Favorite Flys “Fly Tying Terms”

Welcome to the Fly Tying Terms section. We hope this section enables and encourages you to become a fly tyer, or to enhance your fly tying skills.

From Perrault's Standard Dictionary of Fishing Flies
by Keith E. Perrault
Terms — F
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~ F ~
Face or Facing:
One or two wraps of hackle at the very front of a fly. Became popular when bi-visible flies were first tied. In fact, the extra facing gave rise to the term "bi-visible". A light colored facing provided higher visibility for the angler in dim light. Usually tied as a collar, but may be tied under the fly as the fore part of a beard or chin.

Fancy Flies:
Flies not representing a natural insect. These flies are sometimes called "attractor flies" and are often quite gaudy. Also any fly with the appearance of being over-dressed.

Practice of spreading out fibers or hairs when applying wings. Opposed to a tight bunch of fibers. Represents open, or, fluttering wings of an insect.

N/a A feather?

Feather Description:
Refer to especially Fly Dresser's Guide by John Veniard, for excellent material descriptions and uses.

Feather Twist:
Process of using feathers or feather fibers to form body material. Fibers are tied in and then twisted once or twice, wrapped around hook shank and then tied off.
    See also - Twist Wrap.

A hackle or feather fiber.

Fibril Hooks:
See - Barbules.

Fiery Brown:
Color - A shiny dark rich brown as used in the Royal Coachman fly.

Fiery Brown Hackle:
Color - a shiny brown, rich shade, with a reddish tinge. Feathers have a golden tint. Best representation can be found in the saddle hackles of Rhode Island Red chickens.

Fiery Varient Hackle:
Dark shiny brown with white bars, similar to grizzly markings.

Improper term much in use by fly tiers, for "Aftershaft". The soft, marabou-like attached feather of pheasant, grouse, and partridge or turkey body or tail feathers. Usually a pale to dark blue-gray in color. Used for winging flies and nymphs. Turkey filiplume has become a common substitute for marabou feathers, available in many colors.

Fixed Wing Streamer:
Probably the more proper name for the popular Matuka streamer. The name "fixed wing" derives from the practice of binding hackles to the hook shank with ribbing material. This keeps the hackle from twisting around the barb such as happens in free wing streamers, so often, while casting.
    See - Mutuka

Flank Feather:
Feathers found on the sides, either over, under or behind the base of the wings of birds. Flank feathers most used in fly tying come from duck plumage.

Flat Wing:
Usually formed with two matching feather sections, one over the other, laid flat on the fly body, concave sides down. Used mostly to simulate stone flies. Also refers to wings placed concave upright or downwing, not divided or flared.

Straw stem of plant from which limin is produced. Also, old British term for guard hair fur of animal pelts.
    See - Fleck

British term, old, for the soft underfur of an animal pelt.

Florican Bustard:
Wing quills are barred black and buff, or, dark brown and orange-brown. Used in some salmon fly patterns and trout fly dressing. For substitute, used brown dye marker pen on orange dyed duck or goose quills to simulate barring pattern. Another substitute is obtained by dark gray or light turkey wing feathers with a tan tinge, or these feathers dyed orange.

Any of the shiny and colorful materials made from silk, rayon, nylon or other plastic materials used for body building in fly tying. Known also as body silk, it is available in many colors.

The fuzz or tiny fibers on ostrich or peacock herl.
    See - Stripped herl.

Property of material, which has been chemically treated to have a high degree of reflectivity.
    See - Gantron and DFM.

Fly Dresser:
British term for Fly Tier.

Wingless fly with soft fur body and soft hackle fibers fished wet as a nymph. Term developed by Vernon S. "Pete" Hidy, in 1963, to describe the fly presentative of insect metamorphic period just around emergence time. It is a combination of Wet Fly, Emerger, Hatching Insects, and Nymph Fishing.

Fly Vise:
Tool or device used to hold the hook during fly tying process.

Folded Hackle:
Process of working all fibers of a hackle to one side. Used mainly in tying wet flies.

Fore Joint:
A buildup, usually herl or chenille at shoulder area of fly.
    See also - Center Joint, and Butt.

Fore and Aft:
Special tie of a fly which has hackling both at the aft or bend portion of the hook, and also at the head. Creates great flotation and was originally designed for fast, rough waters. Example: Renegade.

Free Wing:
See - Stillborn.

French Blue:
Color - nearly a purple-blue, lighter than silver doctor blue.

French Brilliant Tinsel:
A standard embossed tinsel.

French Partridge:
The breast feathers of French Partridge are smokey-blue with a dark bar at the tip, used in hackling some May Fly patterns.

Badger style feather with brown outer edges and a black, or dark brown center stripe.

Furnace Dun Hackle:
Rare. Blue dun gray with a brown streak or list in the center.

The very soft fibers at the base of hackles, or, soft underfur of animal pelts. Any very soft, wispy material usually used in the dubbing process.

Old British spelling of Furnace (hackle),
    See - A. Ronalds, Fisherman's Entemology.

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