An Experience in Fly-Tying

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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For my topic I choose to experiment in an almost ancient art of Fly-tying. The art of fly-tying originated in the United States of America back in the 1820's. Over time man has perfected this art and passed it on from generation to generation. I selected this topic because of the combined creativity and both mental and physical abilities it requires to perfect the true art of tying a perfect fly.

The basic materials that are required for tying a fly are: a vise, an object used to hold the hook while tying a fly, a small pair of scissors, used for cutting feather and assorted materials, and bobbin. The most useful tool is the bobbin because it holds the thread and replaces the tedious task of holding the spool of thread in your hand. The hackle pliers are another important tool in the fly-tying process because the are used to hold hackle which is a type of feather.

The first thing that we did was read the book that which is called: TheL.L.Bean Fly-Tying Handbook. I first learned how to tie a whip finish. A whip finish is the finished series of knots used to complete the fly and the knot that keeps the whole fly together. This is done by hand to insure that everything is tightly tied.

The second task completed was start to tie the fly. First, I attached the thread to the hook near the eye of the hook and then trimmed off the tag end of the thread. Next I cut off a piece of pipe cleaner called chenille. Using my thumbnail, I scraped off the little bit of fuzz at the end exposing the core of the thread. I then wrapped the piece of chenille spun together with thread to the shank of the hook, the middle part of the hook. I did this by wrapping it slowly down the hook shank until it got all the way down the straight part of the hook forming a body to the soon-to-be fly.

Next, I selected a piece of hackle to add to the body to make it appearance more appealing to the fish. I did this by rubbing off the fuzz at one end to expose a butt end. I tied this off at the front of the fly near the eye of the hook. Then I wrapped it down the hook shank until it reached the end of the straight part. Lastly, I cut off what was left of the hackle and tied a whip finish to make sure that the fly did not come untied while I collected my materials for the tail of the fly.

Last, I tied the tail of the fly using these materials: thread, hackle and chenille. First I shaved the fuzz of the ends of the hackle and chenille. Then I tied both of them off at the end of the straight part of the hook. Then I whip finished them so that they did not come off when a fish attacked the fly. Next, I twisted all three, chenille, hackle, and thread, into a tail that looked like a fuzzy pipe cleaner. After that I whip finished it altogether and put a glue called head cement on it to hold it together in the water.

Lastly, I went out to try it in the small lake down the street. The fly cast it perfectly, but I didn't catch much except a perch.