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Fly Tying Materials, Tools

Fly Tying is the art and science of creating fly lures used in fly fishing. There are many types of patterns, some imitate aquatic insects while others are not meant to represent any particular creature. However, each may be used to catch a wide variety of fish. more...

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With feathers, fur, hooks, and thread many tiers create very realistic imitations of aquatic insects. There are many different parts of fly tying that make it a very challenging and rewarding hobby. To create flies a tyer needs to be familiar with tools, materials, and the numerous creatures that inhabit the stream.


In fly tying materials can be almost anything. According to Skip Morris a material is basically anything that is placed on a fly. There are no limitations to the materials that a tier can use. Many tiers use whatever they find necessesary to complete a fly. A few more common materials are threads, hooks, fur, yarns, chenille, flosses, synthetic materials, tinsels, and cements. Other less common materials may come from household items such as paintbrush bristles or beads.


Hooks are very important in fly tying. There are many different sizes, shapes, and weights of hooks. Each hook has special characteristics that accommodate many patterns. Skip Morris writes that in selecting a hook tiers must consider the size, length, and wire.


Because flies are typically very small certain tools are needed for such intricate work. According to Skip Morris there are several tools essential in creation of flies. He lists essential tools as being: a vice, hackle pliers, hackle gauges, bobbins, lights, hair stackers, and scissors. Other optional tools are pliers, toothpicks, bodkins, dubbing twisters, blenders, floss bobbins, whip finishers, wing burners, and bobbin threaders. By using these tools tiers can create flies smaller than size of an average human finger nail.


Since the existence of fly tying many different patterns have been created. The Professional Fly Tying manual classifies flies into five main groups. Flies are usually classified as being wet, dry, streamer, or nymph.

Wet Flies

Wet flies are flies that do not float above the surface of the water. Instead they float just below the surface. They usually imitate insects that have drowned. Sometimes they are created to represent insects hatched under the water that are working their way to the surface.

Dry Flies

Dry flies float half submerged on the surface of the water. They imitate insects that have fallen into the water. Some imitate winged nymphs emerging from the water with their egg sacks still attached. These types of flies are typically classifed as dun.


The term nymph can have many meanings to fly fishers. To some it is an insect in its immature form. To others it is an insect that lives underwater. These flys are completely suberged in the water. Some are even weighted to keep them submerged.


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See also...
Body, Wing, Tail, Fly Tying Materials, Tools, Fly Fishing
Feathers, Fly Tying Materials, Tools, Fly Fishing
Hooks, Fly Tying Materials, Tools, Fly Fishing
Kits, Fly Tying Materials, Tools, Fly Fishing
Threads, Floss, Wire, Fly Tying Materials, Tools, Fly Fishing
Vises, Tying Tools, Fly Tying Materials, Tools, Fly Fishing

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