Basic Fly Tying

Like tenkara, tying tenkara flies is simple. Basic fly tying skills, tools and materials are all you need. The Tenkara Flies pages show the step by step instructions for tying nearly all the flies I use. I have decided to offer fly tying kits for new and experienced tyers who would like to try out a new pattern without having to buy a lot of new materials that may not get used. For fly tyers who know they will be tying a lot of flies for a given pattern, I also offer the fly tying materials required to tie most of the flies offered on the site.

If you do not have a vise, you can still tie flies. Please see the Fly Tying with Clamps and Nippers article. Having a vise and some fly tying tools does make it easier and quicker, though. I have decided to carry the HMH SX vise. I used to use a Peak vise but have switched to the HMH SX vise. It fits right in with simple theme of tenkara. It is a simpler design than the top of the line HMH vises, but it is of the very same high quality.

"One Fly" Tying Kits™

The "One Fly" Tying Kits™ come with everything you need to tie 25 flies of one pattern. Included in each kit is a package of 25 Daiichi hooks, the materials required to tie 25 flies and a pattern sheet that provides easy to follow step-by-step instructions. There will be very little waste and you won't have to buy a whole rooster neck or partridge skin, or enough yarn for a whole sweater, just to try out few flies.

Fly Tying Materials

Offering fly tying materials was a natural extension of the "One Fly" Tying Kits™, which are great for people who want to try out a new pattern without having to buy a large supply of new materials. If you know you are going to be tying a lot of the same flies, though, it does make sense to buy your fly tying materials in larger quantities.

Fly Tying Hooks

For those who want to tie their own tenkara flies, I have tenkara hooks that to my knowledge are unavailable anywhere else in the US.

For some time I have been interested in fly fishing for micros. If you want to fish for small fish you need to use small flies. Whether you are interested in midge hooks for micros or for sipping tailwater trout, I have the Varivas Ultra Midge hooks in sizes 28 and 30.

Fly Tying Tools

Not everyone wants to tie their flies with just clamps and nippers. If you would prefer to use real scissors, bobbins, etc, I have a few of the basics.

Fly Tying With Clamps and Nippers

Although you will probably want to use a vise when tying at home, if you tie during a fishing trip or even at streamside, you probably will not have a vise with you. You can tie flies that are very effective (although perhaps not very neat) with just a pair of Dr. Slick Spring Creek Clamps and a pair of nippers.

It is not at all hard to do and takes only a little practice. Click here for the details and a few step-by-step instructions.

And really, if you tie for the fish rather than for the fisherman, and view a fly as a tool rather than a small piece of art, you might decide you don't actually need a vise anyway. Flies tied with clamps and nippers look pretty buggy - and they do catch fish.

TenkaraBum Home > Basic Fly Tying

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“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin

"Study to be quiet." - Izaak Walton 1653

"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." Col. Robert Venables 1662


The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.

Beware of the Dogma

Currently processing orders that were received May 25.

Ever since I started fly fishing, I've wanted to fish beautiful flies. I respect and understand the bait and lure fishermen and even those who purchase flies, but it's not for me. I get more happiness when the catch starts at the tying bench with a piece of artistic creativity.

Phillip D, Montana