The area of fly tying that truly exemplifies the uniqueness of this hobby is "techniques," being that there are more out there than one individual can learn in a lifetime. As a fly tyer, I am always on the hunt for new tips to improve my tying, and it's through these videos that I share many with you. When tying with others, I always take time to examine their procedures and techniques closely, knowing that they will have differences in their style that I can learn from. I encourage you to do the same, as we can learn lots from one another.
One of my more popular YouTube tutorials, I demonstrate effective ways to finish the fly when tying. During this video, the methods I explain include the following:
*Whip Finish by hand
*Whip finish with Thompson-style tool
*Half hitch "tool"
Fly fishing with dry flies is one of my favorite aspects of fly fishing, yet selecting the materials to tie those patterns is extremely complicated. This video is intended to help the beginner to intermediate fly tyer select quality materials to build or enhance a fly tying collection. The materials discussed in this video are ones that I find essential to tying dry flies, hence their recommendation to others.
The recommended materials (optional ones listed with an asterisk):
Hackle: Necks of grizzly, cream/ginger, and dun (preference given to barred colors)
CDC: Natural color
Coastal Deer Hair - Natural color
*Snowshoe Rabbit Feet - Dun color
*Coastal Deer Hair - Dyed black
Antron/Zelon Fibers - Dun and Hi-visibility (pink) colors
*Wood Duck Flank Feathers
*Calf Body Hair
Dubbing: Tan, pale yellow, Adams gray, olive, and rusty colors
*Dubbing Pack of multiple colors
*Microfibetts - Light dun, dark dun, Light Cahill, and orange colors
*Coq de Leon
6/0 thread - Light Cahill, tan, and Adams gray colors
Daiichi 1110 Hooks - 50 of sizes 12, 14, & 16 and 25 of sizes 10, 18, & 20
When first tying, the selection of materials that can be used for mayfly dry fly bodies is simply overwhelming! I attempt to break that task down a bit by examining a few of those, including natural dubbing (aka hare), cotton embroidery floss / craft yarn, and quill bodies.
One of the most effective ways to consistently catch trout is using nymphs, and catching them on flies tied by yourself is extremely gratifying. Deciding on the correct materials can be an overwhelming and confusing task, thus the purpose of this video is to break that process down into steps, starting with purchasing materials for mayfly nymphs. This video is intended to help the beginner to intermediate fly tyer select quality materials to build or enhance their fly tying collection. The materials discussed in this video are ones that I find essential to tying mayfly nymphs, hence their recommendation to others.
In this video, part 1 of 2, there is a discussion related to the following recommended materials (optional ones listed with an asterisk):
Hooks - 1xl nymph hook with standard or 1x heavy wire
Hook sizes - 50 of sizes 12, 14, & 16 and 25 of sizes 10, 18, & 20
*Same sizes, but a caddis/scud hook with standard or 1x heavy wire
Thread - 6/0 UNI thread in brown, black, tan, and olive
*Same colors, but 8/0 size
Weight (wire) - .010; *.015
Weight (beads) - 2 mm (5/64) & 2.5 mm (3/32) in gold
*2 mm & 2.5 mm in black and silver (disco beads)
*1.5 mm & 3 mm beads for small and large hooks
Ribbing - Copper & silver in size small
*Brown and black in size small
*Black, olive, & brown in size brassie
Head Cement - Sally Hansen "Hard as Nails"
This is the second video in a two part series on essential items needed to tie mayfly nymphs. Continuing where I left off in Part 1, I discuss materials that I believe are the "must haves" belonging on any fly tying bench in order to tie the most common and effective patterns. If you missed Part 1, please click on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw38_JeO4kM
In this video, part 2 of 2, there is a discussion related to the following recommended materials (optional ones listed with an asterisk):
Tails - Pheasant tails
Hungarian Partridge skin
*Mallard / wood duck flank feathers
*Coq de Leon (medium or dark pardo)
Body - Thread (6/0 UNI) in brown, black, tan/cream, and olive
SLF Squirrel Spikey dubbing; black, brown, olive, and natural fox
Hare's mask; tan, *olive
Pheasant tail fibers; natural, *olive
*Turkey biots; black, brown, tan/cream, olive
Wing case - Turkey tail
*Thin Skin; mottled bustard or oak in natural
*UNI Mylar; Holographic Silver Size 12 (3/64")
Legs - Hungarian Partridge skin
*Hen neck; natural (brown), olive, and grizzly
Thorax - Peacock herl
*Hemingway's Peacock dubbing; https://frostyfly.com/shop/dubbing-dispenser-peacock/
Link related to peacock dubbing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-UcFSFupP4
*UNI thread; chartreuse or pink
*Glo-Brite floss; chartreuse or pink
*Flashback - UNI Mylar
*Fluorescent beads; chartreuse or pink
Microfibetts are the material that most fly tyers turn to for tailing on dry flies. In this tutorial, I demonstrate three ways of locking the Microfibetts in place, separating the fibers to ensure they properly mimic the tails of a mayfly.
