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The 100+ Best Fly Tying Books

The fine art of fly tying is practiced by thousands around the world as a hobby, a business, or a money-making strategy.  Many anglers take pride in crafting their own unique pattern, while others see fly tying as a more practical matter that saves them money in the long run.

Wherever you fall on the spectrum, it can be challenging to master this process, especially if you want to move beyond the basics to more intricate patterns and materials.

Thankfully, there are hundreds of books that have been written on the subject, and we are here to help you narrow these down to the best and most helpful according to your specific area of interest.

There is no “one-size-fits-all” option when it comes to fly-tying books. Despite how it may appear to some on the surface, fly tying is a complex activity that has many different facets.

That’s why we’ve divided our top 100+ book recommendations into 15 different categories--so that you can find the best option for your specific fly-tying goals.

Whether you’re a beginner that’s ready to dive into the world of fly tying but don’t know where to start or an experienced angler that is looking to fine-tune your craft and try more advanced techniques, we have some recommendations for you.

If your interest lies in fly fishing for trout, bass, salmon or saltwater fish or you just want to learn more about materials and patterns, we’ve got you covered.

Beginner Books for Fly Tying

Getting started in fly tying is no easy task as there is much to learn. Thankfully, there are a number of great books that can get you on the right path.  They can teach you all the basics, including patterns, materials, and techniques, to get you started.

Many in the fishing community regard these books as some of the best and most straightforward instruction guides that are currently available. These books are excellent references for the beginner, and they all contain well-illustrated images, step-by-step instructions, and techniques.

Fly Tying Made Easy for Beginners
by Randall Kaufmann (Paperback)
The Benchside Introduction to Fly Tying
by Ted Leeson, Jim Schollmeyer (Hardcover-spiral)
Fly Tying For Beginners: How to Tie 50 Failsafe Flies
by Peter Gathercole (Hardcover, Spiral-bound)
Fly Tying Made Clear And Simple II
by Peter Gathercole (Hardcover, Spiral-bound)
Step-by-Step Beginner Fly Tying Manual & DVD
by Ryan Keyes (Kindle, Spiral-bound)
Beginner's Guide to Flytying
by Chris Mann (Kindle, Hardcover)

Bass Fly Tying Books

When many people think about fly fishing, bass isn’t necessarily the first fish that comes to mind. Most of the fly patterns in the market today are actually designed with trout in mind, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from taking on the challenge of fly fishing for monster bass.  

They contain casting methods, strategies, and fly tying techniques for this particular class of fish. These books are  packed with vital information, tips, and sound advice.

Some of these books are great for beginners that want to go bass fishing; they cover the basics without overwhelming the reader with too much information. There are also options for more advanced fly-tying masters who want to learn some next-level techniques that will help them attract bass with their fly rod.
The Best Bass Flies: How to Tie and Fish Them
by Jay Zimmerman (Kindle, Paperback)
The Art of Tying the Bass Fly: Flies for Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, and Pan Fish
by Tom Nixon and Richard Bunse (Paperback, Spiral-bound)
Art of Tying the Bass Fly
by Skip Morris (Paperback, Spiral-bound)
Bass Flies (Cloth)
by Dick Stewart (Hardcover, Paperback)
Fly Tyer's Guide to Tying Essential Bass and Panfish Flies
by Jerry Darkes (Kindle, