Fly tying: Why use a rotary vise?

I’ve been tying (well, some would call it that, anyway) for a good 20 years, and while I tie generally for necessity and a bit of the pleasure that keeps me connected to fly fishing on days like today, when it’s all of 9 degrees outside, I’m not terribly accomplished at the vise. But I … Read more

Fly Tying: The Yellow Humpy

My favorite backcountry attractor dry fly might be the venerable humpy. Tied in yellow or red (or even “royal” fashion), the Humpy is a high-floating dry fly that imitates a host of bugs, from larger mayflies to caddis, but doesn’t exactly resemble anything in particular. It just looks buggy. Video of Yellow Humpy And backcountry … Read more

Fly tying: Jig hooks and slotted beads

I’m seeing more jig hooks on shelves in fly shops than I ever have before. For a while, I thought maybe it was just a fad … a passing trend. But it appears, because of the effectiveness of jig hooks used in nymph patterns, the hooks and the slotted beads that go with them are … Read more

Trout Tips: Keep false casts off target

Editor’s note: The following is exerpted from TU’s book, “Trout Tips,” available online for overnight delivery. False casts are free, and they’re great for helping you measure out and judge distance. But they also spook fish. Several years ago, I stopped false casting directly over my target and started moving my false casts a little … Read more

Fly tying: Micro Egg

Here’s one for you patient fly tiers who don’t mind small hooks and like the minutia that goes into some of these tiny patterns. For me, the term “tiny” starts at about size 18. The size 22 hook used in the pattern below? That falls into the “impossilbe” category for this ham-handed tier. Oh, and … Read more

Trout Tips: Organize by season

Editor’s note: The following is experpted from TU’s book, “Trout Tips,” available for overnight delivery. Organize your fly boxes by the time of year. Yes, BWOs and Adamses can go in any box, but rarely do I ever find the need to use a Hendrickson (light or dark) after I use a terrestrial. Early season … Read more

Fly tying: Micro Caddis Larva

Tiny flies are the bane of my fly-tying existence, so when I come across a small pattern that is actually easy to tie, I tend to pay attention. And, this time of year on the West’s wild rivers and tailwaters, tiny flies are often the name of the game. Video of Micro Caddis Larva Above, … Read more

Trout Tips: Do new anglers a favor

Editor’s note: The following is exerpted from TU’s book, “Trout Tips,” available online for overnight delivery. As somebody who has covered fishing for more than 25 years, I have realized, hopefully not too late, that I relied too heavily on the people I was writing about. Too often, I let them tie the knots, pick … Read more

Fly tying: Zelon Musk Midge

If you’re like me, any pattern that calls for a size 24 hook is a pattern best left to the experts. Tim Flagler’s Zelon Musk Midge is a prime example. Video of Zelon Musk Midge This might be the simplest midge pattern I’ve ever seen. It consists of two ingredients in addition to the thread, … Read more

Fly tying: Ribbing a fly

Fly ribbing is not only a great way to “segment” a nymph body, but, as Tim Flagler points out below, it’s a great way to protect delicate materials, like peacock herl. Video of How to Rib a Fly and Why I tie a few nymphs with wire ribbing, and even add wire to simple streamers, … Read more