Selecting hackle in fly tying can be a difficult decision, and a question I get asked a lot is, "What's the difference between saddle hackle and capes?" During this video, I go over some main differences between these two dry fly hackles, and then give some recommendations for purchasing them, including colors:
Tier 1: Grizzly, light/dark dun (barred), and ginger (barred)
Tier 2: Brown/furnace, black, cream
During this video, I also mention the previous one I made titled "Selecting Saddle Hackle", which you can view here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmVoPEN4EcE
The entire process or selecting and purchasing saddle hackle is supposed to be fun, though it can be stressful and difficult. I made this video to help with that process, and it includes:
*Overview of saddle hackle
*Differences between saddle hackle and necks/capes
*Purchasing tips for saddles
*Key areas to focus on when selecting saddle hackle
*Suggested colors to include in your fly tying collection
*Recommended websites to purchase saddle hackle from
Bead head flies are fast becoming the favorites of many because of their incredible ability to catch fish. The primary reason is due to their sink rate, which is examined during this tutorial. Other areas discussed include the different types of beads, their uses, and how to place them on hooks. This was a fun video to make, and the sink rate of the tungsten definitely surprised me!
One of the more difficult tasks for those interested in tying classic dry flies is the quill wing, which presents a strong profile when on the water. I reference Mike Valla during this video, one of the great Catskill tyers, being that he has a great amount of knowledge in this area. I recommend that you check out his books on Catskill flies, as they are great resources for this style of tying.
Parachute dry flies continue to grow in popularity each year, solidifying their place in fly fishing for years to come. During this tutorial, two methods for attaching the parachute post are examined, as are a couple methods to tie off the hackle once complete with the parachute.
Debarbing hooks is something that I find essential prior to fly fishing, thus I wanted to dedicate time in a video to the two methods that I regularly employ. Their selection is based upon your fly tying vise, as explained in this tutorial. I encourage you to debarb all hooks prior to tying, as it is in everyone's best interests, most notably the fish you will catch!
Over the years, I have been asked by many about my organizational methods used for my fly tying materials. Some I have had success with, while others have changed a number of times, thus I am always looking for a better system. In this fly tying tutorial, time is spent discussing various systems utilized for dubbing, concluding with the system I am currently using, which happens to be sealable plastic bags.
As with other videos discussing tips and techniques, if you have any suggestions related to the organization of materials, please feel free to leave your thoughts in the "Comments" section of the actual YouTube video page.
In this fly tying tutorial, I discuss an important aspect of fly tying, which is using head cement. Aside from talking about the three most common head cements I use, I also share sample patterns and show the head cement application.
Links for the three head cements discussed:
Sally Hansen: http://www.sallyhansen.com/nails/nail-care/strength-growth/hard-nails
Many dry fly patterns out there are effective, yet one I consistently turn to is the Comparadun tied with a deer hair wing. In this fly tying tutorial, I discuss this great pattern and show the process for tying the complicated wing.
On a fly tying bench, I believe one of the most important tools is scissors...but not all are created equally! In this video, I discuss my thoughts regarding them, and feature those that I use on a regular basis. For nostalgic tyers, I also show my first pair of fly tying scissors from over 25 years ago.
Links for those scissors featured:
Dr. Slick: http://www.drslick.com/catalog/scissors/razor
Similar Wire Scissors: http://www.drslick.com/catalog/scissors/tension
Retractable Box Cutter: http://www.stanleytools.com/en-US/products/hand-tools/knives-blades/multi-tool/18mm-retractable-pocket-cutter/10-143p
Flexible Razor Blades: I haven't bought these in awhile, thus email me if you have a link for these; thanks!
