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An Introduction and how to guide for Fly Tying

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

Flies are artificial lightweight lures used for catching trout and salmon. Other species such as pike, bass, carp, redfish, snook and tarpon can be caught using a fly. Although, this is less common. There are a wide variety of flies with different styles and purposes. These flies have a diverse range of colours and shapes of flies designed to attract fish differently.

Fly fishing is a style of angling. The fly is cast using specific reels and rods explicitly tailored for fly fishing. Casting a fly takes a large amount of skill. This brings a great challenge and a sense of achievement to experienced fly fishers. A tremendous budget-friendly rod and reel combo for anyone looking to start fly fishing is the CNC-machined fly fishing reel set.

Casting Styles

There are a large number of casting styles and techniques. Many anglers have a portfolio of casts. This is because different fly fishing casts can be used in different scenarios and surroundings.

We will briefly cover two basic fly fishing casts. These casts will help you catch fish when you must tackle long distances and tight spaces.

The overhead cast is used with a back cast in open areas.

1. Rest the rod on the side of your forearm. With your thumb on the top of the rod handle. Prevent the line from running off the reel by holding the fly line. You can also use your index finger of your casting hand.

2. Point the rod tip towards the body of water.

3. Slowly raise the rod vertically to the ten o'clock position.

4. Pause and allow the line to straighten.

5. Carefully tap the rod forward to the ten o'clock position and let the line travel across the water.

6. When the line has settled on the water, pull the line back until there is no slack and lower your rod tip to the surface of the water.

The roll cast is used in tight spaces where overhead casts cannot be used

1. Similarly to the overhead cast, the grip of the rod and line is the same.

2. Raise the rod vertically to the 10 o'clock position.

3. Allow the line to loop behind you.

4. Cast forward in the direction you wish the fly to land and snap your wrist forward when it reaches ten o'clock. This will make the line loop and land straight on the water.

Dry Flies

A dry fly floats on the top of the water. The fish will rise to the surface to eat the fly. This makes this style of fly fishing extremely exciting. You have a front-row seat of the stunning take. Seeing the take allows the angler to have lightning-fast reaction speed to hook the fish.


Nymphs are highly effective for trout fishing. The reason for this is that 80% of feeding happens beneath the surface of the water. The nymphs imitate a section of the life cycle of mayflies, caddis and stoneflies. This section of the life cycle is when the fly lives underwater. They are small and very abundant flies. The Icerio 133 piece box includes a large assortment of nymphs.

Squirmy Wormies

Squirmy worrmies come in an assortment of bright colours. They are hooks with rubber winded around the body and two protruding ends on either side of the hook. They are used to imitate various worms. You usually fish these with a float and let them drop within the water depth.


The streamer flies are used to represent leeches, minnows, sculpins etc. You cast this fly out and retrieve it at different speeds. The fish will follow the streamer and strike it exceptionally aggressively. Letting this fly sink at various points throughout retrieval will increase the chances of a fish striking it.

For all of the above flies: changing the depth, speed of retrieval and size of flies can alter the frequency of catching fish.

Predator Flies

Predator flies are much larger flies used for catching large, aggressive species like pike. Predator flies usually are streamers with larger hooks. They represent larger fish species such as roach.

Salmon flies

Salmon flies are used to imitate small fish such as a minnow. These flies generally have extremely vibrant colour patterns. Unlike regular trout flies, salmon flies can have two hooks.

An extensive range of flies can be found within the store, such as the 32 piece set or the 20 piece set.

How to Tie:

The Purple Nasty Euro Nymphs:

Materials needed are Hooks (size 10 -18), silver slotted beads, black thread, silver wire, black pheasant tail dubbing, purple glister dubbing and red hot spot thread.

● Place glue towards the eye of the hook. Pull the bead up the hook and place it in the correct position for the adhesive to set.

● Wrap black thread ⅔ of the way down the hook.

● Place the tail and wire towards the bottom of the hook and tie them down.

● Snip the excess material away and line the body of the hook with black dubbing.

● Wrap the wire continually over the black dubbing and snip the excess wire, whip finish.

● Tie the red hot spot thread at the base of the bead and then overlap this with the purple glister dubbing.

● Whip finish.

Squirmy Wormies:

Materials needed are Hooks (size 10 -18), amber/silver/black slotted beads, black thread, rubber bands in the colour of choice.

● Pull the slotted bead onto the hook towards the eye.

● Tie the bead in to stop it from moving using your black thread.

● Wrap the hook in the black thread until ⅔ down the hook.

● Place the rubber worm at the end of the thread on the hook and tie-down.

● Wind the rubber worm multiple times around the body of the hook.

● Tie the rubber in at the head of the hook.

● Whip finish.


Overall, fly tying has an arrangement of choices and selection. The massive assortment of flies makes fly fishing incredibly extensive. This is great as it allows for endless possibilities. Many people believe fly tying is an art form and therefore are extremely passionate about the subject. Many others believe fly tying is a form of relaxation. This shows the vast variety of fly tiers, meaning fly tying has something to offer for any angler.

by Daniel ONeill

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