Fly Tying

Fly Tying

Fly tying your own flies is highly satisfactory, especially when you start catching fish with them. It gives you self-confidence and pride in your craftsmanship and makes you want to go fly fishing even more.

Fly tying, however, requires patience, attention to detail, and a steady hand. Once you practice your fly tying, you can expand your dexterity to more elaborate fly tying techniques.

Here at Fly Fishing Outfitters, we offer fly tying kits that include the tools and materials you need to start. Such kits will offer a good introduction to fly tying and guide you into developing your own skills.

What Does Fly Tying Mean?

When you learn fly tying, you learn how to make your own artificial flies that you will use when you go fly fishing. The point is to create flies that match as perfectly as possible the real world. Your flies should imitate the progress of an insect’s life cycle and adjust to the riparian and aquatic life that exists through the seasons.

How Many Different Kinds of Flies Are There?

Understanding the life cycle of aquatic insects is the basis for tying flies. There are thousands of flies you can make. The insects and bugs that exist on the surface of the water and around vary with the river, season, and even time of day. You will find different bugs on a sunny summer morning and different ones in the late afternoon.

Generally speaking, fly fishing flies are categorized according to the lifecycle of a bug. That means you get:

  • Nymphs, which represent the larva stage of a bug
  • Emergers, which depict the in-between moment between aquatic stage and terrestrial life
  • Dry flies, which are adult flies that float on the surface of the water
  • Wet flies and streamers, which sink in the water

In short, there are as many kinds of flies you can make as there are bugs and insects that live around rivers and streams. Which is to say, countless.

Think of midges, Caddisflies, Stoneflies, mayflies, aquatic worms, grasshoppers, leeches, and beetles are just a few of the things that fish eat. There are even smaller fish that are great delicacies for larger fish.

Each insect has various stages in its life cycle. This means you can create several different flies based on a single insect during its aquatic, terrestrial, and in-between stages. You have literally thousands of options and opportunities.

Do I Need to Know about Entomology to Make Good Flies?

Entomology will certainly help your fly tying endeavors.

It is a good idea to simply sit by a creek or river and observe the life around it. Study what sorts of bugs emerge throughout the day and how fish respond to them. This will give you plenty of clues about the types of flies that will better mimic aquatic life and fool fish into biting.

However good your fly tying skills and no matter how believable your fly is, fish will not respond to it if they don’t expect this specific bug at that particular time of the day. You must place your flies within a specific aquatic habitat and blend in as best as possible.

To master the art of fly tying, you need more than fly tying fishing gear: you need to study nature. This will help you greatly during fly fishing as well because you will be better aware of your surroundings. You will also understand much better how to cast in a way that mimics an insect landing on the water and how to move your streamers in a manner that resembles real-life creatures like leeches.

What Sort of Tools Do I Need for Fly Tying?

Making a fly sounds simple enough: you hold a hook and gently place around it feathers, beads, wires, tinsel, and other materials. To properly attach all these without leaving loose wires or anything else that might spook a fish, however, you need the right fly fishing knot tying tools for the job.

Perhaps surprisingly, the most important fly tying tool is a simple vise, which is securely clamped on the table and holds firmly the hook. Once the hook is placed, you can start building your fly by winding around it wires, tinsel, feathers, and whatever other materials you wish.

You also need scissors and a whip finisher to help you make a knot and finish your fly. A bobbin will help you wind the wires more easily and steadily. You may also need pliers and head cement to secure the end of the loose wire on the fly.

How Should I Start Fly Tying?

We suggest you start with attending a couple of classes at your local fly shop. Getting hands on teaching will start you off on the right footing. A good teacher will be able to show you techniques that make tying your own flies that much more fun and productive.

Start with tying larger flies, they are easier to make and don’t require the dexterity that smaller and more intricate flies demand. If you start with something too complicated, you risk getting frustrated and discouraged.Once you have tackled simple fly tying techniques and you are pleased with the results, you can move on to more complex fly fishing ties.

Keep in mind that your first fly tying attempts will probably be less than perfect. Given time and patience, you will develop your skills. When you look back at your first attempts, you will likely notice the mistakes you made. Instead of throwing your first flies in the bin, cut through the wires with a razor and keep the hook to use in your future ties.

