FLASH, what we call a LIGHT EFFECT FIBER, is flush with fish-attracting qualities.
The trend started in 1982, with Hedron’s Flashabou, and has exploded into hundreds of products. But all that glitters is not gold. These bits of mylar, foil, and plastic are often misused in fly patterns.
Confusion created by the vast variety of flash is also not a positive.
40 years of products makes for a bewildering array of options.
Here's an attempt,from a fly designer's point of view, to find the needle in the glitter haystack.
For great fishing results, it helps to understand what flash is, and how to use it. A useful strategy for analyzing fly tying materials is lalso described.
In this series of articles (this one)
1. Introduction to Flash materials
2. Using a Continuum as an Analysis Tool
3. Pros and Cons of Reflective Flash
4. How to fish with Reflective Flash
Future articles - (in progress and coming soon)
1. Translucent and Iridescent Flash
2. An Illustrated Collection of Natural Translucents and Iridescents
3. Unusual and Useful Sources for Synthetic Flash Materials
Planned articles (projected)
4. The UV Hype - a rant
5. Fluorescents and Phosphorescents
A SELF-TEACHING EXERCISE - Establish a Baseline
Before we tackle this topic, please do this: - locate your favorite flash material. This can be a material from a wide range of products. Some generic choices might include flashabou, spiral-twisted flash, trilobal, pearl, holographic, a sparkle dubbing and so on.
Take a good look at that material and write down all the qualities it has that you see and feel. If you want, do that for a range of products that you use. Compare this early list with ones you would make after reading this article.