Glossary

Here are a few terms not explained in the text that might make your tying easier.

Back — When referring to directions on a fly, you wind back toward the bend of the hook — to the left for right handed tiers. Barb — The part of a hook that holds the hook in a fish's mouth, just behind the point. Bend — The point where the shank of the hook begins to turn down. Butt — When referring to feathers or hairs, the heavier end. The butt end is usually snipped off or tied under when constructing a fly. Eye — The circular piece of wire at the front of a fly to which you attach your tippet. Fiber — A single strand of feather or hackle.

Flaring — Constricting a bunch of hair a-gainst a hook so it sticks out in all directions. Forward —Moving from the bend of the hook to the eye, for right-hand tiers it's moving from left to right.

catch fish. The patterns and their sequence have been especially selected for the techniques they illustrate. As you tie these patterns and learn new techniques, one of the most important considerations is proportion. Good proportions aren't just stylistic considerations for fly tiers. Everything a game fish eats is symmetrical, so a well-tied fly imitates the natural proportions and symmetry of insects, crustaceans, and bait fish. Where possible, we've listed both a length in inches for wings and tails — and more importantly, their relation to the hook shank and the gape of the hook. Most fly proportions are based on these two measurements, and they give you an instant yardstick as you're tying.

Gape — The vertical distance between the point of the hook and the shank, used for measuring correct proportions.

Point — The sharp end of a hook that first penetrates the fish's mouth.

Quill — The center stem of a feather to which the fibers are attached.

Shank — The long straight portion of a hook, measured from the eye to the beginning of the bend. Used to obtain correct proportions.

Tip — The finer end of a feather or hair, usually tapered to a fine point.

Web — The portion of a feather that is dull-colored and downy, usually at the bottom center of the quill on a hackle fiber (but some hackles notably hen hackles, have all webby fibers).

Bend

Point

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