Yesterday, I cleaned up my fly tying bench and sat down for the first time this year to tie a few flies. It’s been about two weeks since I tied a fly. Tonight I’m teaching the first class at Central Oregon Flyfisher’s Winter Fly Tying. In addition, I’m traveling to Boise, ID this week for the Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo. I thought I’d share my first flies of 2019.

Beetles and Ants |
Beetles and Ants

Tonight is the first of 12 straight weeks where the fly tyers of our local fly fishing club get together to learn more about fly tying and fill their fly boxes with some great flies known to catch fish in local waters. I lead the effort, but only teach one or two nights each year. I round up other great fly tyers to teach the remaining classes. This year, my friend Pete is taking a big load off me and preparing the materials for each class. It takes quite a bit of time as we plan on 200 flies being tied each and every night. That is a lot of materials and the material selection and sorting for each table really helps the class move smoothly.

I’ll be teaching Beetle Bailey and Arrick’s Parachute Ant. These are two flies I used last year with great success.

Beetle Bailey |
Beetle Bailey
Arrick's Parachute Ant |
Arrick’s Parachute Ant

Several tyers have asked for a parachute fly pattern. I’ll present a few different techniques that can be used to create nice looking flies. I pulled out my copy of The Fly Tier’s Benchside Reference (1998) by Ted Leeson and Jim Schollmeyer. I paid $100 when it first came out, but I got every penny’s worth out of it. At over 400 pages, the authors do a spectacular job of providing fly tying techniques. If I have a question about a technique, I pull out this book.

The book was published way before Youtube came along and provided videos of fly tying techniques. But this book still has a place in your fly tying library. It can still be purchased and many used copies are available.

In last week’s post, I stated I tied over 2,400 flies last year. If you’d like to keep up with me tying flies in 2019, now is a good time to start.

Total year-to-date…11. That’s right, 11 flies, not 11 dozen.

So this is your chance.

Ready, set, go…

(Oh…I hope to see a few RiverKeeper Flies readers in Boise on Friday and Saturday this week.)

Enjoy…go fish!

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  1. Hi John,
    I am a teacher and fly tying/fishing club advisor at Ridgeview High School in Redmond, Oregon. If possible, I would love to ask you a couple question regarding fly tying, fly fishing, and fly tying clubs. Hope this find you well.

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