Is a flymph a type of fly or a method of fishing or a little bit of both, (probably the latter) ?
I must admit I don’t recall ever before hearing of or reading the term " flymph " until I noticed it in Todoroki-san’s blog post, 2019 狩猟鳥利用毛鉤 [Game bird useful for kebari, I think], that was posted nine days ago on the kebariandfly blog. Though it’s a term that was created decades ago. However, I also don’t recall what I had for dinner last Saturday, quite a feat of poor memory as I have mostly been an OMAD (one meal a day) Guy almost three years now. I can’t claim what was for dinner was lost amongst 3 meals per day.
However, I must have seen flymph before and just forgotten seeing it. Flymph has appeared on this forum in Nov '17 thread, “Is there a difference between kebari and flies”. Dec '17 in the thread “North Country School of Flyfishing”, and more recently Dec '18 in the thread, “Bead or not to bead”.
I’ve been pondering about making a related post here since reading Todoroki-san’s blog post. Perhaps mostly draw attention to the link Todoroki-san listed at the bottom of the blog post to a fun to read pdf file about V.S. Pete Hidy and the flymph. Mr. Hidy coined the term flymph and also was founder of the Fly Fishing Club of Oregon and coauthor with James “Jim” Leisenring (famous for the Leisenring Lift fishing technique) of, " The Art of Tying the Wet Fly & Fishing the Flymph ".
[Only to discover 10 minutes ago Todoroki-san has already provided the link on this forum to the Hidy pdf file on his server ten days ago in the tread “Bead or not to bead”.]
However, below is a link to a much shorter, two page, pdf file about the “Flymph”, what it is & how to fish it.
(but do still find and read the 100 page Hidy pdf file on Todoroki-san’s server too. Some great pics of flies tied by Hidy and Leisenring starting on page 52, plus other fun historical stuff )
What stands out to me after reading more about what a flymph is, and how to fish it. Is how much it seems to he the same or at least very similar to Japanese tenkara kebari + sasoi or sutebari or drift and pause fishing techniques.
The design of the flymph seems to me that it is not designed / tied to look like real insect. It is primarily tied to mimic or provide an impression at a glance by the fish to appear to be a living insect. Paul Gaskell has written about studies testing how fish react to basic shapes and direction of movement (longitudinal or transverse to the longer length) of objects that have no resemblance to real insects, yet the shape and certain directions of movement triggers an attack response. As defined the flymph is not tied to look real, but rather primarily to look alive.
Confusion, and correction about how to do the “Leisenring Lift” correctly.
Which seems very similar to the tenkara pause and drift technique to me. Only the tenkara technique may have 2 ~ 4 lifts per drift. You don’t really lift the rod tip to make the fly rise. You just pause tracking the drift, and then let the water current pressure on the line make the fly / flymph / kebari rise in the water column. If done at the right place in front of the fish it will catch their attention and standout from other debris drifting in the water. And trigger a take.
Jim Leisenring’s own words quoted in the following blog post starting at the 4th paragraph describes the correct Leisenring Lift method quite nicely.
I can certainly believe the kebari rising in the water column can trigger a hit. Chris Stewart has written about noticing how often he gets hits when starting to lift the line to recast, so recast often. And I’ve noticed the same myself. Perhaps I’d get hits even more often following Jim Leisenring’s first instructions. 1st spot the fish (nice when you can), 2nd cast about 15 ft upstream, then … Well, read the instruction in the above blog post.
I’m still a little uncertain about whether a flymph is primarily a way of tying a fly or a way of fishing with it. (again very tenkara-like, it’s a wet or a dry depending how it’s fished, a ratio that is a little bit in between - a wet or a dry. Just below the surface, or maybe deeper, or maybe just in the surface film. )
Anyway, for a term I don’t really recall reading before. There is a lot on the internet about them. Blogs, forums, etc. Just do an internet search for - flymph or in Japanese フリンフ .
Flymph fishing veterans please add your experiences, pro or con.
An off topic aside note. Mr V. S. Pete Hidy has a cousin Jim who is a split bamboo rod maker of some fame.