August 15, 2022

Making Your Own Fly Fishing Lures

Tying or making your own fly fishing lures is a great way to find something to fill in those cold winter nights until fly fishing season hits again. Flies are

Tying or making your own fly fishing lures is a great way to find something to fill in those cold winter nights until fly fishing season hits again. Flies are not difficult to tie, plus using your own supplies and designing your own patterns is a great way to find new flies for those huge trout and bass in the spring and summer months. Basically the easiest type of fly to make for a first timer at making their own fly fishing lures is a dry fly.

Basic Dry Fly Fishing Lures

Start tying a dry fly it is important to get the supplies together that you need. Typically this will involve a small vice to hold the hook, a basic hook, some thread, some small feathers or course animal hair such as deer or elk hair or synthetic materials found in sporting goods stores for making fly fishing lures usually called hackle barbs.

  1. Place the hook in the vice with the bend of the hook clamped tightly and the shank end of the hook facing away from the vice. If you are right handed, hold your left forefinger along the shank of the hook and begin wrapping the thread by holding it closes to the bend with the left finger and wrapping it several times up to the end of the shank or the eye. There will be lots of hook showing through the thread. When you get to the end switch direction and bring the thread back, crossing over each of the previous loops to form an X pattern around the shank. When you get back to the original first wrap slide the left finger away and leave the thread hanging, holding everything in place.
  2. Measure the tail material, and cut off the excess length. In standard fly fishing lures the tail will be the same length as the same length as the hook shank length but remember that there will be a slight amount needed to tie the tail to the hook. Position the hackle barbs or the hairs so they will butt up against the wings about half way down the length of the hook shank. Loosely wrap the hanging thread around the tail bundle on the side closes to you, then tighten the thread and pull to the other side, moving the hair bundle to the top of the hook bend. Secure with extra wraps of thread.
  3. To make the thicker part of the body you need dubbing, which is twisted onto the thread and then the thread is wrapped around the hook shank, creating the desired shape. The body or dub should start just behind the wings and taper through to the tail.
  4. Cut the hens feathers or hackle tips to the desired length, which is the same length as the shaft of the hook from the start of the bend to the eye. Angling the center shaft of the feather on the side of the hook you are working and down, start to wrap the front of the feather shaft, holding the feather straight. Increase the wrap and then push the feather more upright, wrapping behind the shaft of the feather. This will pull the wings into the upright position. Repeat on the other side then gently spread the wings apart and position.
  5. Add additional hackle feathers to the front of the fly fishing lure, using finer feathers the further forward on the fly you travel. Three to five wraps should be all that is needed to secure these fine feathers.

To tie off the thread make three or four loose loops letting the thread bobbin fall through the loop and then pulling tightly. This will secure the tie and ensure that your fly fishing lures will not unravel in the water.