Tag Archives: fly tying


Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

If you search on-line for “Featherhead” you are likely to get hits on many of the “hair extension” websites like finefeatherheads.com. Definitionally, Featherhead is often said to be: “A frivolous or feather-brained person.” For as many flies that I tie that never see the water, that definition might well apply to me. But it has another meaning more in tune with what we fly tiers are interested in. It’s a fly pattern (more like a style) name that has apparently been rather short-lived and remains a bit obscure these days. I have subscribed to Fly Tyer magazine for at least 20 years and still have most, if not all editions back into the 1990s. Occasionally, I’ll leave my fly tying desk, sit down near one of my bookshelves and begin pursing through old issues of Fly Tyer for inspiration. They are stacked in no particular order, so I just start at the top of the pile and look at the pictures to see if something strikes my fancy. Every once and a while I stumble on some tying technique that helps me improve my tying or directions around some common pattern that make for better flies. More importantly, I’ll see some new pattern or style that looks intriguing and decide to give it a go. Such was the case with “Featherheads”.

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Bug Puppets

Guest Blogger: Phil Rispin, fly fisher, photographer & more, find Phil’s photography here

Have you ever pondered the cost and effort it takes to get a two dollar fly to a place where a trout or other type of fish would consider eating it? Someone in my past referred to flies as “Bug Puppets” and I have adopted the term because it alludes to the need to make the fly look and behave like the food item it imitates, much like a puppet imitates characters in a play. Generally I believe that matching size and color to the food items in the stream is pretty important. However having said that, I wonder at the validity of the statement because we have all used stuff on the end of the line that looks like nothing found in nature. There is a long tradition in fly fishing of producing beautiful flies that are properly called works of art but they look very little like the food items found in the waters we fish. At the other extreme from the artful and time consuming salmon flies are what I like to call “guide ties “or flies that are simple, quick to produce and successful. more…

First Trout

Guest Blogger: Scott Travers, Middletown RI

My very first trout caught on the pink head fly that I tied myself.

My very first trout caught on the pink head fly that I tied myself.

I began fly fishing and fly tying just over two years ago. As a novice, like with any new hobby or passion, I had little in the way of fly tying materials and tools. I had purchased a used vice and a few basic tools to get me started. At times, it was a little frustrating because if I wanted to tie a certain fly, I would look at the recipe, gather my materials, and sometimes I would not have the materials I needed, other times I would have the right materials, but not in the right size or colors.