Free Fly Tying Materials

Article: Free Fly Tying Materials May be Closer Than You Think!
Author: Killroy

A quick browse around your house may yield some inexpensive and creative fly tying materials.  For me it all started late one night when I was preparing for Fly Fishing at Lees Ferry in Arizona.  I needed some glow ball material so I could tie a few eggs and I didn’t have any.  The yarn we had in the house looked somewhat familiar and my wife had some colors I thought might work well.  I pulled a few strands off and began tying the eggs.  I mixed a few colors just to see what patterns I would get.  I was a little uncertain if the Glow Balls would work but the real test would come when I tried them out early in the morning. 

It was a cool day on the Colorado river and I pulled out the eggs to give them a try.  POW!  a fish hit the egg.  Cast after cast yielded some nice trout in the 16-24″ range.  The best pattern was an orange yarn with a pink strand.  Since that time we have received many submissions for fly tying materials.  Consider some of the following:

Dryer Lint – Choose the right color close to dry and then pull the lint out and use as common dubbing materials.
Brush the Dog – Several breeds such as Chows have thick undercoats.  The fur makes a great natural material for dubbing.

A look around the yard or park can yield some interesting feathers to use for tying.  Just a note however, wild birds are known for mites so take steps to insure you don’t end up infecting your purchased features with these nasty critters.

  • Some suggestions for assisting with this:
  • Zap the materials in the microwave for 30sec.
  • Put them in a plastic baggy and freeze them for a few days.
  • Stay away from dead birds.  They could have been infected with a disease.

Foam body
Packing foam commonly used for electronics work great.  Just cut off a small strip and presto you have your body material.  Need a different color than white, pull out a permanent marker such as a Sharpe and apply the desired color.

Any old stuffed animals laying around?  Some synthetic furs will work well on your hand tied flies. 

Just take a look around the house and you will find items to substitute your traditional fly tying materials.  Its a great way to save a few dollars and expand your creativity.  You might even find that perfect combination to land that Fly Fishing trophy!

Another alternative is too take a trip to the local craft store.  They also are a great resource for Fly Tying materials such as feathers, furs, threads, beads, etc. 

Enjoy your tying!