Posted by Richard on 2/27/2014
In the evolution of a developing fly fisher there is usually the issue of fly tying somewhere along the line, usually after the first year or two. There are different reasons for approaching the subject, as some do it to cut the cost of all the flies lost during every fishing trip, in bushes and trees, for instance. Other people do it to further immerse themselves into the intricacies of the sport’s details. Regardless of the reasons, whatever they happen to be, fly tying has always existed as an integral part of the fly fishing life.
Numerous volumes upon volumes of books and articles have been written on the art of fly tying, possibly outnumbering all other aspects of fishing, and particularly fly fishing. There are even magazines that are solely dedicated to the art of fly tying. And as with any art form, there are many different ways to accomplish the same result, with some being more easy than others. There are some tools you can make for yourself, and others you’ll just have to purchase.
To start, dry flies are just flies that will float. They usually represent adult insects that are in the process of emerging from their nymphal shuck, drying their wings so they can fly, or returning to the water to lay eggs. Dry flies are the most fun to use, because you get to see the fish take the fly. Because of this, there are more dry fly patterns that have been designed than any of the rest. Some people separate emerger flies from the dry ones, since they usually float.
Wet flies are simply flies that don’t float. They typically represent nymphs and pupae that are swimming toward the surface of the water or trying to break through the surface film to become adults. Since this is a very popular stage of their existence, it’s a good idea tow how to tie wet flies.
Nymphs represent the nymphal or larva stage in the life cycle of an insect, and since insects spend the greater part of their lives in the nymph or larval stage, this stage is important when it comes to foraging fish.
Streamers are flies which represent minnows, crayfish, leeches and several other life forms that are to be found swimming just under the surface of lakes and streams. This is a popular food for fish, so it’s an important type of fly to learn to tie.
While it may seem overwhelming at first, just begin with one type, and work on that type until you are confident, then move on to the next. You’ll certainly find some to be easier to tie than others, but you’ll eventually be guided by what type you enjoy using when you fish.