Rulesofthumb Table for Fly Proportions

Parts of a Fly

Normal Position in Fly

Normal Proportions

Exceptions and Other Information

Foundation thread

Starts behind eye, finishes directly above barb

For some nymphs and streamers, thread must be taken round bend of hook

Tags

Round bend of hook

Same length as finished head

Choose tinsel of the right size. Too-wide flat tinsel is difficult to handle and cuts thread when tied in. Too-large oval tinsel gives bulky tag

Tails

Directly above barb

1 to 1 Vi times shank length (eye to bend)

Most nymph tails are about half the shank length

Butts

In front of tail

One or two turns of butt material only

Wing casings

From tail position to head

Some casings are tied over thorax only

Ribbing

Wound over bodies

About 4 to 6 turns. Must be wide enough to show on bodies. For dubbed bodies, use wider ribbing than normal

  1. Do not use over-wide ribbing; only one or two turns will be possible.
  2. Some fine ribbing materials are only intended to protect the body material

Dubbing

Starts at tail position, ends at hackle position

Aim for uniformly shaped body

Nymph bodies are usually tapered

Hackles for Nymphs for Wet Flies for Dry Flies for Streamers

At hackle position At hackle position At hackle position At hackle position

About % shank length (eye to bend)

Fibers should just reach the hook point

11/2 to 2 times shank length (eye to bend)

Fibers should almost reach bend

Fibers should be a little below the hook point Some streamers have shorter (wet-fly-proportioned) hackles

Wings for Wet Flies for Dry Flies for Streamers

Slightly forward of normal wing position At wing position

At wing position

Tied-on wing should be 1 % to 11/2 times shank length Tied-on wing should be just short of shank length Tied-on wing should be 1 Vz to 2 times shank length

Can be given better proportions by trimming the tips

Note: Shank length is measured from behind the eye to the beginning of the bend.

Note: Shank length is measured from behind the eye to the beginning of the bend.

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