Don’t let fly tying get you up in knots

Print Article

My unofficial estimate shows that, over the years, I’ve taught fly-tying to nearly a thousand Flathead Valley residents.

I love it when someone who sat in one of my tying classes 40 years ago tells me they taught their grandkids how to “make bugs.”

And I’ve been privileged to sit among some of the world’s best tiers at FFF International Fly Shows.

I still love to tie flies. Here, in no special order, are “Fishful’s Fly Tying Truths”:

• If you think you’ll save money by tying your own flies, you are mistaken! Big time! I could buy a nice boat with the amount of moola I’ve spent on fly tying stuff.

• There is no “right way” to tie flies. Some ways are obviously better than others regarding proportions, strength, and time.

• You always need another bobbin. Rethreading a bobbin every time you change one of your 100 spools of thread gets harder as you get older.

• Ninety percent — ah, heck, make that 95 percent — of your flies never leave the fly box. I still carry flies I tied 50 years ago, BUT 99 percent of my fishing is with the Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulator, Beadhead Prince, Adams, and Ray Charles.

• Unless you’re an expert, buy hooks based on price. Yes, you may pay more but I’ve got a collection of hooks without eyes, straight shanks, or sharp points. Go big or go home!

• Strongly consider a vise with rotating jaws. Advantage is you can turn the hook over to see the backside.

• Don’t get hung up on “reality” fly stuff. Years ago hardware stores sold soft rubber fly imitations that were made by pouring into a mold. They looked so hokky!

Now, even the major tying suppliers, are selling separate detailed legs, heads, wing cases, etc.

• Don’t scrimp on scissors. Buy high quality tying scissors and put those flat, curved-blade losers with small finger holes back into the medicine cabinet.

• Don’t kid yourself, unless you are an expert tier, every fly you tie is a new creation. The hardest task in fly-tying is to tie two absolutely identical flies.

• Every fly you tie will catch fish. Somewhere. Somehow. Sometime.

Print Article

Read More Outdoors

Forest, Swan View at odds over special permit

February 14, 2018 at 8:47 am | Hungry Horse News A conservation group continues to raise objections to commercial use of Dickey Creek Road in the Middle Fork of the Flathead, the but Forest Service maintains it wants more people to recreate on its ...

Comments

Read More

Wild and Scenic: Stories from the mighty Middle Fork

February 14, 2018 at 8:30 am | Hungry Horse News This is the story of a bear mauling that put the Middle Fork of the Flathead to the forefront of the early American conservation movement. The tale starts in 1907. Artur Stiles, a surveyor with the ...

Comments

Read More

Through the ice at Duck Lake is an adventure

February 14, 2018 at 8:17 am | Hungry Horse News Ice fishing on Duck Lake makes lifetime memories. Most times we remember the adventure, not the fish. One of the most oft-repeated Duck Lake ice fishing stories happened in l995 when Roger Elliot’s...

Comments

Read More

Bighorn ram from Wild Horse Island likely a world record

February 09, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Hungry Horse News A 9-year-old ram whose skull was found on Wild Horse Island is poised to break the record for world’s largest ram. The Missoula-based Boone and Crockett Club records bighorns’ size using the sum of ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 892-2151
PO BOX 189, 926 Nucleus Avenue
Columbia Falls, MT 59912

©2018 Hungry Horse News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X