5 of our Favorite Fly Tying Materials

Right now, it’s -9 outside, perfect for a blog about our favorite new fly tying materials! When it’s this cold you can’t do anything outside. It’s too cold to ski or ice fish, so we are stuck inside for now, tying flies with our new fly tying materials. If you live in Missoula, you know that during the tying season you basically only have to tie a handful of flies Chubby’s, Pat’s Rubberleg Stoneflies, San Juan Worms, Purple Haze’s, Pheasant Tails, and your secret Skwala fly.  These are, for the most part not so much fun to tie, especially after tying 5 dozen or more of them. It makes tying flies a bit boring. When the winter is over, you are tired of tying flies. Unless you are tying new flies, getting creative, and tying for fun with new fly tying materials. Every year we discover new fly tying materials that get us excited to tie flies and create something that might work, will probably work, or was just super fun to tie.  Here are 5 new materials (new to us) that have us excited about tying flies — all of which are available in our Missoula fly shop.

img_4458 1.  Gritty Tungsten Beads

Hareline’s Gritty Tungsten Beads will give your nymphs or worms a pop in the water. Tungsten gets your flies down quickly and has been a staple on our Pheasant Tails and Worms for years. Add the gritty texture and hot colors of these beads to these patterns and we are excited to see how these outperform the same old flies we’ve been using. Sometimes having something that is just a bit different than what everyone else is throwing makes all the difference in the world.

img_44572.  1/2 Grizzly Saddles

Dry fly capes are expensive and finding good “cheaper” ones can be hard. You always get what you pay for when it comes to dry fly saddles.  These 1/2 saddles grizzly saddles from Hareline are amazing and have feathers that can tie flies from sz’s 20 – 8 and even a few streamer-sized hackles. They are only $35.95, which in the world of dry fly hackle is a great price.

img_44593.  Ice Dub Minnow Back Shimmer Fringe

Everyone likes tying streamers. The amount of streamer videos on youtube and the fly tying “celebrities” that are streamer junkies is proof that streamers are fun to tie and fish. We are all streamer junkies here at the Hackle and we love tying them from the articulated beasts to the smaller bugger type flies. Flash has become more and more popular in flies and the Ice Dub Minnow Back Shimmer Fringe does just the trick. Each package has two colors, usually a darker color and a lighter color. Darker color for the top of your streamers and the lighter color for the belly of your streamer. This is a must-try in all your streamers patterns, especially baitfish patterns.

img_44604.  UV Life Flex Wrap

Staying on the streamer kick this stuff is awesome body material for any bugger type streamer. We’ve been tying our Circus Peanut’s with this stuff. It gives your body bulk, flash, and wiggle with its flash and rubber legs in it.  This could be used on JJ Specials, Sex Dungeons, Yellow Yummies, Boogieman’s, Mouthwash’s and so much more.

img_44615.  Wormille

OK now I know that using San Juan Worms is sacrilege and not really fly fishing, but honestly, we don’t care.  We aren’t purists and they just plain work.  If you fish in Montana these have to be in your box if you want to be successful.  We all want to catch fish on dries, but that’s not always what fish are eating.  Fish are almost always eating a worm of some sort…  Wormille is just a funky material made for tying some stretchy, durable, and cool-looking worms.  We are looking forward to trying them out.


These are just 5 of our favorite new fly tying materials.  There is more that we didn’t mention.  Like Whitings 4B Saddles and Schlappen or Partridge Streamer Hooks or Chocklett’s Body Tubing or Groovy Bunny strips.  Too many to list!

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