Photograph by Steve Barnett

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

"I want to tie flies, what materials do I need?"

If only your faithful correspondent had a £ for every time he has been asked that, or a similar question... 

The correct answer of course is, "It depends..."

The flies used in this blog are all simple to tie, because this blogger is not what you'd describe as a "skilful fly dresser".  They all work well, because there is no point in making flies and carrying them about if they don't!

This little table below might prove helpful to anyone starting out to make themselves their own version of the "Derbyshire Fly Box".  Readers from around the world have been very kind in reporting that, on their rivers, these flies do still work and often working very well indeed.  It may also make a good starting point for a newcomer to dressing their own flies.

 Click it for a closer view.

Of course you will need some hooks and the tools

(Oops!! I've also forgotten to add the materials in for the wings of the PPSG Poly Prop Spent Gnat... Sorry!)

Regular Rod


  1. Hey Rod, some nice flies there. What type of hooks do you use?

    1. Hooks... Even with two or three lifetimes supply of some fantastic hooks, many of which would be regarded as vintage or “Old Skool” today, it still proves necessary to buy more now and then, especially in the sizes for dry flies (20 to 12). The rivers round this part of the world produce some really outsized fish so it is good policy to use forged hooks if you don’t want them straightening out by the first violent rushes of a trout in the teens of pounds. The catch and release rule dictates that, although old style hooks with barbs can be de-barbed and still put to use, it seems better policy to buy barbless hooks when topping up on those dry fly sizes... To get strong forged, barbless hooks, I now buy hooks made for coarse fishing, especially those intended for carp fishing and tie flies on them. Ashima carp hooks are good and can be bought in 100’s and Preston Innovations PR27 hooks are pretty good too, although a little lighter and only available in expensive packets of 10. Of the old style hooks, which have to be debarbed, the Mustad 7780C never straightens out, whilst forged reversed hooks from Partridge still do the business without drama.