These eyes can be used for any number of
patterns from Damsel nymphs to stoneflies,
mayflies and dragon nymphs. I have used 2mm
silver-lined glass craft beads available at
most craft stores at a much lower price than
the average fly tying shop. For little mayfly
eyes look around for the extra small needlepoint
beads; they also come in a wide selection of
- 10lb test monofilament line
- silver-lined glass beads, assorted colours
- hackle pliers or something similar to hold mono
- flat metal surface like jar lid, I use
base of hair stacker
1. Grasp monofilament with hackle pliers
leaving ½ inch sticking out.
2. Hold end of mono line next to the flame
of the candle. Just melt the end, do not
let it catch fire.
3. Quickly press the hot, melted end of the
monofilament onto your metal surface to
flatten the end.
4. Select two beads and slide them onto the
monofilament, make sure the flat end of the
mono is large enough to hold the beads. If
not repeat steps 2-3 until you get the hang
5. Position beads and mono line like so.
6. Hold next to the candle flame once again
to melt the other end of the monofilament.
7. Quickly flatten the melted end on your flat
metal surface and the eyes are done!
I find that using hackle pliers is an
easy way to ensure proper spacing of
the beads, and it is also a second flat
metal surface that helps flatten the
melted monofilament into a nice disc.
~ Ailsa McIntosh (sheties)
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