Fly Tying Instruction

Fleeing Crab

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 Fly Tying Sessions

We offer beginning tying classes as well as more advanced instruction and tying demos throughout the year. Beginning classes are taught by Orlando Outfitters staff. They cover relatively simple patterns and techniques and move slowly, with step-by-step instruction and lots of explanation. Intermediate/advanced classes are taught by guest tyers as well as Orlando Outfitters staff. They often move along much more quickly, with the expectation that tyers already understand the basics. Details for upcoming classes will be posted on this page.

Tying a Tarpon Toad Variation

Tyer: Owen Armstrong
Date/Time: Thursday, May 2, 2024
Cost: No charge
Reserving a spot: The tying class is limited to 10 tyers, first come, first served. There is room for additional observers if you'd just like to come and watch. Please reserve your spot by the Friday before the class. You can sign up with a phone call, with an email, through our contact form, or via Facebook or Instagram.
What to bring: If you’re signed up to tie flies you will need to bring your vise, tools and fly tying materials. We will have materials available for purchase the evening of the event but please arrive a little early if you need to buy materials. You can tie the fly as it is pictured here or substitute colors and materials as you wish.

Tarpon Toad Variant
Fly Recipe:

Hook: Gamakatsu SL12S Short or another 1x short heavy tarpon hook
Thread: 210 Denier Flat Waxed Nylon, Black
Eyes: Mono Eyes, Large, Hot Pink
Foul Guard: Mason Hard Mono, 25lb
Tail: Marabou, Purple
Collar: Marabou, Black
Body: EP Foxy Brush, 1.5", Black
Head Cement: Whatever you prefer. We like Hard as Hull and Solarez Bone Dry.

Tarpon Toad - Background Info

The Tarpon Toad is a direct descendent of Mel Brown's Merkin Crab with Harry Spear's Tasty Toad as an intermediary. The final design was created by Gary Merriman with finishing touches by Tim Hoover. The Tarpon Toad was popularized by well known tournament angler Andy Mill but the fly caught tarpon for many years before it became a well known part of saltwater fly fishing culture. For a history of the Tarpon Toad see this Saltwater Sportsman article.

The fly we will be tying is a variation on the Tarpon Toad. It retains the original's ability to land quietly, move with the slightest current, slide horizontally through the water, and hover in front of a hungry tarpon.

Orlando Outfitters Beginning Fly Tying Class

This half day class is intended for new fly tyers and will give you the knowledge and skills you need to get started right. We will be tying the Crystal Schminnow, the Fleeing Crab and the Clouser Minnow. More importantly you will be learning the various techniques needed to tie these patterns.

Date/Time: Saturday June 15, 2024
Cost: $50
Reserving a spot: Class size is limited to 6 tyers. The tuition fee must be paid in full to reserve a spot. You can pay either in our shop or online. The tuition fee is fully refundable up to 48 hours prior to the start of the class. If you aren’t able to attend, we ask that you let us know as soon as you are able so we can offer your spot to others.
What is Included? The tuition fee covers materials used during the class as well as the use of a fly tying vise and other tools you will need. You will leave the class with any flies you tie as well as a materials kit with all the materials needed to tie one of the patterns tied during the class.

Next Steps: A beginning fly tying class is the start of the process of becoming a proficient fly tyer. Learning to tie flies involves practice. For that you’ll need to have your own tools and materials at home and use them regularly. We offer kits for both tying tools and materials These kits will both simplify the process and save you some money. Many of our intermediate/advanced tying sessions are suitable for newer tyers and are a great way to expand your skills.

We also offer fly tying instruction videos on YouTube including a series of videos that teach the same skills and patterns we teach in our in-person introductory class. This page will guide you through the video class. Here is our full offering on YouTube.

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

If you'd like to sign-up for the beginning fly thing class you can pay the class fee and reserve your spot by stopping by the shop or do it online right here.

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