Top 3 Innovations in 20 Years-Fly Tying

I recently saw an article on Facebook from the Billings Gazette by Bob Krumm called “Fly Tyers name greatest innovations in craft”. In this article he spoke with some “Contemporary” fly Tier’s at the Western Rocky Mountain Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers Expo, which included folks such as Frank Johnson, Bob Jacklin, Al & Gretchen Beatty, Lee Sieckmann, John Newberry, John Kimura and Jim Ferguson.

The question Mr. Krumm posed to the tiers was “What do you consider the three greatest innovations in fly tying in your lifetime?”
Here is a link to the article so that you can see their answers.
I am not even close to the level of this group of people, but I have been fly tying for a little over 20 years and this article got me to thinking about what I thought was in my opinion, the top three innovations. Here are my thoughts and why I think they are the 3 greatest innovations.


My first thought on the greatest innovation is thread. It has come a long way in the last 20 years it is thinner but yet stronger and a lot more colors.

My 2nd thought is materials. Metz was the big name when I started and the hackles were good but the ones out today are longer, stiffer hackles and again more colors. There are also a lot more choices for dubbing, and synthetics are by far more available.

Picture by 

And finally the 3rd and quite possible the greatest innovation, is the Internet.  When I first started to tie flies you could get a book with patterns, or one with how to tie a fly and if you looked real hard you could find a few video cassette’s that were good at showing how it was done.  Now if you want to learn to tie a fly you can find all kinds of instructions on the Internet– be it a particular pattern or just a new technique.

And there you have it my two cents on the three greatest innovations in fly tying in the last twenty years.

What do you think is the greatest innovation we would love to hear what you think so let us know?
Until next time tight lines and Screaming drags.
Brian D.

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