Herman Botes do so well with specific patterns. Having said that, you can make your fishing as complicated or as simple as you like. I remember reading a story that John Gierach wrote about him and AK Best fishing a very tricky hatch on one of the well known tailwaters. They were fishing very specific tiny imitations to exactly match the mayfly coming off the water. One of their friends was stripping a purple squid (or similar) through the hatch and was catching just as many fish ;-)
    “Apparently people don't like the truth, but I do like it; I like it because it upsets a lot of people. If you show them enough times that their arguments are bullshit, then maybe just once, one of them will say, 'Oh! Wait a minute - I was wrong.' I live for that happening. Rare, I assure you” ― Lemmy Kilmister

    Reap the Whirlwind - WM

    Paradise = A 3wt Rod & a fist full of someone else's #32 parachutes

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by smallstreams.co.za View Post
    Do you need to know the name to know what it looks like and tie a suitable imitation? Or is this just to impress your fellow fly fishers? I've never had a trout reject a pattern because I don't know it's scientific name.
    Quite right...they reject the fly because of *** fishing.............

    No seriously... I think in this country, we fish far more generic patterns than the traditionals. to be able to match the hatch exactly, especially with mayflies, would mean having to carry a few dozen fly boxes... ok not really, but the main reason I believe, why we dont hold all the exact flies, is because we have become used to fishing in easy waters. Especially our trout rivers in this country, dont get those huge specific hatches that you find in the alkaline streams of Europe. Our rivers are generally less alkaline, lower nutrient value and therefore would have more diversity. Perhaps not more insects by volume, but certainly more diverse species. Here you can find many different mayfly, and caddis, all hatching together....it all makes the fish less selective, and therefore easier to catch with a more generic pattern.
    I just dont think that in this country, we have needed to go so far as to identify every hatch specifically, and tie accordingly. Pity though, as it would be fun. The guys that have taken the trouble to learn to identify all the different insects in detail, are generally the better anglers. Fly fishing and entomology go hand in hand.
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  7. #7
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    Maybe its because the only place where we get regular big hatches is on the Vaal/Orange and not that many people fish for yellows on the Vaal with dries, so most of us very seldomly are in a situation where we are having to match the hatch precisely. Also, are yellows as picky as trout in a clear stream when it comes to matching the hatch, maybe some yellow regulars can tell. I recently fished the Tormes, a river in Spain, and what was unique was that fly fishers would line the banks and not cast a line until the hatch and subsequent rise commenced. It would be impossible to get a fish to rise if there was no hatch occuring. And then, during a hatch, the trout would be so extremely picky that if the mays are for example cream coloured and there is a tiny bit of yellow in your predominantly cream fly of the correct size, they would not take it. You had to match the hatch EXACTLY else you get nothing. It is similar in other parts of Europe. I do not think we ever have the same scenario of hatches in trout rivers and streams where matching the hatch precisely necessitates you to know what specific hatch is on the water, at least not on a regular basis. Had the Vaal been a clear trout river, mmmmm, we'd probably know our mays better.
    "Only when the last tree has died,and the last river has been poisoned,and the last fish has been caught,will we realize that we cannot eat money" - 19th Century Indian Creed

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sybie99 View Post
    Also, are yellows as picky as trout in a clear stream when it comes to matching the hatch, maybe some yellow regulars can tell.
    In crystal clear water ... sometimes even more than trout!!
    Mario Geldenhuys
    Smallstream fanatic, plus I do some other things that I can't tell you about

    "All the tips or magical insights in the world can't replace devotion, dedication, commitment, and gumption - and there is not secret in that" - Glenn Brackett

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    ... we have needed to go so far as to identify every hatch specifically, and tie accordingly.
    Well this is true to an extent I agree. I once had an occurrence mid winter in the Vaal (when it was still worthwhile to fish the Vaal, especially in winter) where a tiny little Mf was hatching, the predominant features of which were the purple eyes, orange thorax and wing buds of a colour I had never seen before. I lobbed everything I had and you could see the refusals time and time again.

    So off I went and tied up an immitation of it, went back two weeks later and nada, not a single one of those MF were still hatching and I had no interrest in that fly from any Smallmouth in the remaining weeks of that winter. So I filed them away in my fly box and only got to use them again during the same two - three week window which those particular Mayflies were hatching on the Vaal, the next winter.

    EDIT : Point is, it can be as simple or as complex as you make it, fact is being adequately prepared ito knowing your quarry and what they eat and when they eat them will change your overall rate of success drastically and bring about a more predictable kind of fishing as opposed to a pot-luck scenario.
    "Hierdie drol het baie vlieë" - Ago 2014.

  10. #10
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    It's called Labeobarbus Kimberleyensis!
    Gerrit Viljoen

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