How do I Order?
Please get in touch through Email, Facebook, Twitter on the menu bar, or by pressing the "Get in Touch" button below.
I am always happy to email, message or speak with you to help choose the exact flies and customization you need.
Can I buy on your Website?
I dont run an online shop as I don't mass produce or tie flies for stock. I tie interesting flies to order and will need to discuss your needs - river, conditions, time of year etc. I will always quote and agree a fair price and lead time with you. In return, you get a tailored set of flies for your exact circumstances. To see my prices choose Pricing from the top menu or hit the button at the top of this FAQ. I do offer box sets, each aimed at a specific geography/species/season. You can see these under the Box Set menu.
What Are Your Specialties?
Most experienced fly tyers can turn their hand to many flies, but also develop specific areas where they have particular skills and experience, usually driven by their local waters and target species. My specialty areas and target waters are:
Atlantic Salmon: Hairwings, Tube Flies, Snaeldas for Scotland and Russia.
Pacific Salmon: bunny leeches, flash flies, clousers and shrimp patterns, for BC and Alaska.
*Trout Lake: flies for small to medium sized Midland Reservoirs
*Trout River: feather & deer hair winged dries, reverse emergers, naturalistic & beaded nymphs for the Test and Dove.
* not for sale
Why dont you make Trout flies for sale?
Essentially because I will lose money making Trout Flies. There are big factories in Africa/Far East making huge quantities of popular flies with bulk order materials and paying local salaries. The quality is reasonable to good and they wholesale flies for pennies. The flies are shipped and retailed in the UK at £1-£2 each. I just can't make them that cheap, even if I didn't charge my time. I can source them from Africa directly from an expert tyer and cut out the middlemen for you if you would like to save money on UK retail prices.
The market for salmon flies and saltwater flies is smaller, more specialist and a typical fly will retail at £3-£6. Again the big factories do make standard salmon patterns, but Salmon Fishermen are often highly experienced, traveling internationally, will pay more for the right quality fly and want to tailor their flies more precisely. And finally, I just find tying Salmon Flies more fun!
What About CITES?
CITES is the International Convention on Trade in Endangered Species.
Fly tying has a guilty past, particularly in the Victorian era, when it used brilliant rare feathers from endangered species of birds. Fortunately, today, there is a much greater focus on conservation, environmentalism and ethics. CITES-listed species are now prohibited from international trade without a special (and expensive) permit and this is incorporated into British Law.
With one single exception - The Grey Jungle Fowl - none of my flies use CITES-listed materials.
Flies with Jungle Fowl Feathers
My one CITES exception is the Grey Jungle Fowl (Gallus sonneratii) which grows a rare, hard and unusual neck feather known as a nail. Jungle Cock, as it is known, is used extensively for eyes on many Salmon flies. Whilst there are plastic substitutes, they are, by and large, poor imitations to the human eye.
There are also flies, such as the Blue Elver, made from the even rarer Vulturine Guinea Fowl. I make these flies using use Jungle Fowl spade feathers as a substitute. The Jungle Cock Spade feather is wider than the original Vulturine feather, but is similarly marked and often otherwise goes to waste. I also have some custom designs of my own where these are used as cheek feathers.
So you have a choice. l will make salmon flies for you (for use in UK) with ethically sourced jungle cock at a supplement of £1 per fly.
I use Jungle Cock sourced from Bransford Game - the only source of domestically reared (and hence legal) Jungle Cock in the UK.
Or you can have flies tied without Jungle Cock, knowing that the fish probably dont care.
Finally, if you are starting to tie yourself, please avoid buying rare feathers on major auction sites, they are often not legal. If you would like help with ethical sourcing, please email me, I will help you at no charge as part of my commitment to ethical Fly Tying.
What books and videos do you recommend?
Fly fishing and fly tying have inspired a huge number of books and videos. For some reason, we attract the cerebral and many dedicated anglers and fly tyers have shared their knowledge to the benefit of avid readers and listeners keen to learn the secrets of catching more fish. I am a member of the Fly Fishers Club in London and the best benefit of membership is the extensive library!
Fly Tying for Beginners
Spiral-bound 2005 ISBN-10: 1845131185
by Peter Gathercole
The Fly-Tying Bible: 100 Deadly Trout and Salmon Flies in Step-By-Step Photographs
Hardcover-spiral – 1 Mar 2003 ISBN-10: 1854108654
by Peter Gathercole
Search YouTube for Davie McPhail
Davie has published an enormous number of
high quality free instructional videos on Fly Tying.
(anglebooks.com - I have no connection).
Stock ranges from new works, introductory second-hand items through to valuable collectors' items.
The Fly Tier's Benchside Reference To Techniques and Dressing Styles
Hardcover – 1 Dec 1998
by Ted Leeson, Jim Schollmeyer. ISBN-10: 1571881263
by Simon Gawesworth
Paperback Second Edition ISBN 978-0-8117-1440-2
Reading Trout Water
Paperback – 15 Feb 2011
by David Hughes ISBN-10: 081173644X
Flies for Alaska: A Guide to Buying and Tying
Spiral-bound – 1 Oct 1991
by Anthony J. Route ISBN-10: 1555660878
Paperback – 1 Jun 1995
Anything by John Gierach
Life of a Chalkstream
Hardcover – 23 May 2014 ASIN: B00NBDHLC8
by Simon Cooper
Tying Glass Bead Flies
Paperback – 1 Dec 1997 ISBN-10: 1571881077
by Joe Warren
Clouser's Flies: Tying and Fishing the Fly Patterns of Bob Clouser
Paperback – Illustrated, 25 May 2017 ISBN-10: 0811719669
by Bob Clouser
Building Classic Salmon Flies
Spiral-bound – 31 Dec 2004 ISBN-10: 1571883398
by Ron Alcott
Hairwing & Tube Flies for Salmon & Steelhead: A Comprehensive Guide for Anglers & Flytyers
Hardcover – 4 May 2004 ISBN-10: 0811731766
by Chris Mann
Still have a question about fly tying or my services? Contact me now and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
A TYPICAL ORDER
This was a recent special order of Snaeldas,
tied on light plastic tubes for a shallow Scottish spate river where the fish strongly favour yellow flies. Priced at £39.99 plus p&p
Every aspect of a fly, colour, size, weight, dressing type etc can be customized to your specific needs. The challenge in this order was that the metal carrot-shaped tubes usually used for Snaeldas were too heavy for this river. I modified the internal design of the fly to create the classic carrot shape on a flat plastic tube.