Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fly Tying,

Where do you draw your inspiration from for flytying. Do you scour through magazines for fly patterns, or the many books available to flytyers these days, or does it come from the internet, via blogs, websites, flyshops, forums, ect... Over the last 10 years there have been many great names associated with fly tying. Vince Wilcox, Mike Mercer, Renee Harop, John Barr, Charlie Craven, Scott Sanchez, and others. Lets not forget to mention our friends from across the pond. Paul Whillock, Steve Thorton, Oliver Edwards, and some of the up and comers. is a great way to meet and see some of the patterns that are coming from across the pond, down under, South of the boarder and our own backyard. There are a ton of fly fishing forums popping up on the internet with sub forums leading to flytying.

I was recently asked where does a fly tyer get some of the materials to tie patterns from European tyers. So I have decided to put a little list here of web sites to acquire materials to tie the Czech Nymph, Realistic Golden Stone, Caddis, ect...

The first site here is out of California and is run by Steve Korbay. His website is
He specializes in realistic materials from a company called Virtual Nymph. Virtual Nymph has a bunch of products for the realistic tyer. Some of the products that Steve offers on his website are Japanese Nymph Legs, Nymph Skin, Porcupine Quills, Realistic Caddis, Stonefly and Stoneclinger Wings, and Freestone Caddis coating. He also specializes in Czech Nymph products from Jan Siman products from the Czech Republic and some of those materials are the Magic Shrimp Foils, Czech Nymph Dubbing, Skalka and Knapek hooks, dubbing brushs, flat lead, and Oliver Edwards Caddis Legs. Steve has a great site and is quick in turning your orders around.

The next site is out of the Czech Republic and they specialize in Czech Nymph products carrying Hends products, Klima products, Hanak Hooks, and Air Fishing. If you are confused about the currency exchange, don't be, they have a currency exchange rate changer for the current day built into their site, so if you are buying in Euros, dollars, and pounds, it will show you todays current rate. Since you will be ordering from Czech Republic, don't expect to get your products super fast. The usual turn time is about 3 weeks. But they offer some neat materials from body glass(similar to our larva lace, magic stretch, d-rib, and micro tubing), Body Quills, dubbings, backside foils (like magic shrimp foil), Live body(like nymph skin) and various other products.

This next site is Jan Siman from the Czech Republic as well.
And his offerings are for Czech nymph products from the Magic Shrimp Foils, Czech Hooks, dubbing brushes, dubbing, and various other tying materials as well. They too have a currency conversion calculator built into their site so you know what your paying for your products at the time of checking out. They are also shipping from the Czech Republic so expect your goods in about 3 weeks after placing your order.

Now for some of the American materials that are we are all accustomed to, Wapsi, Hareline and Spirit River found in almost all American shops across the states. I don't think I need to go into detail about their offerings since they are readily available in all most all shops here in the U.S.

Now some of the magazines that are dedicated to flytying. The first one is Hatches which released its first issue this past fall with a new issue due out this fall. Hatches is from the website and the magazine offers fresh water, saltwater and warm water tying.

Next is the Fly Tyer which has been around for a long time that is dedicated to flytying of all kinds. Fly Tyer offers easy to hard patterns for the home flytyer to experiment with. It is published 4 times a year and has both U.S. based and European tyers submitting patterns to the magazine.

Next is the Flyfishing and Tying Journal from Amato publishing and has been around for sometime as well. The magazine is really well done and is not like the other fly fishing magazines hotspotting places to fish, but goes in a different direction offering styles of fishing, how to fly fish and flytying. There is usually about a 2 dozen different flies in each issue, which is nice to see some of the patterns being developed. They offer new patterns and old standbys. They also have from time to time flytying contest of certain patterns and fly tyers from across the globe submit patterns to this little contest. And from this contest there was a book published on Patent Patterns that shows flies tied from various tyers across the globe. A really good source of fly tying patterns for all levels of flytyers.

Some books that are coming from Europe is Listen to the River and Flytyers of the World by Steve Thornton. Listen to the River is Steve's own patterns that he has come up with. The photos and description of step by step on some really interesting patterns are available in his two different volumes with a third volume coming soon. Another project Steve has been working on is a Fly Tyers of the world books. A four volume series of books bring you some of the worlds best flytyers. Volume 1 is out now and volume 2 is due out any day now, with 3 and 4 following later this year and next. This book series is done very well and should not be overlooked, because it will offer the insight into some of the worlds best flytyers.

Now jumping back to stateside I am going to offer up Charlie Cravens Fly Box. Charlie Craven opened up a really nice fly shop in Old Towne Arvada a few years back and is becoming known as one of the best flyshops in the country. Not just for the Great customer service that Charlie, Greg and Ross give on a daily basis but for the Flytying tutorial's Charlie has up on his website of step by step patterns from Charlie, Greg, John Barr and others. He has a 145 pattens up on his site and is adding more patterns as time permits. Charlie also has a book that is hitting shelves any day now called Charlie Craven's Basic Fly tying. The book will have 17 popular nymph, dry and streamer flies with over a 1000 photos to boot. This book will become a collectors item because it covers flytying fundamentals, tools, materials and techniques to tie a wide range of patterns. I expect the photos to pop off the pages like another book that Charlie spent some time tying and taking photos for, which has already become a collector book in flytying circles John Barr's book Barr's Flies.

Now for the best reference books out there to date come from the minds of Ted Leeson and Jim Schollmeyer called The Fly Tier's Benchside Reference and The Benchside Introduction to Flytying. For folks that have been tying flies for a long time the Fly Tie'r Benchside Reference should be on your desk to consult when you need to learn a move or how to tie some material a certain way. This book is the best book out there on how to help!!!. For new Tier's the Introduction book is great resource to help you begin and learn your way into the art of fly tying.

There are hundreds of books dedicated to the art of flytying and I have only listed a few that I think are very valuable resources for the flytyer and should be used as much as possible to help you expand on your knowledge of flytying.

Over the course of time I hope to expand on some of the other books, resources, websites, patterns, and flytyers available to us the fly tyer to help us become better fly tyers and experiment with different patterns.

Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoyed this segment of Life on the Fly.

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