It happens to even the best when fly tying. Right in the
middle of tying a fly, something goes wrong. Either the
thread breaks, or something comes loose, or misaligned (or
shifts out of place). The question comes to mind, "Can
this fly be saved?"
Thread will break when you least expect it, or desire it.
Could be there is a weakness or a fault in that section of
thread, or you nicked the thread on the point of the hook,
or the thread was frayed or twisted. I have over the years
started to half hitch as I complete each step of the fly
construction. In computer jargon, this would be called a
"Restore Point," a point that you can return to, to go
forward again. Everything done before the "Restore Point"
has been saved. The only work that has to be redone is the
last segment you are working on now.
Most half-hitch tools may not give you access to the rear portion
of the hook. Otherwise the half-hitch tool is too small diameter
to fit over the material previously laid on the hooks shank.
A good homemade half-hitch tool is a plastic pen with the
insides removed. If you enlarge the end of the pen, then
you will have access to all points of the hook shank. Just
unwrap the damaged part, back to the "Restore Point," tie in
the thread and start over from that point.
A Half-Hitch at every step of the flies construction will
prevent disaster if the thread breaks. Doing "Restore Points"
helps reduce "When Bad Things Happen" at your tying bench.
~ Steven H. McGarthwaite
Please check out the Fly Tying Section, on the Bulletin Board, here at FAOL too.
If you have any questions, tips, or techniques; send them to