The winter months are prime time for hitting the vice and filling the fly boxes for the coming season.
While we live in an area where it’s possible to fish year-round, many people don’t. Even with the possibility of fishing, the winter months are a prime time for us to start working on refilling our fly boxes for the coming season and experiment with some new patterns.
Books are a great resource for fly tying and getting some ideas flowing. One of the more thorough ones is Dave Hughes’ Trout Flies: The Tier’s Reference – step-by-step instructions for tying all kinds of fly patterns (nymphs, midges, some streamers, mayflies, caddisflies, attractors, terrestrials – the whole gamut). It’s one that gets pulled off the shelf a few times during the winter, sometimes just to leaf through and other times to use as a reference while experimenting with a pattern.
There is a wealth of information available on the internet as well from a variety of tiers. Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions has some of the most helpful step-by-step videos out there, where there are explanations given for why things are being tied a certain way. Brian Wise (Fly Fishing the Ozarks) also has some good videos focused mostly on tying streamers, and Gunnar Brammer (Brammer’s Custom Flies) also has informative step-by-step videos of some of his patterns. (Brammer’s two-part video on articulating flies is very informative!) A few other really helpful online video resources are Fly Fish Food, In the Riffle, Schultz Outfitters, and Blue Ribbon Flies.
One of the most helpful things when tying flies (whether it’s experimenting with a few or getting ready to tie a dozen or more) is to have an organized tying area. If you’re in need of some suggestions on how to best organize your things, here are a few other helpful articles on prepping your tying station for a session:
- Starting Fly Tying Season Off Right (Gink and Gasoline)
- 12 Ways to Tie Better Flies Faster (Deneki Outdoors)
- Where the Heck is My Bobbin? The Messy Fly Tyers Guide to Organizing Fly Tying Materials (Flymen Fishing Company)
- Speed-Tying Tips from the Pros (Field & Stream)