9 EASY FLIES TO TIE WHILE SOCIAL DISTANCING
By: Matt Kelsic | March 30, 2020
Tying flies is a great way to pass some time and get excited for the summer. It is also a great way to connect with your local fishing community. While everyone is hunkering down check online and social media for instructional videos as well as fun ways to connect with other tiers who are spinning up some great bugs and giving some great pointers
These are just some of the patterns that we like to fish in the spring and early summer (year round for that matter). There are plenty of variations of each of these to match your local waters. These flies range in difficulty and are great patterns to learn a lot of techniques that will translate to the techniques needed for other patterns. Aside from the links with instructions, be sure to call your local fly shop to get stocked up on materials and ask questions. Also, the materials that can be bought from the local shops tends to be much better quality than the big box stores (feathers in particular). While their retail operations are modified for a little while, many have online stores and are willing to set stuff outside if you call in an order.
This is a great baitfish imitation that works well for trout and for bass. Great movement and profile that big fish find irresistible. This one can be a bit complicated with managing the amount of material you use, so if you’re just learning it might be a tough place to start.
This is a great streamer pattern that can be adjusted to match anything from baitfish to damselfly nymphs. It is a tried and true standby that should be in everyones’ repertoire. This is also a great fly to learn and practice some of the basics of fly tying.
PAT’S RUBBER LEGS
Springtime and early summer are primetime for stoneflies across the West and you’d be hard pressed to find a guide without some Pat’s Rubber Legs in their box. It is another great fly to learn on.
This is a classic nymph that is a local favorite here in the Roaring Fork Valley. It has qualities that mimic stoneflies, mayflies, and caddis nymphs and can be tied with a whole slew of variations that give it all sorts of applications. It isn’t the easiest fly to tie but a great one to know nonetheless.
This is foam attractor fly that works really well for adult stoneflies that start to hatch in the late spring and early summer. It is another one of those really popular “guide flies” that is pretty simple to tie, floats really well, and is durable.
This is a classic dry fly that everyone should learn to tie. Everything from the early spring baetis and midge hatches to the bigger drake hatches on the early summer can be mimicked with this fly in the right size and color. It is pretty simple to tie and if you want a challenge try tying it parachute style or with Wulff style wings.
This fly is another staple for trout fisherman everywhere. It mimics mayfly nymphs and can be tied plain, beaded, with flash, with soft hackle (personal favorite), and in a range of sizes that will work year round.
ELK HAIR CADDIS
This fly is one of those that marks the start of the fishing season with large hatches of caddis in May throughout many drainages across the country. This fly is a great introduction to working with elk or deer hair, which is a great skill for many patterns large and small. Other than that it is a pretty simple tie and a very effective fly for the coming months.
SAN JUAN WORM
This fly has a love and hate relationship within the fly fishing community but what isn’t controversial is its effectiveness or ease to tie. This is the first fly many folks learn to tie because it is really easy and it works.
Other Resources For Tiers:
- “Just Add Vise” series from Headhunters Fly Shop in Craig, MT. These kits have everything you need to tie a wide range of flies and can be shipped right to your door if you aren’t lucky enough to be in Craig at the moment.
- Charlie’s Fly Box is a great site and shop that has a ton of step by step instructions for a whole range of flies from trout to saltwater patterns.
- Fly Fish Food is another great site with some more modern and innovative patterns as well as a great shop for materials.
Be sure to check in with your local shop, fishing club, or TU Chapter once things start to get back to normal and surely there is at least one night a month where folks get together to tip a few and tie some flies. This will be a great way to help out the local bars and restaurants get back up and running too.
In the meantime, get outside and fish your freshly tied flies while practicing appropriate “social distancing” – shouldn’t be a problem because you don’t want to fish on top of each other anyways. Fooling a fish with a fly that you have tied is truly one of the most rewarding experiences in fly fishing.
Tag us on Instagram and Facebook with what you come up with, we’d love to see what people are spinning up. Also, if you are a tier that posts videos on YouTube, tag us (Boulder Boat Works) so that we can share your stuff.