Fly Tyer Submissions

Submit your article for a chance to be published in Fly Tyer Magazine. Just follow the directions below to find out how.

Fly Tyer magazine
Author Guidelines



The following instructions will tell you everything you need to know to get published in Fly Tyer.

NOTE: Fly Tyer is only a quarterly magazine, and it is the largest publication in the world dedicated solely to fly tying. (43,000-plus paid readers!) As a result, there is a lot of competition to get published in Fly Tyer. The following information will tell you how to beat the competition.

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR: Take the time to read the following information, and try to follow the simple instructions as closely as possible. You’ll quickly endear yourself to this editor’s heart and become a key player on the Fly Tyer team.

Please note that our group of magazines (Fly Tyer, American Angler, and Saltwater Fly Fishing) also has a separate style sheet. Refer to that when looking for answers to questions about spelling, the use of numerals, trademarks, and learn a lot of neat stuff like the difference between sink tip and Sink-Tip.


HERE’S WHAT WE NEED:

1. Feature articles describing new flies for catching trout, bass, panfish, and saltwater species across the country and around the world. An article can describe one pattern (such as "The Latest, Greatest Mayfly Dun") or a group of patterns ("Montana's Newest Go-To Dry Flies"). We are also in the market for articles describing new tying materials and techniques, or new applications for older tying materials and techniques. We would also like to hear about articles that demonstrate how to tie the older classic patterns, but these must include a lot of excellent tying photos. Note: Surveys tell us that our readers want information about new flies, new materials and tying techniques, and new applications for older materials, in that order. Articles about the history of fly tying and the like always fall near the bottom of these surveys, but we will make room for them if they are particularly strong submissions with good tying photos.
  Most of our features run from four to six pages apiece, but when a submission contains a lot of good material, especially tying photos or artwork, we will devote even more pages to it. A feature article should contain 2,000 to 2,500 words.

2. Articles to fill our regular columns. Most of our columns are open to all contributors, which gives you more opportunities to publish in Fly Tyer. We need articles for Beginner's Corner, Salt Water, Warmwater Fly Tying, Match the Hatch, and Fly Tyer Profile. And we’re always looking for good pieces for First Wraps. A column contains 1,200 to 2,000 words with appropriate photos or artwork.

Please note that these word counts are general guidelines and DO NOT include the photo captions, sidebars, and fly recipes. Fly Tyer is a very visual magazine, and we will gladly accept an article that has a little less text but more photos, especially good tying photos. The only requirement is that an article must tell the complete story; if this can be done in pictures, go for it!

PLEASE DO NOT submit an exceptionally long article with the belief that we’ll “edit it down” to make it fit. We’re far more impressed when an author communicates important pieces of information using an economy of words. (Hint to new authors: Making a simple outline will help you focus your thoughts and sharpen your article.)

And finally, DO NOT include the fly recipes and tying steps within the text of the article. While doing this sometimes seems to make sense, it makes laying out the magazine very difficult. The text should describe only the history of the fly, the materials you are using, and any unusual tying techniques; put all of this information in a single document to create the body of your article. Place the recipes and specific tying instructions (to accompany your tying photos) in a separate caption sheet.


AND ON THE SUBJECT OF PHOTOS, HERE ARE OUR REQUIREMENTS:

1. Learning to tie flies is a visual experience, and our readers buy Fly Tyer to learn how to tie flies. While not each and every article contains tying photos, most do. Articles containing good step-by-step tying photography are given first priority. End of story.

2. Some authors find it more convenient to send a fly in stages of completion and have us take the tying photos. This is perfectly acceptable. Let me know if this is what you'd like to do, and we can work out the details.

3. Remember that we use flies to catch fish. Photos of fish and fishing scenes help tell the story. It’s nice to include these sorts of photos with your submission.


DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY.

While we still prefer to receive 35mm slides, we do accept digital images that meet the following criteria:

1. For tying photos and other small pictures, the camera must be at least 5 mega pixels. ALWAYS use your camera set at maximum resolution.