One last tip is to start with fly fishing ties that require the same size of hooks and wire diameter. This way, you won’t need to buy several different hooks and various wire diameters. Keep things simple at the beginning. Once you have honed your skills, you can invest in more sophisticated fly ties.

Fly Fishing Outfitters Fly Tying

Here at Fly Fishing Outfitters, we have everything you need to get you started on fly tying, including a fly fishing tying kit. Arm yourself with patience and determination and you will soon get hooked on fly tying and making your own flies!

Fly tying used to be a winter hobby for fishermen with ample time in their hands. They would prepare their flies and have them ready for spring fishing. Why not take a leaf out of their book? Whenever you miss fly fishing, sit at your table and start making flies. After all, fly fishing season is never far away!

Showing 16–30 of 32 results

  • Material Clamp- Peak Fishing


    PEAK Fishing is a division of PEAK Engineering and Automation. PEAK E&A opened for business in 1994 and moved to our current location in Loveland, Colorado in 1997. The business originated as a custom engineering and manufacturing company and has always been centered on strong engineering and quality manufacturing principles.

    PEAK has outdone itself with their innovative straight coil design. This revolutionary technology causes the spring coils to form an inverted “V” shape, creating a much better experience than conventional wrapped springs provide. Additionally, PEAK’s parallel slits will hold materials more evenly and securely. The PEAK Material Clip is designed to fit 1/4″ diameter shafts and can rotate to any angle needed. To grip even more materials, it comes with two different sized coils. For best results, multiple clips can be used together for extra strength.

  • Orvis Premium Fly Tying Kit



    Learn to tie the classics with this comprehensive Orvis Premium Fly-Tying Kit. Materials for 16 patterns, 10 flies each, for a total of 160 flies. 8 basic patterns and 8 guide-proven premium patterns. Comes with instructional DVD with tutorials for every pattern made expressly for the kit, and it also goes over basic tool instructions. Plus, it was made by Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, considered by most to be the best fly-tying videographer around. High-quality vise and tool set (includes ceramic lined bobbin, scissors, bodkin, half-hitch tool, hackle plier, hairstacker, and whip finish tool. Durable and convenient carrying case.

  • Peak Fishing C Clamp


    Peak Fishing Is a subsidiary of  PEAK E&A opened for business in 1994 and moved to our current location in Loveland, Colorado in 1997. The business originated as a custom engineering and manufacturing company and has always been centered on strong engineering and quality manufacturing principles.

    The PEAK Fshing C-Clamp offers superior performance and durability that is unmatched by any other vise clamp. This device functions with two precision guide pins which keep the jaw faces parallel, eliminating the possibility of a rotating clamp pad walking as it is clamped. The rabbet face engages securely to edges without scratching or scuffing the finish, ensuring your vise won’t rock when mounted on surfaces ranging in size from 11/16″ up to 2-1/4″.

    An accessory post can also be accepted for use with 3/8″ shafts, enabling users to mount their vise onto virtually any type of surface from a banquet table to a picnic table.

    designed manufactured assembled in USA loveland colorado peak fishing

  • Peak Non-Rotary Vise


    The demand for an appropriate yet economical and dependable non-rotary vise has been answered with the PEAK Non-Rotary Vise. The same clamping system found on the reliable PEAK Rotary Vise is employed in this beneficial new tool. Its base is considerably smaller and lighter than its companion, making it a perfect option for individuals who are always on the move and need a lightweight fly tying vise.

    The PEAK non-Rotary Vise is a great choice when convenience of transport is key. It disassembles easily and packs flat for simple storage, and it comes with an extra hole for our accessory shaft (not included). All PEAK accessories aside from the material clip are compatible with this vise, and as an added bonus, optional midge and saltwater jaws can be purchased separately. However, using the C-Clamp option does require the pedestal base to be purchased with it.

    designed manufactured assembled in USA loveland colorado peak fishing

  • Peak Portable LED Light


    At PEAK, we were unhappy with the lighting solutions currently available. Halogen lights became too hot and needed a cooling off period before they could be put away, and worse yet, some could even result in burns if touched. Fluorescent sources were frequently not bright enough, produced off color light spectrums, were bulky, and the tubes are fragile. To solve this, PEAK came up with the Portable Fly-Tying Light. Our LED light source runs cool and provides a wide angle of light to illuminate your entire tying area with minimal power consumption. Even after a full day of tying, the housing remains cool to the touch; no need to worry about burning your hand if you accidentally touch your light. You also won’t feel the heat buildup in your tying area that you may from some light sources so tying will be safer and more comfortable.

