Barry Ord Clarke
Fly tying for many is a hobby, for others it´s a means of ﬁlling their ﬂy box with ﬁne tuned and well tested patterns, that would be otherwise unavailable. For many of us who read this blog it´s more of a passion, and for some, even a way of life…
Ƒly tying is the craft of attaching feathers, fur and synthetic materials, to a fishing hook with the help of a waxed thread and numerous specially designed tools. The result is an artificial lure that resembles a fly or other prey/food of predatory fish.
Like any craft, fly tying has many elementary techniques that need to be learned and practiced. Taking a course with an experienced fly tyer helps in the early stages. Once these are techniques are learned and mastered, even the most advanced patterns can be achieved.
After the industrialisation of the fishing hook, and the time consuming production of fishing flies, was moved to countries with cheap labour. The days are gone, where fly fishermen tied flies out of financial necessity.
The four main types of fly patterns are: Dry flies, nymphs, emergers and streamers. Dry flies float on the surface of the water and imitate an adult insect. Nymphs are fished sub-surface and represent the nymphal stage of water based insects. Emergers are fished in the surface film of the water, to represent hatching insects. Streamers are long flies that are used to imitate bait fish and many other invertebrates.