Simple fly tying tricks
I thought it would be good to have a thread covering some of the simpler things people do every day. Here's a few from me:
1. Prevent break-offs - Wrap thread around the head so the point where the hook eye closes is covered. This is a very frequent point where your tippet can get in the joint and cut off. I always thread wrap over the base of the hook eye so it's impossible for the line to get in there.
2. Stop your eyes from rotating on the hook shank - I always run my line 3-4 times around the metal connecting the hook eyes on each side of the hook shank and do 3-4 wraps around the hook shank. Most people just do the cross wrap to secure the eyes to the shank, but that lets them rotate very easily. Take your thread and run it perpendicular to the hook shank around the metal connecting the eyes, then do 3-4 wraps around the hook shank, then wrap 3-4 times around the same piece of metal on the opposite side of the hook shank, and again 3-4 times around the shank. Don't do diagonal/cross wraps at any point in this process. Your eyes will only rotate if you do this when you hook a fish or if you hook into the bottom hard.
3. Get your silicone legs to go where you want - One tricky part of tying sili legs onto a fly is getting them not to stand up due to your thread wrap being tight on them. On the flip side, making them lie too flat can also be an issue. You want them to stick up at maybe a 45 degree angle from the hook shank for the best motion in the water (my opinion). A simple trick I use is to wrap them on the shank, then go on the same side of the shank and come up behind one side of your hook eyes and back over to the opposite side of the shank. Simply doing a cross wrap can make them lie too flat. If you start your wrap from the same side of the shank by going under the eyes, it creates less of an angle for the thread than doing a standard cross-wrap, and your legs will stick up more.
Those are a few things I've been thinking about as I've tied up several hundred bonefish flies for my trips. They're pretty simple tricks but make a big difference in the performance of your flies.
My passion for catching fish is eclipsed only by the fish's passion not to be caught.