Fly tying in lockdown is a good way to spend your days. My two main chores are to refill my fly boxes for the 2021 season (fingers crossed) and to put together a set of flies for each of the two classes I teach. The first is easy enough, just copy all the flies I already have, ignoring the ones that have been in my box for 20 years or more without being used. So far I’ve done around 300 flies, I still have to do the boobies and blobs, most of the crunchers and buzzers. Maybe another 600 to tie!.

Meanwhile sorting out the classes has been fun. I picked flies for a 10 week session for the people who normally go to my private class in Hampton. Getting the materials out to them was a nuisance so I decided to buy everything in bulk and share it out. This worked well and I can now start a session knowing that everyone has the right materials. The fly below is an example of the sort of things we tie. In addition to the Zoom class I add the step by step sequences on my fly tying page. I send out the invitations every wednesday at around 5pm. We start tying at 7.30 and usually go on for an hour. While it isn’t the same as being together in a room (we usually meet in a bar!) at least you can still have a bit of fun and banter. I will carry on with these classes until the season starts or lockdown ends. Should there be sufficient interest I’d be willing to run other classes on weekday evenings. Drop me an email if interested.

1) Start the thread and tie in a length of Red holographic tinsel

2) Tie in some pheasant tail fibres by the tips

3) Wind the fibres forwards to form a body

4) Wind the rib forwards in open turns

5) Form a thorax with the tying thread. tie down the excess pheasant tail over the top of the fly facing backwards

6) Wrap the tinsel over the thorax and tie down.

7) Bring the pheasant tail fibres forwards tightly over the thorax and tie down . Tie down on both sides of the fibres to stop them slipping out.

8) Whip finish, remove excess and add varnish to the wing case and thorax to improve durabilty.