J. Castwell
March 22nd, 1999


This column is for the beginning fly fisher/tier. As you may imagine I have here at the mansion far more editions of books with pictures and instructions of flies and how to tie them than any sane chap should possess. I don't often write about how to tie flies, but I will make an exception here. It is time someone made a bit of sense out of this subject, and I am, of course, the perfect one to do it.

(insert hook picture here)
(Tied by J Castwell)

Hook:  What ever you have laying around; not too big, not too small, try to get it just about the right size for the fish you are after.

Thread:  This is a problem. With so many colors and thicknesses available you will have to muddle this one out for yourself, sorry.

Tail:  By all means consider a tail. Some great flies have had them, yet others have not. Use (if you decide to put one on) something nice. Remember to make it the right length.

Body:  Here you could really mess up. This fly is almost always tied with a body. The materials I like to use vary with the color and size of the fly. Be sure to take that into consideration when attaching the body, and do a nice job.

Wing:  Optional. It depends if you are going to use the fly on a stream or lake, but you can go either way.

Hackle:  Very difficult to tie, so I often use poor quality stuff as it doesn't seem to matter a lot. If you have some around and the time, go ahead and put some on a few of them. Color is variable with the seasons.


Since you are new to this, really good instructions would be a waste of time. Get some stuff and have at it. You will probably throw it away anyhow.


Most of the books I have researched for this have mentioned things similar to the above. I may have stretched it a bit, however the point here is this. When you start out, have fun. Don't get all uptight because you don't know one fly from another. It is not that important. Buy a few, take them out, lose a few in the process of casting and fishing, hopefully you will catch something other than a tree, go home, tie a few flies no mater how they look, try them the next time you go out.

We all started just about where you are now and have had a wonderful time. If you knew it all now it would take a lot of the enjoyment out of the sport. That is part of it, a big part, the learning of all the different aspects available to you. ~ JC

Next week: The Universal Rod!

P.S. If you think there may be a universal fly, you have more to learn than I figured. :^)

Till next week, remember ...

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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