Should I Tie My Own Flies?

There’s a lot about fly fishing that’s rewarding: from successfully matching your first hatch to the first time you bring in a trophy trout. And there’s something else that can be just as rewarding: tying your own flies. Once you get into it, it can be as enjoyable as catching fish.

Coming up with your own design for a fly, tying it and then having it eaten by a trout for the first time is a great moment. You can duplicate this moment again and again with new flies and a little experimentation on the water.

There Are All Types of Flies - and Fly Tyers

The craft of tying flies suits some people while others do not get the same enjoyment and satisfaction from. If you shy away from repetitive tasks, or do not enjoy patient and detail oriented work, it may not be for you.

Some don’t enjoy the process of tying flies but enjoy having a hand in making their flies. Others tie out of the economic necessity while others are drawn to the intricate skill and craft of creating fly patterns.

While you don’t need to know how to tie every single fly ever created, having your own bases covered is a smart idea. Say you fish a lot of Clousers, Prince Nymphs and Adams’. You may want to learn how to make so that you don’t have to buy these flies over-and-over again every time you run low.

Cast Deeper Into the Natural World

Tying flies can help push you as an angler to dig deeper and discover more about the food chain. It can also help you learn more about your prey by learning what they themselves eat. And only by tying flies can you precisely match an environmental condition that’s specific to your location.

There are endless variations in nature and a stonefly pattern that was developed in the West may not be the best match for the smaller and different colored stoneflies that exist in the East. Each body of water has its own variation of insect, colors and sizes. Only by tying flies can you match that exactly.

Hatch matching with that much precision is not everyone’s game, but knowing that you are attempting to recreate that specific natural insect or baitfish furthers your relationship and knowledge of fly fishing to a higher level. By learning the craft and art of tying flies, you’ll get the satisfaction of being able to create a specific fly that’s only yours and hopefully matches exactly what your vision is.

Tying Your Inner Pattern

Fly tying is also a way to express our fishing desires when the outside conditions don’t allow it. Everyone does not have constant access to water and can’t fish all the time. Life gets in the way and we can’t always make it to the water.

Tying flies keeps you connected to the water and the thoughts of fishing when we can’t always be on the water. For most people, the winter months mean little to no fishing. Tying flies in the cold and darker winter months help us get through it with anticipation of springs fishing.

Tying flies can be a lengthy process and some people prefer to just grab a few flies at the shop rather than spend all the time “behind the curtain” getting ready. Not everyone has the time to dedicate to tying and there is nothing wrong with that.

But if you have the time and the interest at all, tying can open a whole new world up to you and further your growth and imagination as an angler. You may end up learning how to tie tarpon flies even if you never intend to fish for Tarpon, just for the pure satisfaction of tying something you’ve never seen before.

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