Updated: Jan 18
It is that glorious time of year where boxes are refilled, vises are clamped, and plans are developed for the next season. But even though you're not on the water, you can still royally screw things up for your future outings, all from the comfort of your tying bench. Heed these warnings, and learn to avoid the unforgivable sins of fly tying.
The sin of crowding the eye of the hook. The most unforgivable crime to commit at your fly tying bench. You always have a chance to back off the materials and try your final approach again. If you settle for a crowded hook eye you’ll kick yourself later when you can't thread the needle on the water. There is no shame in taking a razor blade to that whole disaster and starting over!
The sin of using cheap/low quality hooks. I know that tying can be pricey, but it's better than losing a little piece of your soul when that big fish you’ve been preparing for straightens out your fly and swims off laughing at you. Tying your own flies is an investment, but also an insurance plan that you know the quality of your flies when you hit the water.
The sin of not reinforcing delicate materials. Whether it be hackle, peacock herl, or other delicate materials, it only takes one crunch to ruin a fly. I don’t know about you, but I like to use my flies for more than one fish. So just the tiniest amount of planning at the tying bench can prevent this sin. Glue, epoxy, counter-wrapping wire, do what's right...
There are of course other sins one could commit, but the fly tying bench is also a beautiful place to experiment. Go forth!