Some Suggestions That Might Aid In The Development Of A Superior Introductory

Fly Tying Course

by Dick Nelson


Lillian Nelson has given the FTG permission to use this material developed by Dick Nelson when he was Fly Tying Chairman of the San Jose Flycasters of San Jose, CA. You might want to consider these suggestions when developing your course. You may want to include some of these suggestions in the improvement of an exitsting Fly Tying Course.


1. Have only one demonstration tier for the whole Course. This avoids confusion due to different terminology, tying styles, etc.

2. Use detailed, illustrated instructions. I prefer line drawings with arrows, rather than photographs, for illustrating tying steps precisely.

3. The instructions should be given to the students at least a week before the next class so the students can become familiar with the terminology, the steps, and their rationale.

4. The demonstration tier and the assistant instructors should follow the instructions exactly as written. Deviations, while interesting and perhaps even helpful, are confusing to the


5. Prepackage the materials so they can be distributed after the demonstration tying. Letting the students select their own materials during class takes away from the student's tying time.

6. Include some entomology so the students will learn about the insects they are imitating.

7. The Course flies should incorporate as many of the fundamental techniques and materials as possible so that the students will have a solid foundation. To help me choose flies I

make a table grid with the possible flies on the left side and the desired techniques and materials across the top. The marked intersections allow rapid identification of the flies that

satisfy my criteria, and speed up the winnowing process.

8. Hand-outs and visual aids are important. Printed material can go into greater depth than class time allows, and the students will always have that information at hand without relying

on their memory. Some subjects I treat with handouts are hook characteristics, preservation and storage of fly tying materials, insect identification, and a list of recommended

books with my commentary. Preserved insect specimens, pupal cases, and shucks make a fascinating display.


Home Page ..............Download Handout List