Super Shears: http://www.amazon.com/SE-Stainless-Steel-Utility-Scissors/dp/B003N2J0JY
Link to Martin Joergensen's article: http://globalflyfisher.com/tiebetter/scissors/
One of the most common emails I receive is about purchasing vises, as there are many obstacles in selecting one. In this video, I share my current vise that I recommend to others, the Stonfo Transformer. This vise is manufactured by an Italian company, and offers tyers the ability to switch between three heads (standard, streamer, and tube fly). Throughout the video, I share my thoughts about this high quality tool, and give you a closeup view of the components. Near the end, I also show it holding both larger hooks and a TINY one (size 26!).
Stonfo website: http://www.stonfo.com/site/product/642?parent_section_id=4&category_id=133
Website to purchase: http://www.flyfishing-mart.com/sklep/en/vices-stonfo-vises-g6-a282-p2301-k14669.html#
A common email I receive is related to purchasing vises, as there are many obstacles in selecting one. In this video, I share a vise known to many for its dependability and versatility, the Norvise. Part of a complete system, this vise is manufactured in the United States and has an owner that definitely listens to the needs of his customers. Throughout the video, I share my thoughts about this high quality tool, and discuss many of its great features.
Norvise website: https://norvise.com/
Norvise YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/norvise
There are lots of choices for bobbins in the world of fly tying, and I wanted to share one of my favorite ones, the Stonfo Elite Bobbin series. There are three sizes within this series from the Italian company, and I discuss their specifications, pros, and cons.
Links discussed during the video:
Fly tying gadgets are addicting, and this video features one of my favorites, the magnetic bingo wand! This is a unique tool that has maintained a spot on my fly tying bench for years, and one I recommend to you. If you're thinking about purchasing this gadget, try searching for "magnetic bingo wand" online.
Fly tying gadgets are addicting, and this video features two I use regularly: razor blade tools. There are many of these types out there, though these are two of the common ones I use especially for trout and bass patterns.
The notion of a "variation" is a difficult one for beginner fly tyer, thus I examine many possible variations for the Prince nymph in this tutorial. Throughout the video, I share my thoughts and rationales as to why I made the various decisions, and I hope this helps others in determining variations that will prove to be effective patterns.
Parachute dry flies are some of the most popular patterns in fly fishing today, and tying them can be tricky @ times. Utilizing parachute dry fly tools, such as the one featured in this tutorial, make the entire process of forming the post much easier.
Not all peacock dubbing is created equal! In this tutorial, I take a look at some different peacock dubbings, explain techniques to apply them, and finally show how the materials look when wet. At the end of the video, I tie with actual peacock herl to allow a comparison between all of the peacock dubbings and natural herl.
Some of my favorite materials to tie with are Hungarian Partridge feathers, which can be used for so many parts of the fly. In this tutorial, I go over a few of those uses and show some of the techniques I employ with these feathers.
During this tutorial, I demonstrate a very neat technique to use when tying parachute dry flies. This method, popularized by Chauncy Lively and Roy Christie, is similar to the paraloop method and is a fun way to tie in hackle on a parachute. The hackle is tied in very securely, thus making this a style that many still opt for on a regular basis.
During this tutorial, I give a brief overview of hen hackle, then show some of the more common applications (including tailing, legs, beards, and soft hackles). Every year, I seem to use hen hackle more than other materials, thus I wanted to share my insight on this great feather. As mentioned in this video, I recommend Clearwater Hackle for the majority of these applications, and be sure to tell the owner (Lars) that I said hello!
During this tutorial, I examine a few popular ways to place weight on the hook. Though using lead in this video, you can easily apply these same techniques to other soft materials that can add weight to a fly.
There are many insects out there that have longer bodies, and simply using an XL hook that add unneeded weight to the pattern. Instead, I show a technique to utilize deer hair as the extended body, thereby allowing you to alter the specific length per your need. This style is effective for a variety of patterns, including the green drake, slate drake (Isonychia), and other mayflies.
Measuring tails on dry flies can be difficult for those new to fly tying, thus this tutorial gives a few tips and techniques to do just that. Mayfly tails are examined in the video, with an emphasis placed on the dun and spinner stages of the fly.