Fly Tying

A hobby that I've had about as long as writing letters is tying flies. You know, like fly fishing.

qw

It's an enjoyable hobby and for a hobby primarily dominated by men (not many women tie flies). It's considered an art form by many fly fisherman. After all, a well-tied fly will last a long time and bring in many catches.

How fly tying works is pretty easy.

First, you pick out your fishing spot.

Second, you hunt around a bit, looking for what bugs are on the riverbank.

Third, you mimic what you see--you tie flies based on what's naturally occurring.

qe And it's a pretty trusty formula to follow for helping ensure you have a great catch for the day.

You can read book after book all about fly fishing. While there are good guidelines to follow that detail what fish like what flies, nothing beats matching what's actually out there around your fishing spot.

qr

This is what makes fly tying so awesome. You are copying nature.

Now for me, I've never actually gone fly fishing. I love to tie those flies though.

qtFlies are made from a combination of thread, fur, feathers, chenile, hair---anything that you can wrap around the hook.

Pictured above is some dubbing. Dubbing is really soft hair--think the undercoat of an animal. It's super soft. You pull a little out and twist it back and forth between your thumb and forefinger until it wraps around the thread. Then, you wind the thread around the hook. That's how you make a soft body like many bugs have.

Below, you'll see I tied down a feather to the end of my fly. That makes the tail.

qyI cut off the excess, leaving what you see below.

I then attached a few deer hairs to the head and tied them in a way so they'd spike up, mimicking wings.

qp

To finish a fly, you dab a little substance called 'fly head cement' to the head. This keeps the fly from unwinding. Many hardcore fisherman only use knotting.

There are some good old standards in the world of fly tying.

Below, you'll see a wooly bugger. A treasured favorite. Good for about any fish.

qs

And below, a fire ant.

qa

Check out the San Juan Worm below. He's super easy to make, but not one of my favorites.

qd

This is one of my favorites. It's based off an emerger. I call it "Cole's Green Emerger."

qfFly Tying is a great hobby for women. Women are much better at fine detail work, and our hands are smaller and more delicate. Many male fisherman struggle with tying their own flies because they break threads and struggle with working on such a small scale.

If you sell your flies, they can fetch up to $6 each so it's  pretty profitable hobby too.

Plus, if a loved one is a fly fisherman, they'll appreciate the flies more than you know.