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Thread: What "Exactly" is a "searching pattern"?

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    Default What "Exactly" is a "searching pattern"?

    Hans Wielenmann has an interesting pattern on this site called the F Bug. In answer to a question about the fly's purpose/imitation, Hans explained that the original is a general purpose emerger - as well as a searching pattern.

    We have long had what folks refer to as "attractor" patterns. However, most of these flies were bright in color and/or had some sort of flash. I am thinking of a Royal Wulff or a Renegade, etc.

    These patterns were often used when there were no insects hatching or on the water. The theory is that they might induce a strike. But, they were tied to have a general similarity with the shape of insects and had "triggers" which might induce a strike.

    Do others use "searching" patterns similar to Hans' F Bug?

    Thanks
    Byron

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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron haugh View Post
    These patterns were often used when there were no insects hatching or on the water.
    Whaddya mean were? I'd guess that 40 of my last 50 trout on a dry have been on a Renegade. Most of the other 10 were on Bivisibles.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron haugh View Post
    We have long had what folks refer to as "attractor" patterns. However, most of these flies were bright in color and/or had some sort of flash. I am thinking of a Royal Wulff or a Renegade, etc.
    Why do you equate "searching" pattern with an "attractor" pattern? There's no reason why the two must necessarily be the same. While attractors may always be considered searching patterns in the sense that they match no hatch, in the absence of a hatch, any pattern can be used as a searching pattern. I do not see it as category, in other words but a method of use; function, not form. YMMV.

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    How would you explain the difference between an attractor and a searching pattern?

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    In the bass tourney world, they have practice days where the fishermen try to locate fish. Relying upon info from their electronic equipment and knowledge they use lure that cover lots of water at the various levels to find the fish. That is what a search fly should do in my mind. Some of the most productive flies in this area are attractor, Rainbow Warriors, Blue Assassins, Lightning Bugs, (lots of flash and non-traditional colors) which I would use as searching flies on streams and lakes I was not familiar with.
    It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron haugh View Post
    How would you explain the difference between an attractor and a searching pattern?
    I'd have to agree with whatfly, there is a slight difference in my mind. An attractor is something that doesn't look like anything in nature, but is bright, or flashy, or somehow gaudy. They may be used as searching patterns, but can sometimes be used in non-searching situations. For example, a Royal Coachman actually is a pretty good pattern to use during an iso hatch in fading light. I'm not "searching", I'm casting to rising fish whose location I know. It's still an attractor pattern, though.

    Searching patterns also can be one that look like many things in nature (e.g, an Adams) but there's nothing specific you're trying to match. I'd never call it an attractor, but it's a good bet to put on when you're just fishing the waters. To me, a searching pattern is what you tie on when there's nothing obvious to use.
    Bob

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    Sorry, I just see no difference.
    You said: "an attractor is something that doesn't look like anything in nature". And then you say:"....for example, a Royal Coachman is a pretty good pattern to use during an ISO hatching fading light"

    I'm not following.
    Last edited by Byron haugh; 09-21-2013 at 04:23 AM.

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    You don't see a difference between a 'searching' and an 'attractor' pattern. Oh my goodness. I'd better realign my fly boxes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron haugh View Post
    Sorry, I just see no difference.
    You said: "an attractor is something that doesn't look like anything in nature". And then you say:"....for example, a Royal Coachman is a pretty good pattern to use during an ISO hatching fading light"

    I'm not following.
    It doesn't look in the least like an iso. The only reason for using it is that I can see it in the fading light (and apparently so can the fish). The point is, I'm not "searching" with it; I know where the fish are.

    How about this: an attractor is an attractor because of what it is (gaudy in some sense); a searching pattern is searching pattern because of how it's being used at the moment -- to find trout when they're not obviously rising. The former is intrinsic in the fly, it's an attractor just sitting in my fly box; the latter is functional; it doesn't become a searching fly until I tie it on and use it as such.

    It's common to see a fly described as "it makes a good searching pattern"; I don't think I've ever seen a fly described as "it makes a good attractor," rather it's described as "it's an attractor."

    (In linguistics, it's the difference between "sense" and "referent", but that's probably too few people here would be familiar with those terms to use them to shed light on the distinction I'm making here.)
    Last edited by redietz; 09-21-2013 at 02:10 PM.
    Bob

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