Fly Tying

I have been tying flies since 1994. I started mainly because I did not like the flies I could buy, especially the light gauge wire hooks store bought flies had. I hated hooks opening up on when playing a fish, so wanted to be able to choose my own hooks.

For this reason I use Kamasan hooks with heavy gauge wire. The B110, B175 & B200 are the hooks I use for almost all of my trout flies. They are heavy gauge wire and I can not remember the last time one opened on a fish.

Sight fishing also taught me about the need to get the fly to the fish first cast, and know the depth each fly would sink to in different currents. Being able to tie my own flies allowed me to control the weight of each pattern and have a consistent sink rate. Sight fishing informed a lot of my fly tying – fish do not really seem to care about if the fly is perfect, as long as it looks and presents roughly like food. This is why the Hare & Copper is my favourite fly and the fly that catches the most fish for me.

The other major influence on my fly tying is being seriously colour blind. I cannot tell the difference between reds, greens & browns which is an evolutionary advantage for fly tying. I do not have the capacity to doubt if I have the right colour fly on, so colour is taken out of the equation. I know if I can get the fly to the fish at the right level in the water first cast I will hook it. The pattern matters a little, the size matters a lot, and the colour does not matter much at all.

My fly tying reflects the underlying philosophy I have with flies. I want a fly that looks like food, always presents the right way and always presents at the right level in the water column. Get these things right, and have a fly that is quick to tie and it will end up in my fly box. As a minimalist fly fisherman I do not carry a lot of flies, and it does not affect my ability to catch fish.

This section includes reviews on fly tying gear, patterns, and a series of posts on my Koura design. The Koura posts will explain more of my tying philosophy, and this is extended into the series of posts on High Energy Potential flies.