Thank you for your interest in fly tying and checking out the beginner fly tying Series.  This series is perfect for you if you are new to fly tying and want to learn How to Tie Flies.

This Blog post can be thought of as a lesson plan.  Within this blog post, there will be videos, text and action items to walk you step by step through learning to tie flies.

Wet will walk through the basics in fly tying including a quick introduction video, talk about basic tools, show you how to setup your tying space, cover the basic materials for tying our first fly, and then get more general into the categories of flies.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1:  Introduction to the Course

Chapter 2:  Basic Fly Tying Tools

Chapter 3:  Setting up Your Fly Tying Space

Chapter 4:  How to Tie Flies – Basic Fly Tying Materials

Chapter 5:  How to Tie Flies – Categories of Flies

Chapter 6:  How to Tie Flies – Module 1 Summary and Action Items


How to Tie Flies – Introduction to the Course

Click here to watch the Introduction Video to this Fly Tying Series


We are going to start out slow and work our way step by step until you feel comfortable tying flies. If you have any questions throughout this process, you can email me at

If you already have your tools then some of this will be repetition but you can at least meet me today.

how to tie flies

You can also send me photos of your patterns as we go through the course and I can provide direct feedback on how to improve.

Just send me a message with “Fly Tying Class” in the subject line.

Much of the step by step content that follows, easily walks you through the process.

If you haven’t checked out the Wet Fly Swing Podcast, I wanted to share a great resource where we had an entire season 4 focused on interviewing great fly tying guests.

Click here to listen to the Wet Fly Swing Podcast

wet fly swing


Coaching calls are my way to assure everyone is learning effectively.  I have received feedback from students that this is one of the highlights of the course.

Click here to add your name to an upcoming one on one coaching call with me.

(just type “coaching” in the subject line of the email.)

So, let’s dig into this today to get you ready to tie flies!



Ch. 2 – How to Tie Flies – Basic Fly Tying Tools

Do you have your fly tying gear? Here is a list of basic gear to get you started. Each item below, if clicked, will link you to an associated item where you can buy this product.

If you would like to find a vise that is under $50 then click the link above and send me a message and I’ll help you out.


Click here to watch the basic fly tying tools video:



#1 Vise – There is a wide range of types and prices of vises. You can pay anywhere from $20 up to $500 and more for a vise. The basic task a vise does is hold your hook. fly tying vise

Click on this link to see one vise that I have used before that is in the $150 range.  If you would like to get a vise for under $100 then this is a good option:  Griffin Vise here.

An additional feature that many of the more expensive vises have is the ability to rotate.  This is very helpful for some fly patterns.



#2 Scissors – There are many different types of fly tying scissors, but the main thing in common with most of them is a very fine point. fly tying mouseHere is a pair of scissors that I have used before.  You may also want to get another pair of cheaper scissors that you can use for cutting wire and such that would dull your good scissors.




#3 Bobbin – The bobbin is the tool that holds your thread as you tie the fly. fly tying bobbinThere are many quality bobbins out there at a very low cost. Here’s one that is a high quality and should last for years.


#4 Thread – I am putting in thread within the tools section here because it is a requirement and doesn’t have to change much from fly to tying thread

Here’s a link to Uni-thread which I have used for years.  8/0 works for most trout flies and 6/0 for bigger patterns.

You’ll be able to tie your first fly in the series solely with these tools plus the materials I’ll show you later on.

Here are a few additional items that you will likely need as you get into fly tying.


#5 Hackle Pliers – Hackle pliers are very helpful especially when using smaller materials. They allow you to grab the hackles as you turn the feather over the body of the fly.hackle pliers


#6 Hair Stacker – A hair stacker is useful when trying to even out wing materials from deer, elk or other natural hair stacker






#7 Dubbing Wax – Dubbing wax is used when adding dubbing to your thread. dubbing waxThis wax adds a sticky substance to your thread and helps to keep the dubbing material on your thread.






