s

Flymen Blog

Fly Tying Video: The Shrimp & Cray Tail Faux Shrimp



Learn to tie this next-generation shrimp fly pattern

Best fished on either floating or intermediate lines targeting redfish, bonefish, snook, permit, and the occasional tarpon, the Shrimp & Cray Tail Faux Shrimp leans more toward medium water as it gets deep fast thanks to the Fish-Skull Shrimp & Cray Tail. When sight fishing, lead the fish and once the fish turns, make short strips until you come tight.

Fly Tying: The Howitzer Game Changer

Learn to tie this topwater Game Changer variation. This Game Changer variation tied by Brian Wise features a Surface Seducer Howitzer baitfish popper head with Dragon Eyes for added fish-attracting commotion and a Fish-Skull Frantic Tail for frisky tail action. Game Changer style flies are tied with and get their movement...

Continue reading

How to Set up the Ultimate Fly Tying Den

Having a dedicated fly tying space is critical for taking your tying skills to the next level.

If you always have to set up and break down your fly tying area you are apt to tie less often. Setting up and breaking down will soon become an unpleasant chore. If there is any negativity associated with your tying sessions you will tie flies less often, guaranteed.

Fly Tying: Double Barrel Phelps Frog

Michael Phelps may have 23 gold medals, but the Phelps Frog is all about bronze... Bronzebacks that is! This leggy frog fly with serious swimming action is an absolute bass magnet. Learn to tie it today.  Fly Recipe Rear Hook Hook: Fusion Drop Shot, size #1 Body Filler: Chocklett's Game Changer Chenille Legs: Fish-Skull...

Continue reading

Tricks of the Fly Tying Trade: 3 Everyday Objects to Boost Your Tying Productivity

As a Commercial Tyer, I Always Tie My Flies in Large Batches.

Efficiency is the name of the game here, and being that I produce over 50,000 flies per year, I've developed some methods to boost my fly output over time. Here are some simple tricks, some of which I've been using for well over a decade, that you can use to make your own fly tying quicker and easier.

Temperate Bass Flies: How to Diversify Your Fly Box

Over the last few years I've spent the majority of my fishing time chasing whites, hybrids, and the occasional striper around the Midwest.

While the Clouser Minnow is the staple fly for most temperate bass, sometimes you've got to shake things up a bit. The Clouser would be the equivalent of a Hare’s Ear nymph in the trout world; you can almost always get fish to eat it, but it may not be the most productive at that given time. Consider it like Sex Panther Cologne: “60% of the time it works every time." With that being said, I would never go on a white/hybrid bass fishing trip without a box of Clousers.

Fly tyers before us had to work hard to get the most out of their feathers and hair, but with new fly tying materials readily available in today's market we have the ability to alter the action and profile of the fly relatively easily.

Here are some things to consider to shake it up and get a more diversified bass fly box.

Fly Tying Video: Fish-Mask Double Deceiver

A fly designed to draw out the big predatory fish.

Massive streamers don't have to mean sore shoulders from casting all day. This large variation of the Double Deceiver streamer is kept light and easy to cast with the combination of Fish-Skull Faux Bucktail, which sheds water, and Body Tubing, which helps create the illusion of a large body without adding too much bulk. A Big Game Shank gives it lifelike movement, and it's cleanly finished off with a Fish-Mask and Surface Seducer Dragon Eyes. Learn to tie it today!

5 Proven Tips to Help You Tie More Flies

Fly tying season is upon us.

I don't know about you, but before I started tying flies full time I would get super excited at the beginning of fly tying season only to have my excitement fade into disappointment heading into spring when the fishing started to get going and I hadn't even tied 10% of the flies I planned on tying.

It doesn't have to be this way for you.

Designing Flies That Move Part 4: Throwing Loops To Jaws

While I’m always excited to catch any fish regardless of size, the level of excitement goes up exponentially when casting for predatory fish like musky and pike.

There is something seemingly primal about these fish — maybe it’s all their teeth in that crooked grin. There are a couple of puzzles to figure out when designing and tying big flies for big fish.

