Fly tying by the numbers--Do this!

I will not give the Canadian website out of respect to Chris, but they pulled something off up there the other day as I was browsing that was near incredible. Allow me to detail this.

1. Two of the world's best tyers got into it (almost a contest with one trying to outdo the other) with both camera and vise.
2. They would break down the tying of different flies by the numbers such as you often see in books. Picture #1 would show the thread being applied along with the tail, maybe some wire, flash (these would be detailed below the pic, e.g. size and color of thread, color of maraboo if used and anything else including the size and number of the hook. Then pic #2 would show the body and thorax being tied along with details; #3 would deal with the front, head ,hackle and whatever. No. 4 would show the finished fly.

Man, this was cool! People kept chimming in as to the fact that this was the best thread yet and you could hear the bookmarks being slammed on all the way down to my war room.

I would illustrate but I have some issues. One, I am not that hot of a tyer.
I do have a digital camera with tripod and blue (that proved to be the best color) background card. But I don't know how to get something off of my vise and on to this site easily. I know its just clicks but I don't know which clicks. Would someone give this a run? Just show a fly, any fly, being tied by you in steps with the photos detailing the steps.

They said they would never tell anybody where to fish but they would tell anybody how to fish. So they didn't mind detailing their favorite flies and man there were some beauties. My printer ran most of the night.

Bob, the I know we can stand up to them, particularly with spey flies but they did show just what excellent fly tiers they are. And the flies, all of them will be in my box (at least three each) because I can tell a hot fly when I see one. That's why I carry over a thousand instead of a few dozen outstanding numbers (lol).
If you have noticed in the gallery we have many excellent tiers. The photos that are being taken by the swapmiesters and others are very high quality. Almost all the the flies have recipes that are easy to follow. If I have difficulty in understanding or need tips on how to tie or what materials to use I just PM the tyer and they respond. Just last week I used a swap fly of Randy Dieferts it was a great fish getter! I couldn't figure out some of the materials and methods so I contacted Randy. Not only did he share his tying and fishing techniques but he sent another couple of flies as patterns AND samples of all the materials he used so I could buy what I needed. :thumb: :thumb:
You don't have to outsource to a foreign country to get great fly patterns and techniques all you need is right here on this board. Besides you wont have to learn to speak Canadien, EH. :rofl: :rofl:
Jesse Clark

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Jesse, what he's talking about is doing step by step tutorials for fly tying. Basically it shows you how to tie a certain pattern from start to finish. I've done almost 3 dozen tutorials. Problem is, server that hosted it flushed the pics. :( So most are gone I believe. So may have to go through most and re do.

Will add, it is a ROYAL pain in the butt to do. It's not easy. Takes some time to do. I only did salmon/steelhead flies though. No trout. Been doing this for about 2 years (since I've been off work hurt). Takes some time, then resizing pics. Checking for clarity. I want to make a picture box so all pics look alike (hard to do if you resetup ever time with the fly and lights). But can be done.
What I am trying to do is to NOT outsource fly tying techniques but to have our own. Our gallery shows the finished fly but does not go through the tricky moves. When you see what Jerry and I are talking about , you will understand.
Get well,
I knew exactly what you are talking about. The smilies provided don't have a tongue in cheek icon.
jesse, haven't felt better, clark


Active Member
Jeez Jerry- that sucks !!!!

I back all my pics up on an internet server now to safeguard them. :ray1: Actually I send the discs to my son who uses his business' super fast connection to upload them. Would take me weeks at 28.8 Just one disc, :rofl:

I'll break down one day and take pics of each step of some of my flies--just been too lazy.Like to do with my movie cam with stop action. Ofcourse, with a fly such as in my avatar that would be about 25 pictures , hmmm?. It would be cool if it was easy easy and could do it all the time. thanks BobL. :thumb:

I'll second what Davy said.

I sometimes take 15-20 pictures just to get one decent one of the final fly. To have to take pictures, upload them, and make sure I have a decent one for every step of the fly would be a nightmare. Heck, that Akroyd I posted took almost 3 hours of tying to get it close to right. Granted, it was my first time attempting a Dee pattern, so it would likely take less to do it again. Butt, tail, tail veil, ostrich, rib, hackle, dubbed body, ostrich, rib, hackle, dubbed body, throat, cheeks, wing, and finished fly... That would be 15 pictures (times 10 attempts at least to get a decent one) and would certainly (and significantly) increase tying time.

I guess if I set up a fly studio, it might be easier, but I don't really have the need for that. I guess if you were tying a bunch, you could stop several at different stages, then do all the pictures at once, but for a tying single fly, that's a bunch of extra work.

All that said, if someone has a question about a particular technique, I would be happy to help (even taking pictures of steps if that's what is required). I think that as you tie more, all you really need is the list (recipe) of materials. Most folks list them in the order they need to be tied in anyway.


Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Well, I had them backed up. But I had JUST bought a zip drive to store all the pics on when the computer crashed. So between the online storage and my computer storage (two storage spots) I lost them all. Think I may have a couple discs I put them on, but gotta find them (just floppies, not zips, didn't get that far). But hopefully we'll see.
That's good Wes, but the ones I utilize the most have a picture followed by written instructions for each picture. I'm still a struggling amateur after 3+ years of tying & I must say that these step-by-step instructions w/pictures are the media that I find most helpful in learning to tie. I'd love to see something like this on the site. I do currently visit other sites frequently for no other reason than these tying instructions/pics. It's helped me figure out how a lot of flies are put together to the point where I don't need the pics too often anymore. Another thing I've discovered is that a lot of people tie the same fly a lot of different ways. By using this type of step-by-step instructions and photos, I've found different ways to tie some bugs that I like a whole lot better than the way I originally learned.

I say, for this idea....thumbs up. :thumb:


New Member
That's how I normally do mine as well. I followed this up with an IM to Bob which included a link to how I normally do them.

I've asked Chris how to annotate attachments or how to place images in posts as other than attachments on this site.

Anyone else have any input on the image thing. I haven't really taken much time to explore the options this software offers.

If you havent picked up a copy of "Essential Trout Flies" by Dave Hughes I would suggest it strongly. It has exactly what Bob was talking about, step by step instructions with pictures to match. 31 different fly patterns, and six variations for each. I got mine for christmas...but the list price on the back is for $20.
Good resource for the novice to intermediate fly tyer.

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