Skills: Counter-wrapping intelligence

Fly tying is always an exercise in patience, at least for me. While I enjoy tying flies, I’m good for about a half-dozen at a time. Then I get antsy. So, the less time I spend at the vise and the more time I spend actually fishing the flies I tie is important to me. That’s why I’m always on the prowl for tips and tricks to make my flies more durable. The longer they last, the more I get to fish.

Here, Tim Flagler demonstrates a great way to make flies more durable on the water simply by counter-wrapping delicate materials with thread, wire or tinsel—the criss-cross pattern helps strengthen fibers like peacock herl or saddle hackle, and keeps them from unwinding. It’s a simple step at the vise that might take a minute or two at most. Compare that with the time spent changing successful flies because a few too many trout teeth have bitten into your fly. It’s totally worth the extra effort.

— Chris Hunt

By Chris Hunt.