How to Make Sea Fishing Flies

How to Make Sea Fishing Flies
Many people are familiar with the sport of fly fishing as it pertains to freshwater game fish species including trout, bass and pan fish. However, another exciting and often thrilling aspect of fly fishing is angling for sea or saltwater game fish with a fly outfit that typically features longer rods and larger flies.

Tying sea or saltwater flies can be done in much the same way as freshwater flies, using larger hooks designed to imitate bigger and often more colorful bait fish.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Size 2/0 long shank hook
  • Fly tying vise
  • Fly tying thread
  • Feathers
  • Animal hairs
  • Scissors
  • Head cement or clear nail polish
Step 1
Place a size 2/0 long shank hook securely in the jaws of a vise. Wrap fly tying thread in your choice of color around the shank of the hook. Begin winding the thread at the base of the hook eye and work your way down to the bend and back up to the base of the eye. Repeat the process to build several layers of thread on the hook shank.
Step 2
Choose a 3- to 5-inch-long feather, depending on preference. Place the base of the feather next to the hook eye. Position the feather so it extends down along the shank of the hook and past the bend. Secure the feather in place with several turns of thread.
Step 3
Cut a clump of animal hair, such as from a deer, with a sharp pair of scissors. Choose enough hair to create a full body on the hook. Trim the base of the animal hairs with scissors to make them even.
Step 4
Place the hairs on the shank of the hook next to the hook eye. Arrange the hairs to resemble the body of a minnow and position them so they sweep back following the direction of the shank and feather. Tie the hairs in place with the thread.
Step 5
Finish the sea fly by wrapping the thread around the base of the hook eye several times. This forms a head for the fly and holds the hairs and feather securely in place. Tie the thread off and cut with scissors.
Step 6
Apply a coat of fly tying head cement or clear nail polish to the threads as a sealant. This also provides protection from saltwater conditions.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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