2010 - FlyLife Article, Autumn 2010 'Review - Stu's Superior Flies'
Stu's Superior Flies
Rob Sloane samples a series of functional fly patterns.
With names like the Luv Grub, King Pogo, Bionic Alien, Luv Machine and Bionic Beaver, you have to wonder if Stu Tripney’s flies are designed for fishing on Mars. You may know the man from his Foam Odyssey DVD and his outlandish cicada patterns with foam bodies and goggle eyes, but there is a lot more to Stu Tripney than silly glasses, Bionic Bugs and orgasmic t-shirts.
Stu’s Superior Flies are not just the recycled ties of popular favourites that you would find in any tackle shop. Stu is clearly a fanatic and has developed flies to meet every trouty circumstance from fussy willow-grub feeders and delicate mayfly sippers to mouse and cicada munchers. The range includes caddis larvae, backswimmers, boatmen, damsel nymphs, mudeyes, beetles and all sorts of mayfly dries, nymphs and emergers.
There are peepers, creepers, wrigglers, crawlers, sinkers and floaters. The punch lines say it all. His fast sinking Mayfly Bomb ‘will break rocks, and rods.’ His Extra-Hi-Vis mayflies have ‘spindly legs hanging down and punk rock posts—you can’t miss them!’ Then there’s Stu’s Bionic Luv Machine: ‘like a dodgy porn star this one will get all the action.’ His Dancing Dragonfly is described as ‘a counter balanced lead-and-foam piece of genius.’
Stu isn’t just devoted to the look of the fly; it’s all about form and function. His patterns excel in the use of foam and synthetics, colour and sparkle, and weight to add realistic posture and movement to the fly. His tiny emergers rest in the surface skin, his nymphs are designed to flicker and shine and wiggle.
Where Stu’s patterns do borrow from traditional favourites like the Kakahi Queen, Dad’s Favourite, and the Hare & Copper he has ‘super-sized’ them, or jazzed them up with more-visible wing posts. Even his Woolly Buggers are mini- versions, with just enough weight for correct balance.
Although Stu is a Kiwi with a Scottish accent, his flies are sure to surprise some Australian trout too. His damsels and mudeye patterns will be ideal for mainland lakes. His stunning shiny-backed Bionic Beetles will do the job for tea-tree beetles and evening cockchafers. A great deal of thought has also gone in to his willow grub patterns, which work just as well in Australia. All Stu’s mayfly and caddis nymphs and dries will happily adapt to the Thredbo or the Goulburn. His ant/gnat cross (Stu’s Gnant) is a little ripper that I plan to try in a caenid hatch as soon as I can.
There are some well thought out saltwater patterns in the range too, with bonefish, permit and golden trevally in mind. His Bonefish Shrimp rides upside down; his ingenious Bonefish Worm ‘is so simple it took 7-years to perfect!’ Stu’s Bionic Alien is a dead-drift baitfish design for tuna and the like.
Check out Stu’s Fly Shop website to browse and order from the full selection of flies. Priced from only $25NZ per dozen.