A worm – a fly by any other name?

by Tony Bishop on May 22, 2011

A_shky-09[1]There are a number of worm imitations available for fly fishing – and they can produce fish. But for many more-traditional fly fishers, using this kind of fly, or lure, or artificial bait, your name call, will most certainly not get you into fly fishing heaven.

This worm ‘fly’  sold by the venerable Orvis company is called the Skaky Worm.

Here is Orvis’s take on using a worm imitation:

“This is not fly fishing heresy. The fact is trout eat worms and not just the ones we fish with. Worms exist in the stream and imitating a worm with artificial patterns is no different than imitating an insect. If it works, use it.”

So I guess the problem, if there is one, is just what constitutes the difference between a fly and lure. I am happy to produce from the 1000+ fishing quotes page this gem that will clear the matter up once and for all. Or not.

The artificial, the ‘winged lure’, the ‘feathered Judas’: a fly is a fly is a fly…except when it is a lure.
The terminology is difficult, because fly, as well as referring to the artificial copy of a natural insect, also refers to an artificial copy of a small fish (a ‘lure’).
Therefore all flies are lures, some flies as ‘lures’, and all lures are not ‘flies’.
Another way of putting this is to say that all flies (artificial) are lures (i.e. represent or purport to represent small fish, or leeches, or other non-insecty creatures; and all ‘lures’ are not flies (since they represent fish etc.).”
– C B McCully – A Dictionary of fly-fishing 1992

Everybody clear now? Good. Let’s move on.

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