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 - W
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[ H ] [ I ] [ J ] [ K ] [ L ] [ M ] [ N ] [ O ] [ P ]
[ Q ] [ R ] [ S ] [ T ] [ U ] [ V ] [ W ] [ XYZ ]
~ W ~
Western. If fly name is followed by "-W" this is a Western U.S. pattern.

Body material or dubbing.

Color - Pale blue. Sky blue color.

Water Proofed Flies:
A solution of paraffin and carbontetrachloride with the paraffin dissolved in the solution applied to a dry fly will waterproof the fly for long periods of time. Makes dry flies really float!

Wood Duck.

To intertwine or braid body materials on the hook shank. Half hitching various colors on to a hook is also a form of weaving.

Web. Webbing:
Soft fuzzy fibers between the hackle fibers which determine use for the hackle as dry or wet fly hackle. Hackles with little or no webbing are used for dry flies.

Addition of weight to fly patterns by adding lead wire, metal pins, foil, or strips of any heavy materials. Pat Barnes, writer for "Fly Tyer" magazine suggests using fuse wire as follows:
Hook size 12 and under - 1 amp or size .015
Hook size 10-8 - amp or .025
Hook size 4-6 - 3 amp .030.
A light weight fly would have half of hook shank covered and a heavy weighted fly would have a full shank plus another half weighted. He suggests also coloring headed of flies so weighted, yellow for light, red for medium and green for heavy. This system, if standardized, would be a workable one and could be easily become internationally acceptable.

Wet Fly Hackles:
Hackles used on wet flies come from myriads of sources: Partridge, Grouse, Loon, Snipe, Starling, Heron, Peacock, Pheasant, Owls, Woodcock, Plover, Guinea, Blackbirds, and many others birds. Secret is to select a feather which will absorb water, sink readily, and have action in the water.

Wing feather.

Procedure of joining various colors of feathers together.
See - Marry. Also - Meld.

Wet Hackle:
Hackle with soft fibers and with considerable smount of webbing. Webbing assists in water absorption. Also, wet hackles do not have springy fibers as do dry hackles.

Wet Tied Hackle:
Hackle tied with the concave side toward the tail.

Whip Finish:
Method of completing the head of a fly. Basis of the whip finish is a number of winds over the final end of the thread so that the end is locked down inside the wraps. Whipping can be done by fingers alone or by the use of any number of commercially made tools.

Feather or fur fibers. Usually refers to feather fibers. Also, refers to the tail of a fly.

White Badger Hackles:
Rare, ginger with a white stripe down the center.

White Tipped Mallard:
These are the bluish, iridescent, white-tipped secondaries or flight feathers found on drake Mallards. Special use is in McGinty fly wings.

Name for Sea Trout, also called Whitting, Herling and Finnock. Special flies are tied for this fish.

Whole Feather Wings:
Composed of entire feathers such as Golden Pheasant tippet, Jungle Cock or Bass rounds. Usually set upright in pairs.

Fresh water duck between size of a Mallard and a Teal. These birds provide many fly tying feathers, especially the barred flank feathers used for winging and tails of flies and nymphs. Colors from whites to browns to dark grays. The term Widgeon, alone, in dressings usually refers to the barred, side or flank feathers.

Wiggle Nymph:
Constructed in two sections: The abdomen or wiggling portion, and thorax, the front or more stationary portion. Abdomen is constructed on a ring eye hook shank, then bend portion of hook is cut off. Ring eye is attached to front hook with a small, loose, well rounded loop of piano wire in order to provide a free action in the aft portion.

Wild Turkey
Feathers of most hues of black to white in all the browns, grays and metallics are found in the wild turkey plumage. Become friendly with a hunter and possibly you will be able to get some of these much desired feathers.

Wing Broads:
Another name for secondary wing feathers.

Wing Case:
On nymphs, the one, two, or three raised portions over the thorax area. These are simulated by small feathers tied in, and sometimes fibers or hair bunches tied in and bent over to form the bumps.
See also - Wing Pads. On actual nymphs, the wings are forming under a thin filmy cover which bursts to release the wings during emergence.

Wing Case Construction:
Methods may vary. A build-up of body materials or feather segments tied in, or floss or wool or Poly strands all simulate the cases quite well.

Wing Feathers:
Various types of feathers are found in wings. Primary or pointers are the flight feathers. Paired primaries are a matching feather from each wing. Matching sections are ued for fly wings. Secondary flight feathers are also used for winging material. Other wing feathers are; Coverts, cussettes on the upper side and satinets on the under side.

Wing Materials:
Feather; Some of the most common, and by far a sample listing only of winging materials - Blackbird, Owl, Capercailzie, Crow, Coot, Wild Ducks, Jay, Guinea Fowl, Moor Hen, Pheasant, Snipe, Starling, Teal, Woodcock, Grouse, Thrush, Goose, Jungle Cock, and many more.
Hairs: include Squirrel, Woodchuck, Badger, Deer body and tail, Calf, Impala, Caribou, Polar Bear, Black Bear, Monkey, Monga, Fox, Wolf, and many more as just as few examples.
See - Materials.

Wing Pads:
Same as Wing Case. The bumps on the thorax area of nymphs.

Fly wings are usually made of feathers, but may be made of other materials as hair, floss, plastics, tinsel, fur or wool fibers. Wings are either simple or compound depending on the number of items used. Wings may vary according to positioning and structure.
See - Simple Wings, Multiple Wings, Whole Feather Wings, Mixed Wings, Built Wings, Topping Wings, Herl Wings, and Hair Wings.

Wing Slats:
In pupa imitations, refers to the wing feather sections, usually gray, placed on each side of the body. Slats are short and usually pointed downward. They simulate the half-shed, or split wing pads, and the newly forming wings of an emerger or pupa of the Caddis.

Hackle fiber.

Hair and under-fur of the Wolf are used in wet, dry and streamer flies. The long tail and guard hairs make excellent streamer wing material.

Wonder Wings:
Wonder Wings originated in the early 1920s. They are formed by reverse pulling hackle fibers and tying the tip end and pulled down fibers, with butt end up. Butt end is cut off, leaving a filigre type effect of the remainder. A pair of such make Wonder wings. Extended Mayfly bodies are made similarly.
See - Reverse Pull.

Hackles from the back and rump are light gray to light brown. Wing feathers provide grays to dark brown sections for small trout flies.

Wood Duck:
Used for both salmon and trout flies as well as some warm water flies. The barred flank feathers are rare and usually expensive and are used mainly in salmon fly dressings. The speckled flank feathers are a lemon-yellow color and are used mainly as wings and tails for trout flies. This bird is also called Summer Duck. Substitute Mandarin or dyed Mallard flank.

Wood Duck Barred:
The few brown-gray feathers on a Wood Duck which have the single or double white barring along with black barring.

Woven Body:
Process of weaving two different colors or materials on a hook shank to result in a dark top and a light bottom or to create side lines of contrasting colors. Makes a firm, strong body. Example: Bitch Creek Nymph and Sandy Mite.

Abbreviation for weight.

W.T.D or WTD:
Weighting added to fly with lead wire or lead shot applied on hook shank before forming body. Lighter weighting material can be wire or copper, silver or gold. Strips of lead also can be mounted on sides of shank to produce a flattened heavy body such as used in some nymph patterns.

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