Learn How to Tie Fly Fishing Flies

Fly tying starts with the fundamentals and a tier builds on experience. Once a week, Gary Lewis writes a fly tying feature about a fly that he has fished at home or abroad. The fly tying features include fly tying patterns and instructions that show you how to tie fly fishing flies.

If you like fly tying and hand tied flies, or just want to pick the right dry fly for your next fishing trip, this is the place to be.

Types of Fly Fishing Flies

Dry Flies: Dry flies are the best choice when fish are feeding on the surface. This type of fishing fly is meant to be suggestive of an insect caught in the surface film. The idea is to have the artificial fly look like an insect that stays at the surface of the water. Many dry flies are intended to land softly, to drop onto the water like a surface insect.

Wet Flies: Wet flies are made to resemble insects that are under the surface of the water. Wet flies are sometimes meant to imitate a struggling aquatic insect trying to reach the surface of the water. As a general rule, wet flies are supposed to look like aquatic insects that are drowning or moving to the surface.

Nymphs: With nymphs, the angler is trying to imitate the underwater stage of surface insects. It is the stage where insects have just come out of the eggs. Nymphs are fished below the surface of the water. Most of a fish’s diet is taken below the surface of the water, making nymphs the best choice for most situations.  

Streamer Flies: Streamer flies are meant to look like baitfish or other large aquatic prey. They are meant to imitate fresh or salt water baitfish. Streamer flies are larger as compared to other fly fishing flies and are meant to target larger, predatory fish.

Terrestrial Flies: Terrestrial flies imitate landborne insects like ants, grasshoppers, crickets and beetles. They can be used as dry or wet flies.  Terrestrial flies imitate insects that are caught in the water or are struggling at the surface to get out of the water.

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