Eventually, fly fishing fanatics will want to take their skills to the next level and try their hand at fly tying. Some take up fly tying to cut costs, while others want to be totally committed to every aspect of their sport. As with any endeavor, beginners should make sure they have all the right tools. To tie your own flies, you‘ll need hooks, beads and eyes, feathers, fur, hide, tails, dubbing, flashy materials and bug bodies. There is a variety of types of flies, including dry flies (that float), wet flies (that sink), nymphs (look like larva) and streamers (look like minnows, crayfish and leaches). Also, check with your local fly shop, lots of them offer fly tying classes. It is a great way to learn plus connect with other anglers in your area.
A great tip for beginning fly tiers is to know your knots. Creating a solid knot guarantees that it will not come unraveled and that you’ll be able to secure it when you’re finished. It is helpful to have a base knowledge of different types of knots. One of the most popular knots used in fly tying is the whip finish knot.
Once you’ve decided what type of fish you’ll be using the fly on, make sure to choose the appropriate supplies to emulate that species’ diet. It’s okay to use an outline or a picture to design your fly.
For example, the chironomid is the second most important food source (after the freshwater shrimp) to rainbow trout. To make a “midge” larva fly, you’ll need a size 10 hook, red thread and red ribbed vinyl body material. It is important to manipulate the hook to imitate the shape of the larva. Once you’ve mastered simple flies like these, you’ll be ready to move on to more full-bodies designs.
Happy tying and good luck!