2. Always photograph in RAW or TIFF format. Taking photos for print reproduction is very different from taking pictures for Web sites or to share with friends. A photo might look good on a computer screen but look horrible in print. Try NOT to photograph in JPEG for magazine or book reproduction. If you must photograph in JPEG, make sure the camera is set to record the highest quality JPEG it can capture.

3. Clearly name each image file, such as "step 1," "step 2," "tying materials #1," etc. DO NOT use the image serial numbers assigned by the camera.

4. Burn all of the images onto a CD. We DO NOT accept images through e-mail.

5. You MUST provide a printed contact sheet of all of the images contained on the disk. Label each image using the names used on the disk. (Hint: Doing all of this takes only a few minutes, and you'll grab this editor's attention and quickly become a permanent member of the Fly Tyer family.)

6. Once you’ve purchased a digital camera, taking photographs is cheap—there’s no film or processing to buy. BUT PLEASE, do not submit excess tying photos. Most of the tying sequences that appear in the magazine consist of six, eight, or nine photos. It’s done this way because these groups fit into neat blocks on the pages. We’re not impressed when an author submits an article with lots of extra and usually needless tying photos; this simply means that we’ll have to do a lot of trimming and combining of steps to make the article fit the allotted space. HINT: Your job is to decide how to teach tying the fly in a limited number of photographs; six, eight, or nine photos work best. If it’s a complicated fly, think about creating several groups of photos, each containing four steps, such as Tying the Tail, Making the Body, Crafting the Wing, etc.

7. DO NOT, under any circumstances, use PhotoShop or other image-processing software on your images. Please send the raw, unprocessed images. Our production department will take it from there.

8. And finally, DO NOT create a caption sheet containing “thumbnails” of the tying photos. Some authors think this is helpful, but it is not. Clearly number each tying step on your caption sheet, and use those numbers to label the photos. We’ll be able to figure out which caption goes with each photo.


SUPPLYING OTHER ARTWORK:

Some of you are professional illustrators and graphics artists, and we love including your work in our magazine. Include your artwork with your submission, but make sure that we can clearly link the captions to the individual pieces of art. A good method is to photocopy the art, number the individual steps on the photocopy, and use these numbers on your caption sheet. Submit the original art, the numbered photocopy, and the caption sheet.


MAKE SURE YOUR SUBMISSION IS COMPLETE:

A complete submission to Fly Tyer magazine contains the following items IN THE SAME package:

1. An article that is crisp, clear, and logical. Include a paper copy of the article in the submission that you mail to me AND include a copy of the article on a floppy disk or CD.

2. Save your article as a Word document. DO NOT use any unusual formatting in the body of the article or your caption sheet. ALL text should be double-spaced and aligned flush against the left margin. DO NOT type page numbers, headers/footers, or notes in the margins of the article; write the page numbers in the lower right corners of the printed pages, and write any special notes-to-the-editor in the margins of the article. (HINT: It takes a lot of time to remove the strange formatting, page numbers, headers/footers and notes from some articles. Successful authors who sell lots of articles and books do their best to submit complete packages featuring manuscripts that are “editor friendly” and easy to use.)

3. INCLUDE COMPLETE FLY RECIPES THAT FOLLOW THE FORMAT USED IN THE MAGAZINE. Our rule is to list the materials in the order in which they are tied to the hook. If a specific hook is required to tie the fly, include the brand and model number. At minimum, include a general description of the hook, such as “Regular dry-fly hook,” “Curved-shank nymph hook,” or “Your favorite brand of 4X-long saltwater hook,” and always include the hook sizes. Also include the thread size. Make sure the materials listed in the recipes match the materials on the flies you submit. (That sounds obvious, but sometimes the flies we receive do not match the recipes.) Please take time to read and study the recipes in the magazine; you’ll quickly see the logical format we use.

(Tip #1: Taking the time to provide accurate and well-written recipes shows that you care about your work, pay attention to detail, and are interested in publishing in Fly Tyer. This is the easiest way to sell me more articles and rocket to the top of the pay scale.)

