When I first started flyfishing and then flytying,
I searched far and wide for a guide on selecting a
proper hook size for a particular fly type like a
dry fly, a soft hackle, a midge, etc. Recently,
while sorting through my fly boxes to take stock
of what I had and what I needed to tye for an
upcoming fishing trip, I wasn't sure if I had the
proper fly sizes for the patterns in my inventory.
And I still did not have a guide to select fly sizes.
Sure, everyone has their opinions on what sizes one
should tye for a particular kind of fly and for their
particular home waters, but the concise guide was
I have an excellent book in my personal library by
Randle Scott Stetzer entitled Flies – The Best
One-Thousand. As I was thumbing through it,
marveling at the large collection of flies Mr. Stetzer
had compiled, I also noticed the wide expanse of different
fly tyers from different parts of the country. Here was
a compilation of one thousand flies sorted by fly types
and with hook sizes listed for each pattern. Here was
the guide I have been seeking! All I needed to do was
statistically arrange the data in bar graph form so it
would be visually easy to read at a glance.
Each fly type chart plots the hook size on the horizontal
axis and the number of patterns tyed in that size on the
vertical axis. The beginning and experienced fly tyer
and flyfisher now have a guide that shows what are the
most common fly sizes for a particular fly type. This
makes the task easier to select flies to tye and flies
Please keep in mind this is only a guide. It is based
on one source, but that source covers an impressive
cross-section of flies. There are always exceptions.
For example, being primarily a warmwater flyfisher, I
tend to have more larger size flies that fall outside
the "normal distribution" depicted in some of the graphs.
Experience will dictate when it is necessary to "think
outside the chart." The beginner now has someplace to
start and the experienced angler now has a guide to aid
in refining his collection. Enjoy! - Richard in Plano, Texas