General Fly Tying Tips
Pedestal vs. C-clamp Fly Tying Vise
I prefer a pedestal vise to the c-clamp models, especially when on the road. Too many cheap
motels donít have a good place to clamp your tying vise.
While there are
tyers on a higher plane who can tie flies by holding the hook in their hands,
for most of us it is a critical tool. The primary job of the vise, which
amazingly some vises fail to accomplish, is to hold the hook firmly in
place without movement of any kind. The hook should bend before it is allowed
to shift in the vise.
My current vise is a Dyna King Squire, a very well machined vise.
Previously I have also used a Regal and liked it very much. The Regal is
especially suited to production fly tying.
Read Good Fly Tying Books
- Purchase one or more fly pattern reference books with recipes. The following are some good ones.
There are many more:
- The Book Of Fly Patterns by Eric Leiser
- Flies For Trout by Dick Stewart & Farrow Allen
- Fly Patterns Of Yellowstone by Craig Mathews & John Juracek
- Fly Patterns Of Umpqua Feather Merchants by Randall Kaufmann
- Purchase how-to books with photos and step-by-step tying instructions. Some personal favorites:
- The Fly Tyers Nymph Manual by Randall Kaufmann
- Tying Dry Flies, Revised Edition by Randall Kaufmann
- Tying Flies With Jack Dennis And Friends by Jack Dennis, edited by Joe Burke
- Production Fly Tying: A Collection of Ideas, Notions, Tips & Variations on the Techniques
of Fly Tying by A.K. Best, John Gierach. This is a great book for learning fly tying techniques.
Learn to Tie From the Pros
- There is no substitute for hands on instruction. If you can swing it, take a fly tying
class in your area. Theyíre usually offered in the winter.
- Attend the ever growing number of fly tying expositions popping up across the country. The
scope and variety of ideas youíll be exposed to under one roof is well worth
Use the Lightest Thread You Can Get Away With
8/0 Uni-Thread is very strong and easy to use. It has all but replaced the use of 6/0
(and even 3/0) thread
on flies I tie.
By using the lightest thread you can, you actually
increase the durability of the flies you tie. Lighter threads not only reduce
bulk, but allows for more turns of thread to be applied without adding undue
weight which is, of course, of paramount importance on dry flies.
Regardless of the type of fly you are tying, adding more wraps of thread
will increase the durability of the fly.
Reverse Engineer Flies You Want to Learn to Tie
If you canít figure out how to tie a particular fly, reverse engineer it. Unwind the thread
starting at the head and pay close attention to its construction. Lots of
great fly tyers learned their trade this way.