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The jungle cock-effect
Post 09 Feb 2021, 17:26 • #1 
Sport
Joined: 08/01/16
Posts: 91
Location: Oslo, Norway
I started using jungle cock in some of my bucktail and hairwing streamers last season. I haven't caught enough fish on these flies yet to be able to discern any significant difference in catchability of flies with jungle cock. I think some patterns look way better with jungle cock, but do the fish care?

I guess in modern patterns plastic glue-on eyes achieve the same effect as jungle cock on the old patterns. I've read on other forums that eyes are a triggering factor for trout when hunting smaller fish and that trout attack at the head or from the side, aiming for the eyes. This could explain any possible difference in favor of the jungle cock flies.

What's your thoughts on this? Should I bother to tie in the jungle cock on my bucktail streamers for next season?


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Post 09 Feb 2021, 21:27 • #2 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 2119
Location: South of Joplin
I have always thought the eyes were for the fisherman. Back when I started tying flies JC was about impossible to get and the plastic substitute was kinda hard to work with and harder to look at, so not knowing that they were representing fish eyes and ultra important, I tied a lot of flies that called for JC eyes without them and every one of those caught fish.
I have since seen methods of using a similar shaped feathers and painting the spots on it, and the plastic now are much better, and now the real thing is more available, but I'll continue to skip it.
Trout that eat sticks and pebbles that only slightly resemble foods may be stupid enough to overlook the lack of JC.


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Post 10 Feb 2021, 10:10 • #3 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2856
Location: Orygun
It likely depends....often on the fish. On my musky stuff, I don't think it matters one bit, but if you're out there fishing for tuna, it likely does....a lot (according to most folks who target them, and several publications that are out there...I'll see if I can dig one of those up).


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Post 10 Feb 2021, 10:46 • #4 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 8456
Location: US-ME
At least now you can do a side by side comparison. I still have some but stopped bothering with it long ago, my experience being about like Trev's. But what fun to get a buddy and fish identical flies except for jungle cock "eyes" in the same water with the same presentation.

If you experiment long enough, you might find a situation where some form of "eye" or, essentially, gill and pectoral fin coloration and motion make a difference. Jungle cock--an exotic feather with an exotic name that makes for good fly fishing mystique--is just one schtick in a realm that has expanded greatly with synthetics, marking pens, and so on.

What a fly looks like to a fisherman is very different from what it acts like to a fish. So deciding which you are tying for and choosing materials accordingly, focusing on presentation rather than static appearance, is most important.

But a book of streamers tied with jungle cock is a wonderful thing, and I'd be very surprised if a side by side comparison ever showed they did not produce as well--unless they were tied in such a way as to limit motion of other forward elements of the fly.


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Post 10 Feb 2021, 12:49 • #5 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 2119
Location: South of Joplin
Oh yes, they do make beautiful flies, and I'm sure they catch fish very well or they would not have gained such popularity. If had a fly display area, I'd want several JC eyed streamers as part of it.
Probably they are more representative of gill than of eye, something I hadn't really considered, and I believe gills are at least as important as eyes. I have painted on eyes and glued on eyes and compared them to non-eyed streamers and decided that to me the eyes were not essential. But an added contrast in the gill-pectoral area seems to add appeal.
My streamers these days are more of the Calcasieu Pig Boat style, since I'm mostly hunting bass, and even on those I typically skip the eye paint.


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Post 11 Feb 2021, 09:41 • #6 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/18/12
Posts: 1619
Location: Bozeman, MT
Personally I think the JC eyes don't mean much to the fish. But that said, the flies tied with them are much prettier to the angler and in turn the angler fished them with more confidence and then takes his or her share of fish.


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Post 11 Feb 2021, 17:21 • #7 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 1947
Location: US-IL
Depends on the species,JC looks awesome on classic streamers.Warm water predators ,especially minnow eaters seem to prefer eyes versus none.But this only seems to apply to clear water.Vibration must also be present and is more important in stained or heavy weeds.Going on a crappie trip in early april will do a very scientific study with and without eyes.Will tye a few with faux JC to see if that works too.


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Post 14 Feb 2021, 08:17 • #8 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 852
Location: US-MI
Have experimented with it both ways with JC on a favorite pattern for trout. It does matter.

Many eye substitutes available. For most species, find adding eyes in some form beneficial for streamer patterns.


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Post 15 Feb 2021, 06:29 • #9 
Sport
Joined: 08/01/16
Posts: 91
Location: Oslo, Norway
Several good points from all posters above, based on a lot of experience from different fishing situations, species and techniques. I did not expect a unanimous answer to the inital question, and I appreciate the discussion and different view expressed here.

I will tie up streamers with and without JC and make the experimentaion part of the fishing experience for the coming season.

I also fish for sa-run brown trout, mainly using shrimp and baitfish patterns, and always use some kind of eyes on these patterns. I don't know why, propbably beacuse I mostly use modern patterns copies from Instagram. Can't say I always catch fish, even though all the flies have eyes....


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