Some of the Best Fly Tying Instruction Books (part 1)

In recent years the advent of YouTube, Vimeo and similar free online video libraries, has been hugely beneficial for the sharing of fly tying tips and demonstrations. In the past people would travel miles to sit and learn from a master fly tier. These days there is no need – it is all out there in front of them on the internet.

But for all these great video clips, there is still no substitute for a well produced, clear, step by step fly tying guide in book form that you can work to at your own speed. And there is still no real substitute to a comprehensive fly tying directory of patterns.

We are still selling as many fly tying books as ever, and the standard of these books has never been higher.  So which ones are likely to be the most helpful.  Below I have listed a few of the most popular for beginners which I personally rate highly for being the most useful.


 Peter Gathercole’s Fly Tying For Beginners

gathercole beginners-pg-bookThis is modestly described as an introduction to tools, materials and techniques with instructions for tying 50 fail safe flies, but the book is far more than this. It is a book which will be helpful to both novice and more experienced tiers alike.

This is a hard back but the pages are bound by rings which enable the pages to be opened wide and flat so that the very clearly illustrated steps for tying each fly are easy to follow, and there is no problem keeping the book open. Print is reasonably large, well spaced and easy to read.

The book opens with a short explanation of the layout of the book and general tools and materials, followed by illustrated demonstrations of core techniques.

The variety of patterns covers most flies for most types of fly and most situations of fly Fly Tying For Beginners Book  by P Gathercolefishng, including trout stream, stillwater, grayling, salmon, pike and saltwater flies. These are easily found using the Fly Selector pages

Peter Gathercole is a master fly tier, and he provides a superb range of techniques and tips throughout the book from the basics of securing the thread to the hook and applying varnish, to using a whip finisher, tying parachute hackles, collar hackles, spinner wings, hairwings, dubbing loops, spinning deer hair, paired wings

At the back of each book there is a helpful glossary and index

In my opinion, if you are only ever going to buy one book, this is definitely the book to choose.

Fly Tying For Beginners is distributed by Veniard, and can be purchased from Fly Fishing Tackle Co UK                             

Price: £16.00

The Flytier’s Manual by Mike Dawes

This is a large softback book with some good line drawing illustrations to compliment the colour photographs of the finished fly patterns. The selection of patterns includes many basic, standard wet flies, nymphs, dry flies, streamers and lures as well as a fairly big list of single salmon flies and a couple of shrimp doubles.

The introductory Chapter on equipment, materials and basic techniques is far too basic, and although tools and vice are mentioned there is no instruction on how to use them (which is essential for a novice with no instructor).

Skyhorse Publishing are bringing out a new edition in the near future in which there may well be some important updates and additions.

Veniard Beginners Guide to Fly-Tying – Chris Mann & Terry Griffiths

mann-griffiths beginners guideThis excellent book is written for the raw beginner to fly-tying and as such uses clear, straightforward instructions and coloured illustrations, making it easy to learn quickly how to tie effective flies. Some of the finer points of fly-tying wizardry are unveiled and will be of interest to the beginner and the more experienced alike.
Venaird have also produced a separate Fly Tying Materials Kit with the materials selected and sourced to compliment the book. They include enough of everything, including hooks, to tie any of the patterns provided, without having to buy any other materials.

Veniard Beginners Guide To  Fly-Tying Book and Materials can be purchased from Fly Fishing Tackle Co UK

Book Price: £9.99 (Including VAT at 20%)
Materials Kit Price: £14.95


Funky Fly Tying Fritz

A great range of Fritz materials from Funky Fly Tying now available through Fly Fishing Tackle Co UK

Funky Blob Fritz Bonded Core 16mm

Funky Blob Fritz Bonded CoreThis is the latest 16mm core bonded blob fritz. This means that the herl on the fritz is much harder to pull out. The core is thinner and dyed the same colour as the herl. Also, the core has a slight strech to it to make tying in easier. This is the ULTIMATE fritz for blobs and has been dyed the best and brightest colours available.
Colours: Diamond White, Powder Pink, Light Coral, Fluoro Yellow, Fluoro Orange, Blue, Peach, Onyx Black, Cat Green, Deep Sunburst, Olive, Fluoro Red, Fluoro Pink, Light Sunburst, Hot Coral, Golden Olive
Price: £2.50 inc VAT

Funky UV Straggle FritzFunky Uv Straggle Fritz

A superb straggle fritz incorporating UV material, dyed in Funky’s unique colours.
Available Colours: Flo Red, Flo White, Light Sunburst, Hot Orange, Hot Coral, Flo Pink, Chartreuse, Cat Green, Blue, Black, Sunburst
Price: £2.75 inc VAT

 Funky 5mm Crystal Hackle FritzFunky 5mm Crystal Hackle Fritz

The 5mm Crystal hackle is made for us at Funky in the UK and dyed in their exclusive range of colours. It si perfect for mini lures and boobies as well as larger nymphs. Funky’s colours are the best in the market with deep strong reliable colours throughout their range, with no variation.
Colours: Olive, Hot Orange, Deep Sunburst, Black/Pearl, Black, Sunburst, Hot Pink, Chartreuse
Price: £2.75 inc VAT

Funky 3D Micro Straggle UV and Gold FritzFunky 3D Micro Straggle UV and Gold Fritz

The Original Micro Straggle with UV and Gold filaments. People have tried to copy it but never quite got it right.
Funky Fly Tying have gone direct to the source and had it dyed up in some superb colours with loads more colours to come. 3 Metres per Card.
Colours: Black/Gold, Ice Pink/Gold, Firey Brown/Gold, Claret/Gold, Olive/Gold, Fluoro Yellow/Gold, Bibio Red/Gold, Hot Orange/Gold, Sunburst/Gold, Dragons Blood/Gold
Price: £2.49 inc VAT

 Funky 3D Micro Straggle UV Silver Fritz Funky 3D Micro Straggle UV and Silver Fritz

This is the original Micro Straggle with UV and Silver filaments. People have tried to copy it but never quite got it right. Funky Fly Tying have gone direct to the source and had it dyed up in some superb colours with loads more colours to come. 3 Metres per Card.
Colours: Bibio Red/Silver, Fluoro Green/Silver, Olive/Silver, Chartreuse/Silver, Hot Orange/Silver, Black/Silver, White/Silver, Firey Brown/SilverS, unburst/Silver, Claret/Silver, Fluoro Yellow/Silver, Ice Pink/Silver, Damsel Green/Silver
Price: £2.49 inc VAT

 Dennis The Menace Blob Fritz Dennis The Menace Blob Fritz

Perfect for Blobs. An amazingly deep black and red fritz, Dennis the Menace is an ever popular seller.
Price: £2.49


All of the Funky Fritz is available online at Fly Fishing Tackle Co UK