Tag Archives: fly tying basics

10 Things No One Will Tell You When You Start Tying Flies

Guest Blogger: John Satkowski, Toledo, OH, fly tying demonstrator and instructor, you can find him @ River Raisin Fly Company on Facebook

1. Everyone you talk to about tying is an expert and you should do things the way they tell you. Now granted, there are some people you should listen to. The hot guys in the tying game now like Mike Schmidt, Greg Senyo, Blane Chocklett, and Charlie Craven are people you should be listening to. They will give you good advice that a beginner to seasoned tyer can use to increase their skill. Uncle Bob’s buddy who tied a handful of flies in 1976 is not always an accurate point of view for you to learn from. Over the years, I have heard my fair share of questions such as,”Why don’t you do it this way” or “Why don’t you use this material?” Sometimes sharing ideas is good and gives you a fresh point of view but you should take suggestions with a grain of salt.
2. You always have to use the newest and coolest materials in your flies. There have been a huge surge of really awesome materials that have come out in the past five years alone. Lots of new lighter synthetic materials that don’t hold water and make casting much easier, new adhesive and UV resins, and a lot of body materials that just keep getting more realistic all can make tying much faster and easier. Ripple Ice Fiber and the Loon Outdoors D-Loop tweezers are among my personal favorite things to use since they came out. Every tyer has their favorite materials and this is usually evident by looking at a large sample of their flies. My flies usually incorporate some barred marabou, ripple ice fiber, angora goat, and the long cut fiber ice dub. Many different patterns can be constructed using different variations of the same materials. Use the materials that you are comfortable with and have had success with in the past. You can always try some new materials and see which ones you like to work with and work for you.

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Tales from the Tying Bench

Guest Blogger: Tom Corbiere, Tom is a J Stockard Customer who lives in Oregon

You’re finishing tying an intricate fly. The tail is exact length, rib evenly spaced, perfect hackle tied in without stray barbs sticking out. All you need to do is whip finish and “PING!” Your thread breaks. Hackle unravels, Ribbing now sticking straight up, and the tail is laying at the bottom of your vice on the bench. You either internally (or externally) scream. Am I the only one this has happened to?

If you are lucky, the fly doesn’t fall apart. You quickly thread your bobbin and capture the broken thread and save the day! All that work saved. A great accomplishment. Obviously, the tying gods were looking down on you. So you go back and finish off the fly and “PING” another break. Then the next sound you hear is “&$!#%” and its coming out of your mouth like an out of body experience. 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…