#8 Head Cement – After finishing off your fly and head, this cement will secure the head of the fly down for the rest of it’s days.head cement






#9 Bodkin – It is used to place the head cement on your fly and is helpful in “picking out” hair material from your flies.bodkin

That is the main tool list to get you started.  If you think you’re are ready to go all in, you can click on the links above to purchase from our affiliate partners (we get a small commission if you purchase through those links but you do not get charged extra).

I’ve got a few more things for you this week. First, I would like you to fill out a quick survey to help me understand a little about your history.

Click here to fill out the 45 second survey.


Ch. 3 – How to Tie Flies – Setting up Your Fly Tying Area

Click here and watch this video on setting up your fly tying space:

The setup and organization of your fly tying area will be important.  Try to find a dedicated area where you can leave your gear setup.  This will make it much easier to keep tying regularly.

Here is a popular magnifier for those challenged with site like me: Magnifying lens with Clamp



Ch. 4 – How to Tie Flies – Basic Fly Tying Materials

Click here to watch the Basic Fly Tying Materials video:

The Wooly Bugger will be the first fly I’ll walk you through so I want you to make sure to grab the materials so you are ready to go in the next week.

You can click through an purchase these materials via Amazon or check in with me for other sources of materials.


Materials for the Wooly Bugger 

Black Marabou:

The tail is usually the first thing that is tied in on a fly.  Click this link to get black marabou. 


This video will give you a breakdown on marabou:


Saddle Hackle

You then will tie in the hackle after palmering it.  You can purchase the material here:  Black Saddle Hackle

saddle hackle

Kelly Galloup breaks down some information on choosing the right hackle here:


Black Chenille

Black Chenille is the body material used for the woolly bugger.  Click here to get a roll of chenille.


Peter Charles shares some information on choosing body material here:


Fly Tying Hooks

Hooks – I will be using a Umpqua 3x long for the demo but the Mustad R74 size 8 is a very similar hook.   You can grab a box of hooks here if you need extras.  Make sure to get 3X long streamer hooks.

Here’s Peter again with a little hook tutorial:


Thread70 Denier Ultra thread is my normal goto.  You can pick up a spool of it here:  Ultra Thread.

Kelly breaks down threads here:


Kelly Breaks down some more on the woolly bugger here:



Ch. 5 – How to Tie Flies – Categories of Flies

Click here to watch the Categories of Flies Video:

Categories of Flies:

There are the four main categories of flies that we will cover in this course:

Streamers – We’ll be tying a spruce fly later to demonstrate an easy and effective streamer pattern. The spruce is an old school streamer pattern.  There are many more common modern streamers that you can find on the Wet Fly Swing Podcast

Here’s an example of some of the more modern streamers:


Dry Flies – You will start off with an elk hair caddis to learn about dry flies but there are so many different types that we won’t even come close to covering them all.

Here’s a video on one way to tie a parachute winged fly pattern:


Nymphs – I will be showing you how to tie a stonefly later in this course.  For now, let’s start thinking about what nymphs you might be using.

Here’s a quick video from Tim Flagler on the Frenchie:


Wet Fly – Wet flies aren’t as common as some of the other types, but can be just as effective.

Specialty Pattens – We will cover warmwater, salt water and steelhead and salmon in a final chapter in the course.

Ch. 6 – Conclusion – Module 1 Summary and Action Items

Click here to watch the Module 1 Summary video with Action Items:



  1. Get the 4 basic tools lined up so you will be ready to tie a fly next week. You can click on the links above to grab all of the tools for this course.
  2. Setup your fly tying area so you are organized and ready to go.
  3. Get the materials you need to tie the first fly in our course.
  4. Make a list of the flies you are interested in tying or types of fly fishing you plan on doing.
  5. Click on this link to take the short survey and help me guide the course.
  6. If you are interested in free personalized coaching for free, click here and I’ll help you get started.

That’s all I have for you today.  Be ready for your next email that will be coming soon with the next module.  This module will walk you through tying the woolly bugger.

You’ve got to get started today.  You’ve got to take action to make this a reality.  Let’s do this together right now!

You can subscribe to the Youtube channel so you don’t miss the next video here:

Subscribe on youtube here to get updated when the next video drops!

After you complete this Module #1 you can take a look at and start Module 2 at the link below:

Module 2 – Basic Fly Tying Technique