Online Fly Tying Resources

July 20, 2004 By: Marshall Cutchin

I sometimes wonder if the inventors of databases didn’t do it just for fly tiers. If any category of fly fishing mania could have its appetite satisfied by the Web, it’s fly tying. This arena is just beginning to take advantage of what technology can do to aid and instruct tiers, and I won’t be surprised if in the next year or two one of the key players bites the bullet and finally marries excellent photography with materials and intruction in a fully relational database aimed at the individual tier. If they want to do a really good job, they’ll include hi-res photographs of naturals. And if they really, really want to blow us away, they’ll integrate hatch charts. Til then…
First, there’s the Web site of the leading magazine in fly tying, Fly Tyer. Though the site parcels out knowledge in small amounts now, it’s got the most credibility, simply because Fly Tyer has such knowledgeable authors in its stable. When they do choose to offer fully indexed content online, it will be a phenomenal resource.
FlyTyingForum.com probably has the most active community of fly tiers. Though their database isn’t huge, they have excellent moderators and lots of helpful contributors.
An all-around resource is GlobalFlyfishers.com. Beyond hosting lots of expert content on fly fishing techniques, they have a rich “Fly Patterns” area that does a good job of reviewing fly tying books and giving specific instruction on how to tie a variety of patterns.
There’s a large index of patterns on the FlyAnglersOnline site, but unfortunately there’s no way to bookmark pages and so you’re stuck using the archive page (if you can find it) and the keyword search. Most of the patterns have illustrated instructions.
For saltwater anglers, veteran tier Joe Branham offers an excellent and well-indexed resource at BranhamsSaltwaterFlytying.com. If you’re tying for salt, the site’s enormously instructive. SaltwaterFlies.com has a couple of hundred pictures of important flies and fly tying materials, all wrapped around their e-commerce engine.
But so far, the king of the patterns display — at least in terms of the volume of tiers represented — is the Flytier’s Page, with 1830 sets of illustrated instruction on how to tie the favorite patterns of tiers from all over the world. The presentation could use some tweaking, but no one can complain about the variety and depth of information. Again I’d recommend using the search function to find the details you’re seeking.