Fly Fishing - Fly Tying
By Peter Halpin
Fly tying can be easy and fun. It is important not only to select the right knot for a particular job but to tie it properly. Poorly Tied knots will mean lost fish. In this article, we discuss a few basic steps to follow when fly tying all knots for fly fishing, followed by some ingenious ways you can obtain free fly tying materials.
Three Basic Steps
Lubricate knots: Before you tighten a knot, lubricate it with saliva or by dipping it in the water. This will help the knot slide and seat properly. Lubrication also decreases excessive heat which dramatically weakens monofilament. Heat is generated by the friction created when knots are drawn up tight.
Seat the knot: Tighten knots with a steady, continuous pull. Make sure the knot is tight and secure. After it is tied, pull on the line and leader to make sure it holds. It is better to test it now than when a fish is on.
Trim neatly: Use nippers to trim the material as close as possible without nicking or damaging the fly tying knot.
Free Fly Tying Materials Around Your Home A quick browse around your house may yield some inexpensive and creative fly tying materials. If you need some glow ball material so you can tie a few eggs try the yarn you have in the house. Use some colors you think might work well. Pull a few strands off and begin tying your eggs. Mixed a few colors just to see what patterns you get.
These have been reported to work really well on the Colorado river. POW! Fish go for the egg. Cast after cast will yield some nice trout in the 16-24" range. The best pattern is an orange yarn with a pink strand.
Consider also some of the following fly tying materials:
Dubbing Dryer Lint - Choose the right color close to dry and then pull the lint out and use as common dubbing materials.
Brush the Dog - Several breeds such as Chows have thick undercoats. The fur makes a great natural material for dubbing.
Feathers A look around the yard or park can yield some interesting feathers to use for tying. Just a note however, wild birds are known for mites so take steps to insure you don't end up infecting your purchased features with these nasty critters.
Suggestions for avoiding mites:
Zap the materials in the microwave for 30sec. Put them in a plastic baggy and freeze them for a few days.
Stay away from dead birds. They could have been infected with a disease.
Foam body Packing foam commonly used for electronics work great. Just cut off a small strip and presto you have your body material. Need a different color than white, pull out a permanent marker such as a Sharpe and apply the desired color.
Furs Any old stuffed animals laying around? Some synthetic furs will work well on your hand tied flies.
Just take a look around the house and you will find items to substitute your traditional fly tying materials. Its a great way to save a few dollars and expand your creativity. You might even find that perfect combination to land that Fly Fishing trophy!
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