Questions are asked on the Bulletin Board, fly-tyiers are
having problems. One has the problem of running out of room
on dry flies, to tie the head and whip-finish. Another has
his Royal Wulffs falling over on their sides. What do all
these questions have in common? The answer is proportions.
Al Campbell states in his Beginning Fly-Tying Series, Part
19-Royal Wulff Fly..."If they don't look exactly perfect (your
goal) the fish won't mind. If the proportions are so out of
balance that the fly tips over on its eye or wing, the fish
will mind, so work on proportions and balance."
The proportions are constant for all different Mayfly Patterns,
no matter what size.
Start the thread Locking Wrap, 1/3 back on the hook
shank, behind the eye. Thread is wrapped forward half the
distance to the eye and then reversed back to the starting
Wings are equal to the length of the hook, measured
from behind the eye to the curve on the hook.
The Wings are tied in at the "Starting Point" 1/3
back from the eye, on the hook shank.
Tail is equal to the length of the hook, from behind
the eye to the curve of the hook. The tail is tied in were
the straight part of the hook shank ends. This is usually
just above the barb on the hook point, just below.
Body of the Mayfly, is 2/3 of the hook shank, starting
at the tail and stopping just behind the wing. Should be a
shallow tapered body.
The Collar (Hackle) is tied in just behind the wings.
The collar's radius is approximately 3/4 length as the hook
shank. The collar should not go beyond the end of the thread
wrap in the front of the wing. At this point you will do
your half-hitch knot to secure the material.
The collar is half-hitched; there is lots of room left
to create the head on the fly.
The "Head" on the fly is created, and whipped finished.
Head Cement is applied, and now is the time to clip any wayward
Please check out the Fly Tying Section, on the Bulletin Board, here at FAOL too.
If you have any questions, tips, or techniques; send them to