Favorite Flytiers?

Big E

Active Member
The other day I was reading an online interview transcript and the question was asked "Who is your favorite flytier?" Since the guy being interviewed tied in the same style I enjoy, I was interested to hear his answer. This lead me to some tiers I had never heard of but am now enjoying researching and looking at their work.

So, to expand our horizons a bit, I ask you, who are your favorite flytiers and why?

For me I the first tier I really followed and enjoy tying his flies is Kelly Galloup. I also am just amazed at the skill of Pat Cohen with deer hair and wish I had a just half his talent. Someday as well, I would like to be as ingenious and successful in fly development as Dave Hise.
Contemporary - Mike Schmidt, Senyo, Steve Fernandez
Classics - Don Bastian, Dave Carne, Mike Townsend, Bob Frandsen, Mike Boyer, Darren MacEachern

I'm sure there are others, those are the few that come to mind now.
I've been learning to tie via youtube so I'm partial to Davie Mcphail and a few others that do regular videos. I also enjoy ScottP's and GAT's ties on the forum.

There's a group of SRC and beach fishermen on the forum that are some of the best in the sport. I always take note when one of them posts a pattern.


Active Member
Rick Shadforth of Port Angeles, WA because anytime he shows me a new fly he's tied I say, "you don't want this back do you" and he says "nah you can keep it".

John Gort of Port Angeles who invented the Purple Heart Fly that is given to anyone who has received a Purple Heart Medal. It is a beautiful complex fly tied by volunteer master fly tiers and delivered in a presentation box.

All the tiers who volunteer their time and talent to produce these flies.


Active Member
Have to say Bob Clouser since I took my initial tying lessons in his shop. You can't go wrong with anything Craig Mathews or Kelly Galloup ties and they make excellent tying videos. Charlie Craven shares so much insight and writes so well that I read his tying books even when I'm nowhere near a vise. Dave Whitlock deserves mention for inventing my all time favorite streamer.

Like others above, I also have to thank the many talented members of this forum. A list of names would be too long and I'd end up forgetting someone.


Like others above, I also have to thank the many talented members of this forum. A list of names would be too long and I'd end up forgetting someone.
Yup. We live in what I call the Golden Age of Fly Tying. The materials and tools we use today are so superior to what the old masters used, the patterns they tied look like crap. I know this from visiting a fly tying museum and taking a look at the flies tied by those who are household names in our world of fly fishing. They used huge thread, feathers from barnyard chickens and crummy dubbing and floss.

When it comes to Atlantic Salmon fly patterns, some of the best I've ever seen are posted on this and another flyfishing site I visit. I don't think you can tie the patterns any better than many do today.

For more than 20 years, a group of us would gather and tie flies almost every week. We called it the Thursday Night Fly Tying... regardless of the fact that we moved it to Wednesday. Many different fly tyers would come and go and many of the guys were as good as you can get. My skills are limited and what I can tie pale in comparison to the patterns some of my friends can tie.

Their names would mean nothing to you but they were excellent at fly tying. Also, the Oregon Council of the FFF holds an annual Fly Tying Expo and many of those demonstrating their skills at the Expo are fantastic fly tyers... yet I don't remember their names.

While I was writing my fly tying column, I had the privilege to meet some of the best of the best. The patterns came from all over the country. I would ask them to send me a fly for the column and then I'd need to come up with the step by step photos for tying it. This meant I had to figure out how the hell they tied it. Sometimes, I'd receive a fly and I'd need to contact them for an explanation as to how they did it.

Via the Internet, I've also met virtual friends from all over the world and have a collection of flies they've sent me. Again, excellent fly tyers.

So... attempting to come up with the names of my favorite fly tyers is damned tough because there are so many. I picked Hans because I've known him for decades (via the Internet) and his patterns are unique and I've learned much from watching his step by step videos. He likes Rene Harrop.

I honestly believe, we live in the Golden Age of Fly Tying. There are simply too many talented fly tyers out there to name them all.

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
My Dad & Jack Kallas, both superb Montana outdoorsman, now fishing "on the other side" & dearly-missed. Dad started my passion, Jack refined it.