Regarding using flies that have rubber-legs/antenna and the like..

By Bob Randall on Tuesday, September 10th, 2019 in Conservation, Flies, No Comments

A fly fishing club called Flyfishers at the Crossing instigated a campaign to get the MDC to change its interpretation of the definition of a fly in regards to the use of rubber legs, foam, etc which until recently made fishing in certain fly only areas with such a fly illegal. The MDC has found guidance in a document from 2004 which clarified the intent.  See the letter below from MDC’s Fisheries Division Chief:
In recent months, due to public interest and the need for consistency, Protection and Fisheries division staff have been evaluating how the fly definition is interpreted and how it interacts with the other definitions of flies, lures, and baits.   During this process, a document from the original 2004 Wildlife Code change was discovered.  This document provided further guidance of the original intention of the regulation change.
Below is an excerpt from the original document outlining how the new definitions were to be interpreted.
  1. The use of the phrase “…any material…” in the fly definition allows fly tiers and anglers to use the wide variety of natural and synthetic materials currently available and eliminates the list, never all-inclusive, of approved materials.  This should eliminate a great deal of confusion and allow more consistent interpretation of this definition.  Flies containing rubber legs, foam, leather, beads, cork and a number of other materials will now conform to the definition of what is permitted in a “fly.”
As you can see, the original intention was to allow any material to be used in the construction of a fly.  Flies however cannot be lures defined as soft plastic bait or natural and scented bait.  As an example, a rubber worm cannot be permanently attached to a single hook and be considered a fly because a synthetic worm meets the definition of soft plastic bait.  However, rubber legs or antennae on a fly would be permissible.
Thank you for bringing this question and issue to our attention.  I hope this explanation provided some additional clarity into the use of flies. Again, just to be clear, the fly in the photo within the e-mail chain below is a “fly” and can be used in “fly only” zones/water.
Please feel free to contact me or your local Conservation Agent if you have any questions or we can provide additional information.
Brian D. Canaday
Fisheries Division Chief
Missouri Department of Conservation
2901 West Truman Blvd.
P.O. Box 180
Jefferson City, Missouri  65102
573-522-4115 *3174 (office)
573-508-9491 (work cell)
573-526-0990 (fax)

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