6 tips for tying better flies (and doing it faster, too)


This brook trout slurped up a mangled Booby fly (visible on far right)


The one problem with studying ready-made flies from shops or magazines is that they look so darn perfect. But the fish care a lot less about this than you do. Think about it: We’ve all got a few beloved flies that seem to work better after getting a little beaten up. There’s a lesson there. I’m no pro tier, but I occasionally sell a few of my specialty flies to acquaintances. When I’m tying on commission, I only include my very best examples. I don’t scrap the ones that are less than perfect, however. Instead, I fish those factory seconds myself. And believe me, I wouldn’t do that if they didn’t work.