Fly Tying Instruction

Deep Silhouette

Catching a fish on a fly is fun. Catching fish on a fly you tied is even better. Tying your own flies adds a whole new dimension to the sport. Aside from being fun and relaxing, tying your own flies gives you a never-ending supply of the flies you like to fish with and allows you to design a specific fly for a specific application.

Fly tying is a skill that can be learned by almost anyone. All it takes is the right equipment and materials, a moderate level of dexterity and some proper instruction. We offer beginner through advanced fly tying focusing on saltwater and warmwater flies. Our tying instruction is intended to teach the correct use of fly tying tools, material behavior, and tying techniques required to produce effective, durable flies. You'll develop the skills, techniques and knowledge that will enable you to tie countless patterns, and you'll have a lot of fun doing it!

We offer a number of options for getting started tying flies and improving your skills.

Orlando Outfitters Evening Fly Tying Sessions

We offer evening tying sessions throughout the year. "Orientation" classes are for absolute beginners who do not yet know how to start and finish a fly. Basic classes cover relatively simple patterns and techniques and move slowly, with step-by-step instruction and lots of explanation. Tyers signing up for a Basic class should be able to tie a simple fly on their own from start to finish. Intermediate/advanced classes move along much more quickly, with the expectation that tiers already understand the basics. Details for upcoming classes will be posted on this page.

Date/Time: Fly tying is usually scheduled for weekday evenings from 5:45 pm to 7:45 pm. 
Cost: $10 materials fee for Orientation and Basic class. No charge for Intermediate/Advanced.
Reserving a spot: We limit orientation and basic classes to 5 tyers and intermediate/advanced to 10. Please reserve your spot by the Friday before a class by signing up and paying the materials fee.

For the orientation and basic classes all you need to do is show up. The materials fee covers materials as well as the use of all necessary tools during the class. You will need to supply your own tools and materials for the intermediate/advanced class. A materials list will be available two weeks before the class.

Our next tying combined Basic and Intermediate/Advanced tying session is scheduled for Wednesday,  May 22nd. Time: 5:45 pm to 7:45 pm.

Basic Class:

The basic class will be tying a simple sheet foam gurgler. This fly will catch snook, trout, redfish, baby tarpon, largemouth and others. The materials fee is $10 and is required to reserve a spot. We will supply all necessary tools and materials but feel free to bring your own vise and other tools if you have them. 

Intermediate/Advanced Class:

baitfish fly - heavily dressedFormer Orlando Outfitters manager and custom fly tyer Rob Youngblood will be tying a large baitfish pattern that works great for big snook, tarpon and other fish looking for a mouthful. This fly uses a variety of materials to increase length, bulk and action while remaining (relatively) easy to cast. Rob will be discussing methods for adding length and body to any pattern using materials most saltwater fly tyers will have on hand. The emphasis will be not on specific materials but on materials that fulfill a required function in the fly. Materials substitutions are encouraged.

Attendees should be proficient with basic techniques and comfortable with a variety of tying materials. You're welcome to come watch but if you plan to tie make sure you bring your vise, tools and the required materials.  Please let us know if you will be coming so we can plan accordingly.

Materials List:

  • Hook: Gamakatsu SL12S #4/0 or another large short shank hook
  • Thread: Veevus 140 denier thread
  • Tail: Magnum rabbit strip supported by 20# Hard Mason monofilament
  • Body:
    • Marabou
    • Glissen Gloss
    • EP Craft Fur Brush (or other long brush)
    • Ostrich herl
    • Bucktail
  • Head
    • EP fiber
    • 5/8" or 3/16" holographic eyes
    • Zap Gel or Zap Goo for attaching eyes
We will have these materials available for purchase but bring your own materials if you have them. One of the advantages of tying your own flies is that you can change colors and substitute materials as you wish. Please feel free to use different colors or substitute a material that is functionally equivalent.

Individual Fly Tying Instruction

Private one-on-one instruction is available as well.

Date/Time: Set up individually with the instructor typically during store hours.
Cost: $60 per hour.
Materials and tools are provided for introductory classes. For intermediate/advanced instruction, what is provided will depend on the techniques and materials being used.

Help with Patterns and Techniques

We're always happy to answer your fly tying questions and help you work through techniques and patterns you are having trouble with. Stop by whenever the shop is open and we will do our best to help. There’s no charge but if the day is busy or we are short on staff we may have to take a break to help other customers or ask you to come back when we are less busy. It works best if you get in touch with us before coming in.

More Information and Sign-Up

Stop by the shop, give us a call, or fill out our contact form to sign up for fly tying instruction.

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