To get bigger fish interested in your flies, they have to be of sizable equity to the fish. In other words, you throw a big fly to a big fish because they need a bigger meal to sustain their weight. Smaller patterns will more often than not get the results that a larger fly will, especially in waters known to house bigger fish.

Big flies can often be mistaken for a lot of materials stacked onto a hook. The more materials you tie on a hook, the heavier it will be. With some musky flies being a foot long, you don’t want your arm to fall off halfway through a fishing trip. 

Designing Flies That Move Part 3: The Usual Suspects

There Are a Few Categories of Flies You Should Have in Your Fly Box at All Times.

If you're going to lace up your wading boots and go fly fishing (especially in cold weather) you should have these types of flies in your fly box: a sculpin imitation, a baitfish pattern, a wide-bodied fly, and a wild-card pattern. The four flies in this part cover these categories.

Herbert Hoover once wrote, “Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.” The thing to take away from that quote is our forefathers did not have Articulated Shanks, Chocklett's Body Tubing, or Sculpin Helmets to tie with. So many great materials are available now to tie virtually any kind of fly pattern you can imagine.

When tying these flies, I chose materials that move and breathe well in the water (if you've never tied with black bear, it is a wonderful material and moves great in the water). Examine the water you'll be fishing for the native baitfish and tie these patterns in according colors.

Fly Design and Material Selection

One of the Most Fun Parts of Fly Fishing Is Designing and Tying Flies.

As a fly tying instructor, I often have clients who have designed and tied a new pattern, but there is some flaw in the design (e.g. the wrong hook, articulated when it is not needed, too big, or too small) or material selection.

These are integral parts of fly design. The large cunning fish you'll be targeting know how their food choices move and will shy away from flies that do not move naturally.

Destination Articulation Fly Tying Contest

Thread your bobbins.

We love tying articulated flies and if you ask us, winter is one of the best times of year to whip them up at the vise. We've seen more and more photos on social media of amazing articulated flies tied by tyers like you with shanks from the Flymen Articulated Shank family.

The flies we've seen are just the tip of the iceberg, so we're holding a fly tying contest on Instagram to help you show off your patterns to the world and give you the chance to win grand prizes from Renzetti, Taylor Fly Fishing, and Ahrex Hooks as well as weekly Flymen prize packs!

Orvis had to get in on the fun as well. If you take part in voting in the final round to decide the winner you'll have the chance to win a Helios3 Fly Rod!

It's easy to enter – tie a fly and snap a picture. 

  1. Tie a fly that integrates a shank from the Flymen Articulated Shank family (it can be any of 6 different types of shanks) and take a photo of it.
  2. Post the photo on Instagram, tag @flymenfishingco, @orvisflyfishing, @renzettiinc, @taylorflyfishing, and @ahrexhooks in your post (make sure you're following all of us!), and hashtag #DestinationArticulationFlyTyingContest.

Designing Flies That Move Part 2: Creature Feature.

The basic principle of fly tying is to come up with a fly that imitates a fish’s choice food.

This gets a bit trickier, in my opinion, when you are imitating creatures other than insects.

A mayfly’s movement will change depending on what part of its lifecycle is occurring or if wind or weather is a factor in the hatch, whereas a creature like a frog, on the other hand, will desperately move all kinds of different ways when a hungry largemouth is chasing it. 

Designing Flies That Move Part 1: Pure Attraction.

Flies that do the shimmy are all the rage right now.

A lot of this is due to all the new materials and hardware now available for fly tyers. Ranges of articulated shank systems and heaps of new synthetic materials that easily shed water are changing the way we tie flies.

Articulation used to be a term for wire and beads joining two hooks in order to do the S-curve movement in the water.

Modern innovations in fly tying materials give you the ability to step beyond purely mimicking the appearance of a prey item – you can mimic its movements as well.

Make some noise! How to tie loud flies for esox fishing.

The Esox family has evolved over thousands of years to give us a top predator to chase on the fly.

