Fly fishing is a method to catch fish with the use of artificial lures called flies. While there are a number of flies that you can buy, whether you want dry or wet flies in different shapes and colors to catch different types of fish, most seasoned fly fishermen want to make and tie their own flies. Flies are made to closely resemble the food that certain types of fish like to eat. Dry flies usually resemble mature insects that float on the water. Wet flies are those that will sink under the water’s surface and resemble the larva or nymphs and pupae of insects. They can also look like minnows and crayfishes that swim just under the surface of the water. Tying a fly to a fly fishing line takes practice. The fly is tied to the shank or the straight part of the fishing hook. Below are the steps on how to tie a fly to fly fishing line.
- Start by wrapping the thread on the shank of the right type of hook for the fish you may catch in the area you are going to. This is because different fish will require different hooks.
- Get a large pheasant feather and pull off about twelve fiber feathers. Choose the long ones that can be found on the widest part of the pheasant’s feather. Gather the feather fibers and position their butt ends a few millimeters from the eye of the hook. Wrap the thread twice around the feather fibers loosely at first. Once you have wrapped the thread twice or thrice around, pull the thread down with the bobbin so that it will wrap snugly around the shank and the feather fibers.
- Continue to wrap the thread around the shank and the fibers. Make sure that you lift the fibers up a bit every time you wrap the thread to keep them on top of the shank and not around it. Wrap the fibers until you reach the end of the shank, which is before the bend of the hook. Wrap the thread closely together two or three times around this part and pull the thread snugly to secure the fibers before you begin wrapping the thread once again towards the eye of the hook. Leave the bobbin dangling there.
- Gather the feather fibers and begin wrapping them at an angle to cover the shank, working towards the area where the butt end of the feather fibers was tied. Make sure that the fibers are evenly distributed and snug around the shank.
- Once you have reached the starting point push the fibers to the right and wrap the thread around the fibers wound around the shank tightly several times.
- Bend the ends of the feather fibers back, distributing them on top and around the shank. Hold the hook with your fingers and tie the bent part of the fibers a few millimeters away from the eye so that you can create a small lump that will resemble the head of the fly. Use a whip finisher to tie and secure the thread. Cut the excess thread and apply thin cement to the thread wraps.
It is assumed that you know the basic knots as well as how to use a bobbin, a fly vise and pliers and other tools for fly fishing. Learn the different types of flies that are suitable for a number of fish that may be caught in the lake or river where you will go for some fly fishing. Tying a fly requires patience and lots of practice as well as practical knowledge combined with the right tools.