Fly tying is the art of tying flies, which are the most important part of fly fishing. While lures will often be brightly colored and in weird designs in order to attract the fish, flies go for realism, often appearing to look like real bugs. Although flies can be purchased from tackle shops, catalogues, and suchlike, there is no bigger ego booster to the fly fisherman than to catch a fish using flies that he tied on his own.

For the amateur fly tier, kits and how-to books are available that can teach the basics of fly tying. However, this is some equipment that everybody needs.

Once you have all of these, you sit down and get to work. Your hook, however large or small it may be, should be firmly held by the clamp, which should be firmly attached to the table. While nobody can be told how to make a perfect fly (Though some will argue that their creations are superior), what follows next is a series of twistings, tyings, and so on. It's called fly tying because what you're doing is wrapping thread around feathers, fur, etc, and then doing crazy things with the feathers as well, to create something that could look like an insect to a fish. You can add wings, eyes, and make it look as plain or as colorful as you want it to be.

When tying your flies, keep a couple things in the back of your mind. Where will you be fishing? What is your quarry? What types of flies/lures do you know to work well under those conditions? Although fly tying can be a tedious exercise (especially when something goes wrong in the process), it can be, and should be, enjoyable.

Update (8/2/02): This shall now be known as the metanode for fly tying. If you come across instructions on tying a specific fly while browsing E2, please send a hardlink in a /msg to me. Gracias.

Fly Tying Metanode

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