Advice Needed: Hosting Fly Tying Contest

Hi All,

I looking for some advice on materials for a fly tying contest I'm putting together for this month's meeting of the Fourth Corner Fly Fishers in Bellingham (and, as long as I'm at it, I'll add an invitation to attend if you're interested -- PM me for details). The twist is that I am looking for suggestions of unusual materials to add. The contest is going to be organized like the cooking show 'Chopped!' -- in each round each tyer will get a bag of materials that they are required to use in their fly. The bag will have a few normal items and a couple of unusual items. Tyers will also have access to a table with a selection of other standard materials. Flies will be judged on the most creative use of the bag of 'ingredients'.

So, what kinds of ideas do you have for the unusual items? I'll get you started with a few of my ideas: a barbie doll head, a piece of costume jewelry, a pack of twist ties, little army men, etc. I plan to hit a craft store, a dollar store, a pet store, etc. and just wander the aisles looking for inspiration.

Thanks in advance for your crazy thoughts! :)


Active Member
while on a tropical island where the local fishermen didnt have access to lures or much materials (and even if they did have access they couldn't afford them), i saw massive king fish and tarpon being caught on lures made with discarded aluminum paper found in cigarette packets.

Mike Cline

Fly Fishing Guerilla
This is a great idea and sounds like fun.

It could be interesting to throw in some wacky hooks to tie on. Maybe large or tiny trebles, those rubber worm hooks with the sharp bends towards to eyes, etc...
Sevgeral years ago we did a Christmas Wrap swap. There were some very interesting ties though some "cheated" a bit by adding some regular materials. It was a gas and the flies ended up pretty cool.
Thanks for all the ideas guys! The contest was last night and it was a riot! I ended up hitting the dollar store for lots of good, crazy ideas. We had five tyers and each of them brought a few left overs from their own stashes. These all went into a grab bag that everyone could use. We had two each round the tyers could pick three 'regular' items from the grab bag and then they received their 'special' items. The first round had a barbie doll, a bathtub scrubby thing and a xmas ornament thing with fake holly beads, a small bird and lots of glitter. The second round had a musical xmas necktie, a party horn complete with a bead chain strap, and a box of Playtex tampons. The tyers were asked to name their flies...and the best name in round two was the PMS ;-)