Any time you get or tie a newly-designed fly,
test it in a sink, bathtub or aquarium to check
the fly's action. One time I tied damsel nymphs
on swimming nymph hooks and found that on a
retrieve they would turn on their side unless
weighted at the gooseneck curve of the hook.
Another time, I designed a crayfish fly to ride
point up. Watching them in one of my Plexiglas
tanks, I soon found out I had to move the weight
to a different area of the hook to get it to
A good way to do these tests is to make a miniature
fishing rod from a piece of 1/4-inch-diameter wooden
dowelling. Just add a short pice of mono to tie on
the test fly. ~ HH
Credits: This tip is one of many by Henry Hoffman
in the new book, Northwest fly patterns & tying
guide, by the Rainland Fly Casters, published
by Frank Amato Publications.
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