simple vs. complex

I’ve been spending some time at the vice lately and looking at putting some new patterns in my box. I was looking at Dick Brown’s Bonefish Fly Patterns and I was struck by just how simple some of the patterns were, and by complex others were.

Here are a couple of examples from my desk from last night.

A crab pattern I tied up last night. Inspired by, but not very similar to Peterson’s Peeking Crab (from Dicks book). Lots of steps involved.

A lot of steps in that there lil crab.

A lot of steps in that there lil crab.

Jim’s Rubber Band Worm (from Dick Brown’s book). Just about as simple as it gets. Anyone ever caught a fish on this fly?

It's a frigging rubber band...

It’s a frigging rubber band…

What’s the simplest patter you tie or have caught fish on?

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  1. The question is, do you fish the Rubber Band Fly with the same confidence that you will fish The Crab Pattern? Will you give it a fair shot given it’s simplicity and look? Unless you have caught a number of fish on the Rubber Band fly, I don’t think it will get fished as much, or as hard as the ones we expect to work well.

  2. Nice tip. Hair brushes are another quick source for eyes.

  3. Check out both Warren Brewster’s Rabbit Fly and Brian O’Keefe’s Hoover in the pattern book. Nothing but a rabbit strip and eyes. It was the only fly Warren ever used last I knew and he was catching an awful lot of big bones on it.–Dick

  4. Mr. Brown, I have your book and use it often. It appears that the eyes on the Rabbit Fly, unlike most bonefish flies, are tied “under” the shank so that the barb of the hook would be facing down. Also, given the weighted eyes placement, it would also appear that the skin side of the skin rabbit strip would be facing up as well and the hair side down. Would you happen to know what the reasons for this are?

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