Economical Fly Tying

The first Fly Tying Night in America is tonight (Wednesday 1/13) at Headhunters Fly Shop. It’s the season for fly tying and I wanted to share an idea that has been on my mind lately regarding economy in fly tying.

First off, let me say that each person should tie whatever the hell makes ’em happy. That said, it seems there is an increasing trend towards tying complex flies that use a bunch of esoteric materials. The principal of economy suggests that if a fly is going to incorporate an additional material, there should be a good reason for doing so. This principal is also economical on the wallet for the new fly tyer since tying flies with fewer materials costs less money.

Below you’ll see five patterns of nymphs, dries, and streamers. Each recipe only uses three materials in addition to the thread and hook. Despite using materials economically, these flies are all extremely effective. If you fish the Missouri a lot, you’ve probably tried at least 75% of the patterns shown below.

If you’re a new fly tyer, give some thought to building your tying repertoire with some of these patterns. You’ll save money. You’ll have some effective flies. You’ll learn some critical skills that will serve you later if you choose to start tying fancier flies in the future. If you’ve been tying for awhile, tying more economically might be worth remembering at times.

If you want to try tying some of the patterns listed below, Headhunters sells Just Add Vise kits for the Grape Slushy, Zebra Midge, Buzzball, Foxee Clouser, and Kreelex as well as a bunch of other proven patterns. Each kit provides materials to tie two dozen flies. You’ll have some materials left over.

L to R: Zebra Midge, Grape Slushy, Tailwater Sow Bug, Jemstoner Worm, Pat's Rubber Leg Stone.

L to R: Zebra Midge, Grape Slushy, Tailwater Sow Bug, Jemstoner Worm, Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone.


L to R: Two Wing Trico Spinner, Quigley's Glitter Ant Flag, Sparkle Dun, Weilenmann's CDC and Elk, Buzzball.

L to R: Two Wing Trico Spinner, Quigley’s Glitter Ant Flag, Sparkle Dun, Weilenmann’s CDC and Elk, Buzzball.


L to R: Simi Leech, Clouser Minnow, Coyote Clouser, Kraft's Kreelex, Mini Sculpin.

L to R: Simi Leech, Clouser Minnow, Coyote Clouser, Kraft’s Kreelex, Mini Sculpin.

Happy tying. The first Fly Tying Night in America of the 2016 year is tonight (1/13). The next one will be held on Wednesday, January 27th.

 

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