Fly Tying 2017-18
This is mostly for beginners in our Rocky River TU Fly tying Class, but feel free to download something if it is of interest.
The introduction to this page is being updated on November 5, 2017. Here is the class schedule for 2017 - 2018.
Most of my fly tying efforts are for my own fishing and also teaching others. Our local Trout Unlimited Chapter RRTU which stands for Rocky River Trout Unlimited, started a fly tying program in November of 2008. It has turned out to be pretty successful since we have picked up new members, and over the years we have turned out some pretty good tiers. I have been teaching the beginners, Tom Adams teaches the pros because he is very skilled. Alen Baker helps us all and fills in when someone has a conflict. In addition we have several others in group who have pitched in to help. George Fleszar has been a big help with the beginners and Brian Esque, and Tim Ramsey have aslo provided a lot of assistance.
All of the information directly below marked in red stays the same from year to year. If you see a different color, that indicate a change.
Location: Our meetings are held in the Fellowship Hall at Covenant Presbyterian Church. The church is at the corner of Dilworth Road and East Morehead Street. This is the same place that we have our monthly TU meetings.(actually changed to the adjacent room this year).
The actual address is
1000 E Morehead Street
Charlotte, NC 28204
Time: Classes run from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. We will send someone out for Hoagies about Noon: cost is $5:00 if you want one. We will call in to the Harris Teeter on East Blvd. the number of sandwiches desired at about 10:30 to 11:00 based on the number of people attending, and who wants a sandwich.
Dates: We have five sessions from Fall to early Spring. Here are the dates... all Saturdays.
November 18, 2017
December 16, 2017
January 20, 2018
February 17, 2018
March 17, 2018
Charges: We have a good deal. The total charges for all five sessions is $10.00. We have 6 “rotary” fly tying vices, and provide all the material for the fly tying. Many beginners end up purchasing their own vice as the sessions continue.
This information is being written November 2017 since I had a lot of computer issues until now. We had a good year with George Flezar helping with the beginners every session. In the last sessions February and March, we had 19 or 20 beginners show up. At the same time we had around 10 of the more advanced tyers with Tom Adams. We actually purchased two more vices, which brings the total to 10 vices.
We have seen an influx of women and youngsters probably brought in by way of Linda Hickle of Women On The Fly. They have added a lot of energy to our group. Here is a list of the flies we tried to teach at our beginners class.
Below is a list of the flies we tied last year and will probably tie again this season.
remove the list below and copy with text note to self
Elk Hair Caddis
Girdle Bug (Stonefly)
Half & Half Streamer
Hare's Ear Nymph
Partridge Soft Hackle
Peacock Red Butt
Pheasant Tail Nymph
Zebra Midge Improved
Preview for Fly Tying Classes for 2016 / 2017
Our class is open to anyone with fly tying experience or just a beginner. We have remained flexible. People do miss sessions, so for the beginner class we have a backup tier or two. Alen Baker is the first backup and Tim Ramsey and George Fleszar have helped out also. This is important because the first class is an introduction to the tools for fly tying. We go over all of them and then teach the students how to wrap thread in “touching turns” down the hook.
Each class builds on what we did the month before. As we go through the first day we will tie some simple flies. As an example, we will add a tail of pheasant barbels to the hook. We then tie in about 10 Pheasant tail barbels up the hook shank and the next thing you know we are finishing up a Pheasant tail nymph. For the beginners, we will try to tie multiple flies on various hook sizes. We start with a size 10 which is a fairly large hook and end up tying with a size 16. We will use different materials for the thorax and add a hot spot to the wing case.
I like to stick with the basics and traditional flies. As we discuss things about tying I like to explain how early tiers had to make do with what they could catch, hunt, grow or snitch from thier momma’s sewing bag. These conversations and others about how some of the early flies came into being are part of the process.
How I go about teaching the first class is a little dependent on who is in the class. Recently we have some parents bringing youngsters and that is a good thing. In general they all do well. In many cases the youngsters tie better then the adults.
The more More Advanced tiers.
Tom Adams and Alen Baker set their own agendas, and I usually check with Tom to see what he will be tying. Both of them tie some pretty terrific flies and our class has produced some good tiers, many with lots of talent.
Even though we have the Fly tying class information on the RRTU web site, I have been typing a message to the beginners to tell them what to expect at the next session. This season I will post more detailed information about the flies we tie in case someone wants to tie before the next class I find this helpful and I almost always will put a link to my web page about the class with a little more detail.
Coming up in November the beginners will start with learning about and how to use the fly tying tools. We will go through some basic skill lessons and then tie the Pheasant Tail Nymph in different sizes and different dressings.
I am not sure what the advanced tiers will be tying, because they usually discuss that among themselves.
**************** Below this point are some of the events of 2015 / 2016
March 12, 2016 Reminder that we will have the last session for this Spring this coming Saturday March 19, 2016. The beginners will be focused again on the importance of Proportions when tying flies. In our last session which was about Stone Flies, we did not have the proper materials to let all in the beginners class tie the flies appropriately. I have rounded up all the correct materials so that we can tie the wired stonefly. In the Riffle has a good video on the Wired Stonefly, and we should be able to duplicate Both two wired and three wired stonefly. Here is what we hope to achieve. Photo. here. I have it and will post soon.
I think it is important to read the article below about stone flies. I found it extremely interesting because it tells us much about why we need to understand the history and habitat of the stoneflies world wide.
See you Saturday.
January 25, 2016 Fly tying class that was snowed/iced out has been rescheduled for this coming Saturday January 30th. 2016.
