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