Fly tying has always been an integral part of fly fishing. Just like the gadgets you get to use fly fishing, there are all sorts of fly tying tools to play with. When the season is off, and there is nothing but snow, you can turn to fly tying for a little fly fishing relief!
For most people who get themselves tangled up in fly fishing, its only a matter of time before they begin tying their own flies. It makes the entire experience that much more personal. Likely, you fish several river in a dedicated fashion. By that I mean that when you go to one of your favourite streams in June, you probably have a pretty good idea of what flies will be working well. The same could be said for steelheading mid-winter. Convenience says that when armed with the proper knowledge and materials, you can replenish your fly box the night before you leave for the river, without worrying about hitting your local fly shop for patterns you need….but don’t have.
Fly Tying Books
There are countless fly tying books available that outline everything from the basics of tying simple nymph and egg patterns to tying very complex and dramatic salmon and spey flies. These books are extremely useful in developing your fly tying methods. Most books have many recipes, and step by step directions for tying them. The better books will also list alternate materials that are known to work well if you are missing some key components in fishing fly recipes.
Fly Tying Tools – Fly Tying Vises, Bobbins, Threads, etc.
The tools of the trade are many, and there are about as many prices for these tools as there are patterns out there to tie. My suggestion to beginners is always to start with some cheaper….but not the cheapest….tools. You really have no need to lay out several hundred dollars on a fly tying vise that you may never use if you find that tying flies is not your thing.
Here`s a simple list of tools that you should obtain before you begin to learn the art of tying:
Basic Fly Tying Materials and Equipment
- Fly Tying Vice – look for something between $30 and $80 dollars to begin with
- Bobbin – this device holds your spool of thread.
- Threads – I like to recommend UNI no. 6 threads for beginners.
- Fly Hooks – Start yourself of with a couple of sizes of each: wet fly, nymph, dry fly, streamer
- Dubbing – Grab yourself a few colours and a few different types
- Half Hitch Tools – Pick up a couple of these handy tools to make your knot tying when finishing the fly a little smoother.
- Fly Head Cement – available wherever you get the rest of your tying gear
Next time we’ll look at the basics of tying a fly. From threading your bobbin to finishing knots. And we’ll tie a simple pattern up, step by step.