Fly Fishing Tips

Tying Flies

Tying flies is a relaxing pastime and a perfect off- and in-season indoor complement to fly fishing. Catching fish on your own handmade flies gives a great sense of pride. There is no limit to fish foods you can imitate by tying flies.

Getting Started

Fly tying is merely wrapping a thread around a hook, then binding various tying materials to the hook (hair, feathers, yarns or tinsels) to simulate a fish food. With a basic set of simple tools, tying materials and a few tying instructions, you can learn how to tie flies. And in a very short time you may be surprised at how well fish will strike your own hand-tied flies.

Basic Fly-Tying Tools and Use

  1. Vise: holds hook during tying.
  2. Bobbin: holds thread during tying.
  3. Needle-Point Scissors: cut and trim tying materials.
  4. Hackle Pliers: hold small or delicate feathers.
  5. Vise Material Clip: fits on vise cam and holds materials ready for use.
  6. Bodkin and Half-Hitch Tool: bodkin point picks and separates materials; half-hitch tool helps form half-hitch knot.
  7. Simple Nylon-Loop Whip-Finish Tool: helps form whip-finish knot.
  8. Head Cement: glues, coats and adds finish.

L.L.Bean's Fly-Fishing Workshops

One-, two- and three-day workshops at our Fly-Fishing School include instruction on tying flies, basic knot tying, fish food, on-stream strategies and more. Students get plenty of individual attention and receive a total concept approach to fly fishing from certified instructors.

* From the L.L.Bean® Fly-Fishing Handbook, written and illustrated by Dave Whitlock.

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