The Most Realistic Flies You’ve Ever Seen

Graham Owen’s flies are so lifelike, Hollywood movie makers pay him top dollar to create bugs—without hooks, of course—for their … Continued

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Graham Owen is a fly tier from Burbank, California, who specializes in creating extremely realistic insect patterns. The flies are so true to life that even other bugs will try and eat them. For proof, see the photos above, featuring one of Owen’s housefly patterns. Owen had taken the fly outside and stuck it on a twig to take its picture. But as he was struggling to focus in on the tiny object, it disappeared. Confused, he took another out another of the flies and placed it back on the twig. That’s when he saw this red dragonfly — a real one — attacking his pattern. Owen started snapping photos, and kept placing more flies on the twig to see how the real dragonfly would react. Turns out his tying ability is so amazing, that dragonfly couldn’t tell that they weren’t the real thing. We’ve posted a few of these photos here, along with a bunch more snapshots of other realistic flies he’s tied. Use the comment tool below to tell us which is your favorite. Graham Owen
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Graham Owen
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Graham Owen
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Graham Owen
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One of Owen’s dragonfly patterns attracts the attention of another real dragonfly. Graham Owen
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Owen poses one of his imitation dragonflies attacking a housefly pattern to see what would happen. Graham Owen
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Sure enough, the orange dragonfly came back looking to fight over the meal. Graham Owen
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Graham Owen
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Graham Owen
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When Owen set out an imitation orange dragonfly, it grabbed the attention of the real one real fast. Graham Owen
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Graham Owen
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Honey bee Graham Owen
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Hex mayfly Graham Owen
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Houseflies Graham Owen
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Baby red eared turtle Graham Owen
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Camel Spider Graham Owen
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Completed tail section of a scorpion Graham Owen
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Back legs of the scorpion complete Graham Owen
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Finished scorpion Graham Owen
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Mayfly Graham Owen
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Adult caddis Graham Owen
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Adult October caddis Graham Owen
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Cased caddis Graham Owen
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Red Hardy spider Graham Owen
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Midge Graham Owen
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Emerging dragonfly Graham Owen
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Adult mayfly Graham Owen
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Hellgrammite Graham Owen
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Wasp Graham Owen
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Golden stoneflies Graham Owen
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Red salamander Graham Owen
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Tadpoles Graham Owen

Graham Owen’s flies are so lifelike, Hollywood movie makers pay him top dollar to create bugs—without hooks, of course—for their films. You can certainly fool some giant trout with these patterns, but you wouldn’t want to lose one. These “art flies” start at $150 for a common housefly.