The rules for tailing wet flies are much the
same as for nymph tailing - there aren't many.
In fact, the doors open even wider. Yarn
segments, dyed goose, duck quill segments,
and anything else you might find are often used.
Many traditional wet flies have no tail.
If you use wool or acrylic yarn as tailing on any
wet fly or nymph, I suggest that you separate the
yarn into its three or four cords that usually make
up the yarn itself. Use one of them, and when you
tie it in, start at a point behind the hook eye that
is equal to the distance of two or three hook eyes.
Spiral-wrap the tying thread over the yarn segment
all the way to the bend, then clip it to the desired
length. Split the single strand on very small flies.
Starting the tie-down at this point will provide the
room for finishing off the thorax and any throat or
hackle collar and still allow room for the head. It
also results in a nice level underbody on the fly. At
the end, always use your scissors to round off the
sharp edges of the clipped-off yarn. ~ AK
Credits: This tying tip is from
Production Fly Flying, Second
Edition by A.K. Best, published by Pruett
Publishing Company, Boulder, Colorado. We
appreciate use permission.
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