How To Tie Fishing Flies

Need to know how to tie fishing flies?  Flies are artificially created lures for fly fishing. Tying flies for fly fishing is as much an art form as it is a sport. What this article will attempt to do is provide you with an overview of how to tie flies and what is needed. One thing is for certain,however–tying flies is a very addictive activity which can get in your blood, so proceed at your own discretion. Your spare time and cash may just have been compromised by you asking that one question, "How do you tie flies?". 

Items needed to tie flies – Gray Dun fly.

  • Lamp
  • Vise – Small articulated vice
  • Bobbin – thread holder
  • Threader
  • Fine Pointed Scissors
  • Half Hitch Tool – Used to tie knots
  • Hackle Pliers
  • Dubbing needle – Used to wrap fly
  • Hair stacker
  • Dry fly hook
  • Fly Dubbing – Brown
  • Fly Hackle – Brown
  • Brown or black thread
  • Fly cement

These are the very basics, and can be found at a good fishing supply store. Remember, expensive tools won't get you better, only practice does that.

The process of tying a fly (Gray Dun) will go something like this:

  1. Purchase supplies.  Buy the supplies you need. Go middle of the road price wise for tools. Decent quality will be less frustrating yet not break the bank. Buy the fly tying materials, get extra, you will make mistakes.
  2. Set up your work station.  Take the time and set up your work station in a logical manner. Take into account what hand you are and how to reach materials.
  3. Place hook in vise. Secure the hook in the vise point down holding the hook near the point.
  4. Secure tail.  Using a piece of hackle create a tail out backwards in opposite direction of hook point on top of the hook. Extend back out about the same length as the hook shank. Tie in place.
  5. Create body. Using the dubbing needle wrap dubbing around the shank of the hook and hackle. Start at the hook end about two thirds of the way from the eye and work to the eye leaving a short gap (1/4" or so) between body and eye. Wrap back and forth four or five wraps to build up body and tie off.
  6. Tie on hackle. Using the thread tie a hackle in place at eye end, against the end of the body.
  7. Wrap hackle forward. Use the hackle pliers wrap the hackle forward towards the eye until almost touching it.
  8. Tie off hackle and build head. Use the thread and tie off the hackle and create a smooth head.
  9. Trim hackle.  Use the scissors and trim the hackle into a "puffy" shape. Carefully trim any hackle fibers out of the eyelet.
  10. Cement head.  Cement the head and snip the thread with the scissors.

There, you have just tied your first fly. Likely it wont look much like what you intended, they seldom do at first. They do get better looking with practice. But, it will be a start and unless you really got frustrated, it wont be the last fly you tie. Enjoy…

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