  • Peak Rotary Vise



    peak fishing logo prv-g2 rotary vise

    peak prvg2 png fly tying vise with pedestal base

    Peak Fishing has been building some on the highest quality Tying vises in Colorado since 1994. Drawing on input from a very talented pool of local Colorado fly tiers, and their own engineering, fabrication, and manufacturing expertise, PEAK turned out their durable, functional, and affordable PEAK Rotary Fly-Tying Vise. All Peak vises are constructed from stainless steel, brass and Aircraft aluminum. Each detail of all of our vises are thoroughly thought out and designed to make your fly-tying enjoyable and productive. The steel jaws are built to hold hooks from size 2/0 to the smallest hooks available. Adjustments are simple and easily accomplished.  Materials are chosen for strength, durability, and smooth operation. All of this is accomplished at a price well below the competition and backed by PEAK’s limited lifetime warranty.

    As with the Pedestal Base configuration, PEAK’s C-Clamp mounting vise is engineered to outperform the competition. Reverse the lower rabbeted jaw to get a grip range from 2-1/4” to 11/16”. Jaws ride on precision guide rods, which hold the jaw faces parallel, meaning no rotating clamp screw to damage your table or work surface. Adjusting the clamp is accomplished by utilizing the large, comfortable tri-lobal screw. The deep rabbeted jaw engages even rounded table edges, so your vise won’t rock or shake as you tie. You won’t find a more stable, versatile, or robust clamp, and it’s the only clamp that will accept our accessory post.

    Almost all our shops tiers have been using Peak vises for year, because of their durability and ease of use.

  • Peak Trailhead Rotary Vise and Accessories Package


    The Peak Trailhead Rotary Vice package has everything you need to begin tying or upgrade your entire set-up. The PEAK Trailhead Package is built around our immensely popular PEAK Rotary Vise. Peak Fishing out of Colorado Springs builds one of the highest quality vices that won’t break your pocketbook. Many of our guides tie on Peak vices, which says a lot!

    In addition to the vise, it comes with all the tools you need to begin tying;

    PEAK’s Ritt Pick-N-Brush combination tool, PEAK’s Hex Stacker, scissors, whip finish tool, bobbin, hackle plier, and threader. To keep your workspace organized you also get PEAK’s Desk Top Organizer. Finally, to help you get acquainted with the advantages of rotary tying, PEAK’s Rotary Tying Techniques DVD.

    Learn how to tie a Woolly Bugger, Griffith’s Gnat, Rusty Spinner, Copper John, Dubbing Loop Leach, and Adams utilizing your rotary vise to the fullest extent. Each pattern tied will show you different techniques available to you using your PEAK Rotary Vise. Great package for gift shoppers, beginning tiers, to go with a class, or for anyone wanting to upgrade their tying vise and tools. PEAK’s Trailhead Package is available with either the Pedestal Base mount, or a C-Clamp mount.

    designed manufactured assembled in USA loveland colorado peak fishing

  • Peak Waste Catcher


    Tired of searching for tying tools amidst the mess accumulating under your vise? The PEAK Waste Catcher could be just the marriage saviour you need to restore harmony in the household. This handy accessory is crafted from a durable white nylon and can be easily removed when it’s time to dispose of all accumulated clippings. Not only does this bag make clean-up easier, it also provides an excellent visual backdrop so that flying tying sessions become more efficient and neater.

  • Renzetti Master Special Edition


    The first Special Edition Master True Rotary Vise was specially manufactured for our Legacy Tyer Bob Popovics to be used in his book Pop Fleyes. Bob Popovics’ Approach to Saltwater Fly design. Bob wanted a Master Vise to photograph the stages of his flies and eliminate the glare. That was about 15 years ago. Bob still uses his vise today.

    It was not until 2012 when Renzetti offered The Special Edition Master to the public and since its introduction, the Special Edition Deluxe Master has become the vise of choice for the tyer who simply wants the best. Its function is not to be undermined by its rich and stylish appearance.

    The Special Edition Master offers the tyer the same standard features as the Master Series Vises. Combine that with the black anodized aluminum finish, the polished brass accents and a hard anodized Deluxe Saltwater Pedestal Base, and you get a one of a kind vise superior to anything available.

