Category Archives: Fly Tying Tips & Tools

Knock Knock

Guest Blogger: Michael Vorhis, author of ARCHANGEL suspense thriller, OPEN DISTANCE adventure thriller & more to come

Going back a few eons here…it can be fun to remember the progressions and epiphanies of our angling and tying journeys. From time to time I take a look at the odd tying tool, be it mainstream or nouveau, and how it fits into my tying.

For some years I tied flies using various kinds of natural hair, without bothering with any hair strand alignment at all. “Natural animal hair should be all over the place…like mine is,” I reasoned, looking in the mirror. “Wind exists out there, and we should mimic its effects in our flies. Bug wings are ratty and beat to hell, and fish wouldn’t have it any other way.” So my flies looked and held together like you’d expect: Horribly. more…

My ‘Go To’ Flies

Guest Blogger: Clay Cunningham, Cody WY, Former National Park Superintendent

As a twelve-year old in 1948 growing up in Pennsylvania and a beginning fly tier, most of my early flies were poor imitations of the patterns described in an old book given to me. As I recall at that time, my flies were tied with materials I collected from the chickens we killed for the dinner table and various hair and feathers I collected from my trapline and hunting for deer, rabbits, Ruffed Grouse pheasants and squirrel with my father, a coal miner who was a veteran of WWII in the Pacific. My supplies for fly tying were largely poor materials. Those materials combined with my amateur fly tying skills produced flies that were ugly and didn’t float very long, if at all.  So, I started raising Banty roosters. They are smaller and much more aggressive buggers that seemed to know when I was looking to collect their hackles and the fight was on. While Banty rooster hackles were better than the standard hackles found on our chickens or in Herter’s catalog at the time they were nothing like the hackles we have today. more…

Anchor Wrap

J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Paul Shurtleff, Springville, UT

After spending some time working with and field testing various materials over the years, I would like to stress the importance of what’s called an “Anchor Wrap” in fly tying when working with various materials. I’m not just talking about any materials though, I’m more referring to corded or furled synthetic/semi-synthetic types of materials such as chenilles and braided/variegated types of tying materials commonly used as body materials in numerous fly patterns.

For those that don’t or didn’t know or have never heard of what an “Anchor Wrap” is, it’s a tying procedure/technique made to anchor or seat and tighten down onto the hook these types of materials while wrapping them on. It’s intent is to tighten down as much as possible to prevent those types of materials from becoming loose. More specifically, an “Anchor Wrap” is performed to prevent the core of the material itself from coming loose and becoming exposed. more…