15 Trout Flies You Must Tie

Whether you are a beginner or just want to up your game, the following patterns are guaranteed to catch fish.

[by David Klausmeyer]

It’s a common question: Which flies should I learn to tie I first? I typically recommend that a new tier visit his local fly shop and ask the proprietor which three or four patterns catch fish in their local waters. Tell the fellow behind the counter that you want to learn to tie, so you don’t want anything too complicated. Earn your chops making and fishing those patterns. You’ll soon discover the thrill of catching fish with your own flies!

After you’ve learned to tie the flies recommended by your local fly shop, members of your club, or fellows you meet on the river, you’ll want to add more patterns to your fly tying repertoire. Again, concentrate on making flies that catch your local fish; you ll ’ probably discover that you can use some of the materials you already own to tie more than one pattern and thus reduce costs.

I don’t know where you live and fish, but I’d like to suggest adding a few of the following flies to your fly tying to-do list. A couple of the following 15 patterns are fairly obvious; I selected these for raw beginners. The flies then become slightly more complicated, but any tier with a few months of experience at the vise can make them. I wanted the flies to be interesting but not impossible to make.

Their originators tied a few of the flies, and some actually came from my personal fly boxes. Study the photos for materials proportions and work slowly. Select a pat- proportions a tern, and try replicating the fly you see in the photograph. Tie several copies of that fly, and try making all of them look alike. One of the hallmarks of a good tier is that all his flies have the same proportions; when you open his fly box, all the patterns look like little soldiers ready for inspection.

David Klausmeyer is the editor of this magazine. He is also the author of several fly fishing and tying books. His two newest books are 101 Favorite Dry Flies and 101 Favorite Nymphs and Wet Flies (both by Skyhorse Publishing)



Hook: 4X-long streamer hook, sizes 8 to 4.
Thread: Size 6/0 (140 denier).
Tail: Marabou and a couple of strands of Krystal Flash.
Body: Mohair yarn (purchased at a crafts store) wrapped on the hook shank.

Rather than the Woolly Bugger (boring!), I am offering the Mohair Leech (more interesting) as our first fly. This example came from my own fly box; I believe in the pattern and use it on a regular basis. Make a few wraps of heavy wire on the hook shank to add weight, or omit the weight to create a pattern that hovers in the water column. Tie a shaggy body, and pick out some strands of mohair using your bodkin. Tie this simple pattern in black, olive, and purple, and you’ll quickly be catching trout and bass.