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Thread: Backward Fly Tying

  1. #1

    Default Backward Fly Tying

    I've been playing with a new (to me) tying technique, swapping ideas and inspiration with a correspondent in Ireland. We're tying nymphs backwards! At least in the order of tying. So far it's been with nymphs, but I can see the utility in wets, and maybe some dries.

    What the heck does Bear mean by "backwards?"

    I start the fly at the front and finish off with the "head" at the back of the body, right where it joins the tail. Sounds odd until you try it and practice a little. While I'm neither here nor there on whether or not a thread head up front makes any difference to the fish, tying backwards really simplifies the fly tying: All the way throughout, the thread is OUT OF THE WAY as you wrap on materials. No more reaching between the thread and the vise each time you wrap another turn of materials.

    Fun thing to do when I can't go fishing as often as I want. I'm likely to tie lots of flies this way in the future. If you look close you can just make out the "head" back there at the junction of the abdomen and tail. But so long as it's a color compatible with the others in that area, it really isn't noticeable.

    This is my version of a bead head Golden Stonefly Nymph. The lack of a thread head is even more noticeable on flies without the bead. The hook is a #10 TMC 9395 and the bead is brass because I'm out of the right size tungsten. There are 15 turns of .025 lead wire under the thorax. Dubbing for both the thorax and abdomen is SLF Whitlock golden stone and the wing cases are brown Swiss straw. Legs are brown grouse. The back of the abdomen is pheasant tail, while the ribbing is SM brass wire and the tails are brown biots.

    Now it's time to see if the fish care that I have an easier time tying!




  2. #2
    Member steelguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Wow, totally cool and looks great! Fish are definitely going to eat that thing up. Please let us know how you make out.

  3. #3


    I'm betting it will do just fine, but the test is a fine excuse for another fishing trip. Tied conventionally with the head up front, it's one of my best trout producers down south with either the grouse legs or rubber legs.

  4. #4


    I like it.
    That bad boy needs rubber legs for sure!!

  5. #5
    Member G_Smolt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    58°19'59"N 134°29'49"W


    When I tied a lot of soft hackles and spiders, that was my preferred method - made for fuller profiles in the water. Now, some of my steelhead and coho patterns are tied from the front-back.

    I like the idea for nymphs, especially small ones - you can get away with 6/0 thread and not have a cluster%^$# at the "head-end" of the fly.

    Nice tie.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by G_Smolt View Post can get away with 6/0 thread and not have a cluster%^$# at the "head-end" of the fly.
    And dat's duh trute!!!


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