Fly Tying in the USA – and Beyond

boots on step

Photo caption. My wading boots on the porch in PC last summer.

March 15th, 2020. I woke to two realities today

1. Covid-19 is making its way around the USA as it has elsewhere around the world, disrupting plans, and lives in a degree that ranges from slight to devastating.
2. Life goes on.

This post is my inarticulate effort to salute the human spirit and offer a note of hope where much is needed.

While the storm builds, I wanted to share a glimpse of what our fellow fly angler – fly tyers are up-to around our North American continent.


Photo caption. not all the fly tyers in Florida are tying snook flies.

One might think that Oregon fly tyers are only tying trout and steelhead flies, Florida tyers working only on snook and tarpon flies; and New Jersey tyers singularly specializing on flies for striped bass and bluefish.

Nope. It turns out that we fly anglers and fly tyers are a very adventurous lot. Where we live really doesn’t say much about what type of flies we tie or what kind of fish we are enamored with.

fancy streamer

Photo caption. Some of our comrades are crafting beautiful streamer flies like the fly above.

My notes here are gleaned from our shop orders, YouTube videos, and fly tying blogs that I have looked at in the last two days. This is real, and real-time.

Alabama: Someone is on the path to refine their fly-casting skills, because they’re ordering up books and DVDs to assist the effort.


Pacific salmon. A prize to dream about here and a prize in the desert.

Arizona: I know this is desert territory here, Someone here is working with Lagartun flat-braid & tinsel, trailer wire, OPST Shanks, and Aqua-Talon to create wonderful steelhead and salmon flies.

little trout

Photo caption. Small stream trout are as much a prize as a giant salmon, or carp!

California: These materials and small hooks whisper of trout fishing, small fish perhaps, or at least spooky fish that eat really small buglets. The story is far from clear, because we have wet and dry fly hackles that could work for panfish and trout,




bass bug

Two photos above. some of the tyers in Georgia are tying chironomids and some are tying bass bugs.

traditional wet fly

Photo caption. traditional soft hackles are a fly that many people enjoy mastering.

Louisiana: Someone here must have some travel plans, because everything in this order speaks boldly to steelhead and salmon; combination of tackle and fly trying materials is the same stuff I’d like to stock up on for fishing the Oregon Coast, BC or Alaska.


Photo caption. Steelhead on their spawning migration.

Minnesota: Someone is stocking up on tons of Krystal Flash and Glo-Brite Floss; are we perhaps preparing for ice-out in a steelhead river?


Photo caption. Why yes, I am fly fishing.

Nevada. Well looky here, someone is tying up balanced leeches, maybe to fish Pyramid?


Photo caption. What do carp eat? Carp flies of course.

carp flies

North Dakota: while some folks are tying flies with Squirmito Squiggly Worm materials, and fishing with 7X fluorocarbon leaders, there are some dedicated anglers tying up this season’s supply of carp flies.

Oklahoma: Someone loves Steve Farrar SF Blend and they’re stocking up. There’s obviously some streamers being tied up here and in among the usual white and Chartreuse there are some fun colors like misty blue and bleeding perch.


Photo caption. Pike like big flies, right?

nicholas bauer fly

Photo caption. Gotta love these flashy giant flies.

Ontario BC: No doubt about it. Someone is tying up pike flies this winter. Ahrex Predator hooks; Fair Flies Brushes; UV Bucktail, and Flymen Fish Masks tip the story.

soft hackle

Photo caption. The bead head soft hackle fishes all over the world.

Oregon: Well what do you know? Someone very close to my home is tying up their season’s supply of McKenzie Special bucktails and bead head soft hackles

Pennsylvania: Someone here is tying streamers, streamers, and more streamers; with some Clousers thrown in the mix. Their flies range from moderate to downright bad-ass, tied on anywhere from #2 to #6/0 hooks, and there are some articulated shanks and big glue on eyes too. No doubt that that these flies are intended for big predatory fish.


Photo caption. Small trout flies were once on my skill set, but not these days. Still, i might give these a try this summer.

Tennessee: Someone in the Tennessee hills is fishing for spooky trout, perhaps, or in clear water, or in little tiny streams. The clue? They’re stocking up on small #18 & #20 dry fly hooks, dry fly hackles, fine dubbing, and leader tippet in sizes down to 7X.

Washington: Someone tying flies in Eastern Washington, is going fishing in the ocean where it’s a lot warmer than the ocean offshore our coast; their quarry is bigger and badder than the rockfish, lingcod, and albacore I’m familiar with. GTs? Tarpon? Roosterfish? The possibilities are endless. Shure wish I could go!

Nathan P Intruder

Photo caption. The ever present Intruder . Illustration courtesy of Nathan P.

West Virginia: I would have guessed mountain brook trout or bass, or maybe even spot. Not even close. Someone way out east is tying flies and dreaming about steelhead and salmon. This tyer is laying materials on their desk just exactly like I would have at the ready out in my garage: Pro Sportfisher tubes, marabou, ostrich, fox tail, 1/0 stinger hooks, and Aquaflies Intruder eyes.

I’ve probably gone on far too long.

We fly tyer-anglers have plenty to dream about, and if we have time, we have many many flies to tie, either because we will be fishing them soon, or because we are fascinated with the craft and want  expand our skill set.

Wherever you are, on behalf of Chis and our staff at the Shop, I  wish you safe journeys.

Jay Nicholas March 16 2020


P.S – We at The Caddis Fly like everyone else are taking this crisis day by day. March 16 we remain open with normal business hours and are doing are best to process orders and help customers. If this changes we will provide an update on all social media channels.

This entry was posted in Fishing Reports, Fly Fishing Travel, Fly Tying, Fly Tying Materials and Supplies, NW Fly Tyer & Fly Fishing Expo. Bookmark the permalink.

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