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. Basic classes are usually taught by Orlando Outfitters staff. They cover relatively simple patterns and techniques and move slowly, with step-by-step instruction and lots of explanation. Guest tyers 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.

Date/Time: Fly tying is usually scheduled for weekday evenings from 5:45 pm to 7:45 pm. 
Cost: $10 materials fee for the Basic class. No charge for for the guest tyer class.
Reserving a spot: We limit basic classes to 5 tyers and intermediate/advanced to 10. Please reserve your spot by the Friday before a class. You can stop by the shop, give us a call or send us a message in Facebook or Instagram to reserve a spot.

For the basic classes all you need to do (other than sign up ahead of time) 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 guest tyer class. A materials list will be available at least a week before the class.

Our next tying session is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 19th. Time: 5:45 pm to 7:45 pm.


What to Bring?

We will be organizing this event a little differently than usual. There is no charge for either class. You can either choose to bring or purchase your own materials or, for a materials fee of $5, we will provide materials. If you would like us to provide materials please let us know at least a day before the class so we can be prepared. 

If you have a vise and tools, please bring them. We have several vise/tool sets available for use. You can reserve one ahead of time when you sign up. Whatever is left over will be available the evening of the class on a first come, first served basis.


Basic Class:

The basic class will be tying a damselfly nymph with a dubbed body. We will start by watching demonstrations on several dubbing techniques then move to a different table where step-by-step instruction will be provided.

Materials:

  • Hook: Size 6, 8 or 10 nymph or streamer hook (Mustad 3366 works well)
  • Thread: 6/0 or 3/0 in a dark color
  • Eyes: Mono eyes sized to hook size
  • Tail: 
    • Dark colored marabou or rabbit fur
    • Flashabou Accent
  • Body: Dubbing of your choice. Ice dub works well. So does shredded marabou fibers.
  • Legs/Collar: Grizzly marabou feather or saddle hackle with short fibers.
  • Head: The same dubbing used in the body.

Guest Tyer:

Fly tying dubbing tools and flies tied with dubbing.Our "Guest Tyer" this month will be our own Michael Fridfertig. Michael is our staff expert on dubbing techniques, incorporating dubbing into many, if not most, of his fly patterns. 

Dubbing is often considered a trout fly technique, but this is far from the whole story. If you know the proper techniques and choose the correct materials, dubbing can be used for everything from the tiniest trout nymph to large saltwater flies. 

Michael will be demonstrating a variety of dubbing techniques, from basic to advanced, and explaining what tools to use when. You will end up with a couple of finished flies but this class is more focused on the various dubbing techniques, and the proper use of tools needed for these techniques, than on a specific pattern.

Those tying along with Michael should be proficient with basic techniques and comfortable with a variety of tying materials.  If you would like more detailed instruction and a slower pace, the basic class will be a better fit. 

Zonker Baitfish

Recommended Tools:
We will have some of the specialized dubbing tools available for you to use if you don't have your own.

  • Dubbing Spinner
  • Bodkin
  • Dubbing Brush
  • Materials Clips (or flat jawed "bulldog" clips)
  • Loon D-Loop Tweezers
Materials:
  • Hook: Size 4 or larger. Use a longer shank streamer style hook if you prefer a longer profile or a stinger style hook if you would prefer a shorter, more rounded profile.
  • Thread: Must be strong enough to twist in a tight loop. Veevus 140 and GSP 50 denier are excellent choices. 
  • Eyes: (optional) glue-on eyes sized to fit your fly.
  • Tail: 
    • Bucktail
    • Squirrel Zonker in brown for size 4 hooks and rabbit strip for larger
  • Body - Dubbing Loop: 
    • Senyo's Laser Dub, Tan
    • Ice Dub, Golden Brown
    • Ice Dub, Orange
    • Ice Dub, Chocolate Brown
  • Head - Dubbing Loop:
    • Squirrel Zonker, Brown
    • Ice Dub, Golden Brown
Don't be overly concerned about color or even matching all the materials exactly. 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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