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Do you record the flies you make?

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31 replies to this topic

#1 eborraga



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Posted 14 November 2018 - 12:35 PM

Just starting out and thought about keeping a file for the flies i've tied. Made a binder with a page for each different fly. Recipe and pic.


Does anyone do this? And if so, how do you have your's organized?

#2 mikechell


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Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:02 PM

Being a fly angler who ties to support my fishing, I don't have a huge number of fly patterns.  I have three, actually, that I do 99% of my fishing with.

There's a few patterns that I add in for different trips, but since I am already copying another's pattern, it doesn't make sense to try and "keep a copy" of my own efforts.  I just refer back to that pattern video or SBS if I need more and can't remember how.

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#3 flytire


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Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:24 PM

i photograph the fly/flies i tie and record them in file folders on my hard drive




i also post them here and on my blog trying to include the recipes


i do not use a spreadsheet to record the quantity of flies ive tied. waste of MY time


i also make copies of flies i find interesting on instagram that i may want to tie some time in the future




and i'll record some on a word document



Fly tyers sure have a way at making things difficult

#4 Piker20


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Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:27 PM

I tied one dry fly that seemed to work really well and wish I'd noted the dubbing blend because I never quite mimicked it again.
But not normally, I've found my tying tends to stick more closely to recognised patterns now so I can always find the recipe.
Matthew 25: 35-36 "Out of every 100 men, 10 shouldnt even be there, 80 are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior and he will bring the others back. "No man ever steps in the same river twice"   Heraclitus, 5 B.C

Based Scottish Highlands. UK

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#5 rstaight


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Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:49 PM

I used to put the instructions (recipe) and a picture in sheet protector and place it in a 3 ring binder. Stopped doing it because it was getting out of hand.

"Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers.  Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher's salary." - Patrick F. McManus

#6 DFoster


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Posted 14 November 2018 - 03:19 PM

When I was new to fly fishing I bought a handful of flies and managed to catch what was my personal best rainbow up to that point on one of them.  Then two cast later I lost that fly.  Now as a Tier I would love to be able to tie a bunch of them but I can only tell you it was mostly green and wingless. 


To me it makes sense to have a record of my flies and how they are tied so that I can accurately replicate the ones that catch fish.   A big part of the fun for me is trying new patterns on both the vise and the fish.  Because I do most of my tying through the winter It may be months until I'm actually fishing with some of them.  I download a recipe for each new pattern that I want to tie and store them on a flash drive.   I have my folders sorted by the style of fly, winged wets, drys, nymphs, soft hackles and so on.  Some prefer to sort their flies by the season they're for use or by the intended species of fish.   I'm slowly building my own database. 

And you thought golf was frustrating-

#7 flytire


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Posted 14 November 2018 - 06:13 PM


Fly tyers sure have a way at making things difficult

#8 tjm


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Posted 14 November 2018 - 06:27 PM

That is very good advice, flytire, I have a few "pattern flies" that I bought over the years as reference for color and proportion that I can still copy but have no memory of name or origin. It has been common for me to buy pairs of interesting flies and dissect one for materials and method while keeping the other as a guide.  

#9 feathers5


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Posted 14 November 2018 - 06:51 PM

I do keep the patterns that work especially well for me in a notebook. Taking a photo and putting on my computer is an even better idea.

#10 rockworm


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Posted 14 November 2018 - 07:13 PM

I absolutely keep records of my flies. This year I made a file called patterns2018 where I record my flies: date, name, hook, thread, tail, ... etc. I also note how the materials were tyed: the order of tying, how long the wings were, when I applied cement, ... etc. Enough intormation that I can replicate a successful pattern. As someone above noted- the proportions of dubbing material in a blend is often important  and the hardest to replicate without detailed notes.


I use a simple word processor for this and frequently use the "find" function to search my "database" for patterns or materials.

#11 Poopdeck


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Posted 14 November 2018 - 07:27 PM

Never even thought of recording flies tied. Don't feel the need and I can't recognize a need since the interweb has everything recorded already. Do you guys only tie one fly for experimentation purpose? If I tie something to see what happens I will still tie 2,3, or 4 of them. If they work I will tie more. If they don't work I'll use the left overs for pannie fishing where anything works.

#12 cphubert


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Posted 14 November 2018 - 09:04 PM

Yes in a notebook / binder with dye recipes for materials. fly pattern information for hook type & size(s), materials used, fly proportions, wing, tail and hackle sizes and lengths, area for notes for fishing results or improvements. I did this more for consistency in duplication of the pattern. I really would like to start a system like flytire and if I was starting over I would be looking at his blog and picking his brain. you could keep more on a thumb drive than my bookshelf and have better access and a photographic record.

#13 Tom Cummings

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 09:09 PM

I do log my flies that are successful for my area and take a picture of completed fly. I dont worry about proportions as most follow the rules well. The ones that dont follow rules I do make notes on proportions and how to tie them. For the most part the picture and material list with the proper name and all the sizes used is more than enough.

#14 utyer


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Posted 14 November 2018 - 11:04 PM

I take pictures of a lot of my flies, but I don't keep much in the way of records of each and every fly these days.  


When I was tying custom orders, I did keep a log book of all the orders.  I kept the client's name, due date, shipping information, and any special pattern instructions for the flies.  I still have that note book and for 20 years I averaged 5000 custom flies a year.  These were done in my "spare" time after work at my "reel" job which was rod and reel repair. 


I learned something from this log.  I was spending way too much time tying flies for other people and not enough time fishing.  I quit accepting custom orders over 20 years ago, and now only tie for friends, family and charity.  Still manage about 1500 a year.    

"We have met the ememy, and he is us." Pogo by Walt Kelly

#15 spiralspey


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Posted 14 November 2018 - 11:07 PM

Wow, I'm really surprised how many of you guys make record of your flies. In over 40 years of tying I've never even considered it. I think of every fly as an experiment, a work in progress, and no fly is ever really finished or in its final form.