Learning how to make your own flies for fly fishing is a challenging, but rewarding endeavor. What’s great about it is that, although the learning curve is steep, learning how to tie flies for fly fishing also offers nearly immediate gratification. Within a few days of learning the skill, you will be able to slowly and deliberately make flies that will catch fish. But as your skill progresses, fly tying will become something of an art – an art you will always be striving to protect. To get started learning how to make fly fishing flies, look no further than the basic guide below.
- A fly tying vise
- A bobbin
- Fly tying glue
- A bobbin
- Fly hooks (Preferably with a pre-formed head.)
- Buck tail hair
- Deer hair
- Assorted thread
- Set up your fly tying station. Although the weird names on the materials list above can be a little intimidating, they’re not all that hard to use. Making your own flies for fly fishing is one of those activities with a lot of esoteric lingo. Don’t let that stop you. To start your fly tying, first set up the fly tying vise, and place a hook in its grips. With the hook steady and in place, you’re ready to start tying the fly itself.
- Begin with base thread around the hook. Use your thread and bobbin to wrap a single layer of thread around the hook. Keep the thread taut as you wrap it around and around. With the base thread in place, grab your preferred material-typically deer tail or buck tail hair, and hold it in place on the hook. Start a new wrap around the top of that hair, wrapping enough so that the hair fans out, but remains in place near the eye of the hook.
- With the basic parts of the fly in place, add securing measures and a little flash. Now that you’ve made the basic structure of your fly, you can add a little personal touch. Many new fly tiers prefer to do something simple-like wrapping a little bit of chartreuse or other bright colored thread near the head. With your finishing touch in place, use one or two drops of fly tying glue to secure the threads of the fly you made. Finally, trim down the fly’s hair to proper proportions using a pair of scissors.
- Now that you’ve made your fly for fly fishing, disengage the vise and test it out. Give your finished product a few quality control tests with a little tug of the hair to make sure its secure. If the fly you’ve made feels durable and looks good, the final step is to get it out on the water and catch some fish with it!