Fishing Flies

In the world of quizzing, one of the oldest adages in the book is "If in doubt, go for fishing flies."

This only applies, obviously, if you're given a selection of names, none of which you've ever heard of, and asked what they are.

I've never really been a fisherman, and I've never got beyond the use of maggots for bait, let alone artificial flies. So I have no idea how many different types there are; but I expect there are hundreds, if not thousands.

I wanted to have a selection on my website, if only for illustrative purposes. I've included a few that I've been asked about over the years (they don't actually come up all that often). I've added the ones that are shown on Wikipedia, and for good measure I've included twenty–odd that I found on a page entitled The 25 Greatest Flies of All Time on the website of Field & Stream magazine. (It isn't there any more. Some of them I already had – a good sign, as it suggests that the number may in fact have some sort of limit – and I left out one that had the word "fly" in its name.) I shall probably go on adding more, as and when they come up.

Wikipedia points out that some of them are named after their inventors, some after other anglers (who presumably used them to good effect), some to describe their colour and composition, some to reflect their place of origin, and some to indicate which prey they represent. "The only naming convention is that there is no convention."

As you can see from the list I've drawn up, the names can be quite evocative. This may make it easier to spot whether or not you're being asked about fishing flies; on the other hand, it may not. Only time will tell ... but in the meantime, I shall continue to apply the adage if it feels right.

© Haydn Thompson 2018