(Tip #2: Call the fly-tying materials manufacturers and request their catalogs. Use the information in these catalogs to describe the materials discussed in your articles. Look for the manufacturers’ contact information in the ads in our magazine and on the packaging of the materials on your tying bench. Tell them you are submitting ideas for articles to Fly Tyer magazine, and that you wish to accurately describe their products. They will be very appreciative and willing to help, and I will recognize that you have taken time and care with your work. Our readers will enjoy your well-written articles and come to view you as an authority on the subject.)

4. YOUR CAPTION SHEET SHOULD CONTAIN TYING INSTRUCTIONS THAT MAKE SENSE, AND THESE INSTRUCTIONS SHOULD MATCH WHAT’S HAPPENING IN YOUR TYING PHOTOS. And always write tying instructions as COMPLETE sentences. Here are two simple examples that illustrate this point.

“Start thread on hook. Tie on tinsel. Wrap tag. Tie tail.”

That’s awful and will never appear in our magazine! Now, let’s try it this way.

“Start the thread on the hook. Tie on the tinsel. Next, wrap a smooth tag. You may now tie on the tail.”

This is much better. These are complete, concise sentences written in a reassuring and conversational tone.

5. Submit samples of the flies discussed in the article. We must have these for in-house photography, and we can't consider a fly for the cover of the magazine or other prominent position unless we can see and photograph it. (All large-format photography must be done in our studios.)

6. If you discuss a specific brand of product, include the manufacturer's suggested retail price. And please note: Fly Tyer readers are interested in tying the patterns that appear in the magazine, not going on scavenger hunts. If you discuss an unusual material or tool not found in most fly shops, create a sidebar listing the names, phone numbers, and Web site addresses for retailers that do carry the product. Listing substitute ingredients for hard-to-find materials is another good idea; include these substitutes in the text and recipes.

7. ALL OF THESE ELEMENTS MUST COME IN THE SAME PACKAGE. If you are getting flies from several people, have them send the flies to you first, and then submit them in your package. A complete submission containing good text and photo captions, accurate pattern recipes, properly labeled photos, carefully labeled flies, and samples of materials (if required for photography) gets our attention and is more apt to be published. We remember those authors and often call them with ideas for articles.


WHAT WILL WE PAY FOR YOUR ARTICLE?

Okay, now let’s talk about something fun: making money.

We buy first-time print, electronic, and in-house marketing rights to articles and photos, and payment is made upon publication. We don’t pay by the word, and length is only one of the variables considered. The quality and completeness of a submission may be more important than its length in determining rates, and articles that include good photography, especially good tying photos, are usually worth more. As a guideline, the following rates generally apply: Feature articles pay $450 (and perhaps a bit more if we’re impressed), while short features pay $200 to $400. Columns typically pay about the same as short features. Generally, these rates assume that useful photos, drawings, or sketches accompany the words. (BIG TIP: Authors who provide complete, well-organized, and well-written articles with good photos or artwork rocket to the top of the “bit more” end of the pay scale.)


SUBMITTING QUERIES

Plan and write your query as carefully as you plan to write the article you are pitching. We can only judge your ability by the organization of and the writing in the query. Don’t assume that we will believe you can write better than you’ve done in your query. A query letter is a sales pitch, and no one likes to buy from a shoddy salesman.

Please e-mail brief proposals for the articles that you would like to write for Fly Tyer to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . DO NOT send unsolicited flies, manuscripts, photographs, artwork, etc. to our offices. Fly Tyer magazine is not responsible for unsolicited materials.


A CONCLUDING THOUGHT FOR NEW AUTHORS:

Okay, so you don’t have a “big name” in fly fishing. Do we care? NO! And neither do our readers. Over the years, new authors have created some of the most excitement in our magazine. If you have innovative flies and tying techniques, and can communicate this information in a logical, well-organized manner, you’ll quickly find your name in the pages of Fly Tyer. We’ve given you everything you need to know to write for our magazine. It’s as simple as that.

We're looking forward to hearing from you.

David Klausmeyer
editor/photographer
Fly Tyer magazine