These beasts' senses are tuned to the max.

One sense that is important for pikes/muskies is the lateral line, a system of tactile sense organs located in the head and along both sides of the body, used to detect movement and vibration in the surrounding water.

They use their lateral line in conjunction with their sight to give them a more accurate picture of what’s going on – how far away their prey is, how fast it's moving, and its size.

The lateral line is often forgotten by the fly angler. We tie pretty flies, but most of them have a very small footprint in the water. I'm not saying these don’t work, but why not maximize your chances of attracting more fish or perhaps bigger fish?

So how can you make a loud fly? 

Unwritten rules of the fly shop: How to not be "that guy" (or gal)

'Tis the season for fishing, sun, and, in some cases, being a tourist in another state on another trout stream or bass pond.

And because all fly anglers are magnetically attracted to every fly shop within a 100-mile radius, this means visiting new fly shops too.

After many years working in and guiding out of a fly shop, I compiled a list of the do's and don'ts of fly shop patronage to help you make your trip more successful.

Inside Look: Designing the Surface Seducer Howitzer



One of the most exciting areas in fly design is the development of next-generation topwater flies to enable the modern fly fishing angler to successfully target and land a growing variety of freshwater and saltwater gamefish across the globe.

To support this trend, in 2016 we announced our intention to create a full range of modern innovative foam fly tying materials under the new...

Continue reading

Blasts from the past: Adding a modern touch to classic fly patterns.

If you have a '57 Chevy in your garage, you might update some parts and do some body work, but you'll try to keep as many original parts as possible.

The flies we regard as true classics have achieved that status for a reason.

While fishing the Ausable River in my home state of Michigan, my eyes were opened to why classic fly patterns are still catching fish many years after their creation.

I was running short on dry flies as the sulphurs were hatching, so I dug in my brookie box and saw a glint of yellow and silver. As soon as I tied on that size eight Mickey Finn, my numbers and quality of fish instantly improved.

By saving the features that make these classic flies produce and adding a modern touch with new and innovative materials, you can take them to the next level.

Fish-Skull Faux Bucktail Fly Tying Contest.

The Faux Bucktail Throwdown.

Since launching our new Fish-Skull Faux Bucktail, we've seen more and more photos of amazing flies tied by people like you on social media.

The flies we've seen are just the tip of the iceberg, so we're holding a fly tying contest on Instagram to help you show off your patterns to the world and give you the chance to win grand prizes from Thomas & Thomas Fly Rods, Hareline Dubbin, and Loon Outdoors as well as weekly Flymen prize packs!

It's easy to enter – tie a fly and snap a picture. 

  1. Tie a fly that integrates Fish-Skull Faux Bucktail in some way (Faux Bucktail does not necessarily need to be the primary material) and take a photo of it.
  2. Post the photo on Instagram, tag @flymenfishingco@thomasandthomasflyrods, @harelinedubbin, and @loonoutdoors in your post (make sure you're following all of us!), and hashtag #FauxBucktailThrowdown2017.

Inside Look: Designing Fish-Skull Faux Bucktail.


Taking synthetic fly tying fibers to the next level.

We're excited to introduce our newest fly tying material, Fish-Skull® Faux Bucktail™, which is the first synthetic fiber tapered to a point like real animal fur for use in fly tying and lure making.

Continue reading.

Where the heck is my bobbin? The messy fly tyer's guide to organizing fly tying materials.

fly tying desk

We've all experienced the frustration of not being able to find a material you need while fly tying.

I'm probably one of the least organized people on the planet, but recently my custom fly tying business has been busy and tying is taking me longer than it should due to me losing materials in what I used to call my "organized chaos."

We all know what that means.

The main sources of my problem are me not putting materials and tools away when I'm finished with them, shoving them in random drawers, or simply never putting them away when I bring them home. 

Although I barely own any storage items specifically designed for fly fishing or tying, there are a few I recommend everyone to have to make your fly tying more fun and less frustrating.

  • Page 1 of 3
  • Page 1 of 3