  • Renzetti Master Vice




    Looking for an all-in-one vise you can rely on? The Renzetti Master Series True Rotary Vise has got you covered. With patented jaw mechanism that can securely hold hooks from #28 to a 10/0, this is the perfect choice for both production tiering and serious saltwater buffs alike.

    The smooth rotary actuator allows for easy velvety rotation of the jaws, adding just the right amount of tension needed to tie each fly. Whether it’s tiny trout flies or feather duster size billfish offerings – or anything in between – your Renzetti Master Series will come through like a champ. And with its adjustable angle axis and precise alignment thumbwheel, this powerful tool provides quick adjustments ensuring your flies will turn out with incredible accuracy.

    Don’t settle for anything less than the best when it comes to crafting your creations! Step into the future of tying with The master Series True Rotary Vise from Renzetti and fly fish with confidence knowing it will secure even the toughest hooks to their finest detail. Get yours today!

  • Renzetti Presentation 2000


    Introducing the Renzetti Presentation True Rotary® 2000 Vise: the perfect blend of style, affordability, and versatility.

    We know that as a tier you need quality features in your vise at an accessible price, and that’s why we’ve developed our patented adjustable jaw hinge and anti corrosion coated cam jaws with True Rotary® action. Plus you can customize your experience with an adjustable bobbin cradle, a standard powder coated pedestal base, and adjustable hinge stem so you can tilt the vise head up or down for added comfort and precision.

    Completely anodized for a more durable finish, the Presentation 2000 is sure to become your go-to vise for all of your projects. With our advanced design and superior craftsmanship you’re guaranteed to be satisfied with this exceptional vise time after time. So upgrade your tying experience today with theRenzetti Presentation True Rotary® 2000 Vise!

  • Renzetti Presentation 2300


    The Renzetti Presentation series of rotary vises are built to last at a competitive price. Among the features are the Renzetti’s patented adjustable jaw hinge and anti corrosion coated cam jaws, allowing the tyer to achieve True Rotary® action, a ratchet rotary actuator, adjustable bobbin cradle, a standard powder coated pedestal base, plus an adjustable hinge stem that allows you to tilt the vise head up or down adding comfort and versatility to your vise.

  • Renzetti Presentation 3000


    Andy Renzetti’s Presentation 3000 True Rotary® Vise offers unparalleled quality and connection between the tier and their flies. Crafted from the best materials and tested against the highest standards, the Presentation 3000 True Rotary® Vise is ideal for tiers looking to produce fine-crafted small flies, streamers, and other offerings that require a great deal of hand and finger precision during production.

    The signature Renzetti True Rotary® feature enables you to precisely wind thread, hackle or other material around your hook with smoothness while allowing maximum clearance behind and around the hook due to a slender jaw and angled design. The vise also offers an adjustable hook range in order for tiers to really take advantage of this powerful true rotary control.

    Tiers of any skill level can trust that their chosen craftsmanship is supported by a high quality vise thanks to Andy Renzetti’s Presentation 3000 True Rotary® Vise – it stands alone as the blueprint for crafting miniature offerings.

  • Renzetti Presentation 4000


    The Renzetti Presentation True Rotary® 4000 Vise is perfect for tying needs that require a wide range of hook styles and sizes. It’s versatility makes it stand out from any other on the market. The Presentation 4000 has two rotary tension adjustments, allowing you to preset or adjust the amount of tension you need for your tying. It can also be ordered specifically for Right or Left hand tyers, so you can get the most out of its custom features. With its extensive hook range, this vise will provide you with effortless controlling power in both forward and backward positions – ensuring you get the perfect true rotary experience every time. Get yours today and see what sets this vise apart!

  • Salt Water Jaw- Peak Fishing


    PEAK Fishing is a division of PEAK Engineering and Automation. PEAK E&A opened for business in 1994 and moved to our current location in Loveland, Colorado in 1997. The business originated as a custom engineering and manufacturing company and has always been centered on strong engineering and quality manufacturing principles.

    The  PEAK Saltwater Jaws boast superior strength and durability, thanks to the hardening and tempering process utilized in their production. They are designed for hook wire diameters between .040″ – .075″, with a black oxide finish that creates an aesthetically pleasing look and reduces glare around the fly. Both the PEAK Rotary Vise (SLT-1) and non-Rotary Vise (SLT-NR) have this superb jaw available.