January 23, 2016 12:00 noon
We did not get the snow and ice that was expected but still the roads are still very icy in many places and some of our fly tying folks are some distance from Charlotte. I see cities like” Waxhall, Hickory, Unionville SC, Indianland SC and Kannapolis, and Gastonia. Traveling over icy roads at those distances is not a great idea.
One of our beginners emailed me that she was not coming because someone ran into her and she is being treated for a concussion.
January 22, 2016-- 3:50 PM .... Fly Tying Class will not be held on Saturday January 23 due to dangerous weather. There is some talk about having the class reschduled for January 30th but that is not firm yet.
January 21, 2016-- 9:00 AM ....Check here for information about Snow and Ice for Saturday Morning’s Class. We might have to cancel if the Church doesn’t open. I assume the information will also be on the RRTU web site. www.rockyrivertu.org
For January 23, 2016 Fly tying class
It is less than a week before our January class. I am sending a copy of the spread sheet that Tom Adams developed that goes along with the Hook Box. If you like it and can use it, ok, if not that’s OK too. The rest are notes below, many of them since the last meeting. in December.
See you Saturday January 23rd.
Our yearly schedule for our fly tying classes is for a total of 5 months: November, December, January, February and March. Again this year the total cost for the 5 session whether you come to all five or just one is $10.00.
Here is 2016 remaining winter schedule for fly tying classes.
January 23, 2016
February 20, 2016
March 19, 2016
Our meetings are held in the Fellowship Hall at Covenant Presbyterian Church corner of Dilworth Road and East Blvd. Charlotte. NC. Classes run from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. We will send someone out for Hoagies about Noon: cost is $5:00 if you want one. We will call in to the Harris Teeter on East Blvd. the number of sandwiches desired at about 10:30 to 11:00 based on the number of people who want them.
The session in January we (the beginners class) plan to tie elk hair caddis and other flies using elk, moose, and deer hair. Like everyone there is a learning curve to fly tying. Fortunately, in my earlier years fly fishing, I went out west and fished from the Blue Ribbon Fly Shop in West Yellowstone. Not only do they tie flies in their shop, but they hunt elk and deer and other animals. They process the pelts for fly tiers and are very specific about what fur to use and where it comes from on the animal.. I bought a few patches from them, and they were so much superior to anything else I had tried or had access to. The link below is a very interesting article about “Know Your Hair and Its Best Use. We will talk about this and try out various pelts to show you some of the differences. I think you will find using different sections of pelts, it will be a little bit like trying out the various dubbing materials we used at the December meeting.
I know there are a number of shops similar to Blue Ribbon Flies, so here is another one that is quite interesting. It is hard to believe the number of items Chris Helm has in stock. Look at this view of the inside of his shop. Then browse around on the web site
(repeat from December). Hook Box I got this next idea from Tom Adams and made some minor changes. This is a Hook Box that I got from at Michael’s in Park Road Shopping Center. The Fly Box is called a CraftMate, and is actually a bead box for people who do crafts. It has sloping side which allows one to get the beads out easily. Also in this case the box locks. more
Speaking of hooks, here is an interesting article that goes over the basics but is also more detailed and experienced fisherman will probably learn a few things. http://www.leeroysramblings.com/fish_hook_ID.html
From www.loveflyfishing.com Here is the Anatomy of a hook. I will edit the photo and get rid of junk at some point.
Insert photo here.
I have been having trouble loading the spread sheet into this program for you to download. I think the simplest thing to do is to email everyone on the Fly Tying List a copy. If you want it, there it if not that’s ok too. If you show up on this site and want a copy, I will email it to you. Just send me your email address.
We tied a Jumping Jack Flash at the end of Decembers class ... take a look.
Information for December 16, 2015
Below are some useful printouts and other information.
1. You have in your fly tying kit several threads. These spools of thread are all of the brand UNI and most of these spools are listed at 8 ought, I found one that says Danville”s 210 Denier Flat waxed Nylon. For the time being the 8/0 size will work, but as you become more advanced, you will find that you have other choices. The Link Using Denier to Standardize Fly Tying Thread. http://mvff.tripod.com/Reference/Denier.pdf explains an important concept in fly tying. We have talked about crowding the head of the fly and making the fly too bulky. This article will help. It prints out to a couple of pages and is both interesting and important.
2. You will be using brass beads and then Tungsten beads to add weight to your fly. There are also Cone heads, barbell eyes and other methods to get your fly down toward the bottom faster. Tungsten beads weigh more or less twice the weight of lead and much more than brass or glass beads. Tungsten beads also cost around 44 cents each so they make the cost of the fly much much higher. If you are going to lose flies in the trees and bushes or let the fish snap them off your leader/ tippet than learn some alternatives first.
Here is a Bead Chart which matches up the right sized bead with the hook. It also shows both the inches and millimeters which is a help. I actually made a copy of this that fits in my wallet, and I can pull it out to check sizes when I am buying beads. I never remember the various size and get confused with the mm and inches.
3. Hook Box I got this next idea from Tom Adams and made some minor changes. This is a Hook Box that I got from at Michael’s in Park Road Shopping Center. The Fly Box is called a CraftMate, and is actually a bead box for people who do crafts. I have been having trouble loading the spread sheet into this program for you to download. I think the simplest thing to do is to email everyone on the Fly Tying List a copy. If you want it, there it if not that’s ok too. If you show up on this site and want a copy, I will email it to you. Just send me your email address.
(This was done December 19th 2015)Tom Adams will be doing a demonstration on dubbing tomorrow Dec 16th. It should be very interesting and it is a skill you will want to have.
I hope to have some more useful information to add to this page. There are lots of good videos and articles that make for interested reading. If you are a beginner, sometimes the videos on fly tying leave a few steps out, and once you get the basics you will find you can follow the videos because you will have learned many of the basic steps.
Jack McNeary email me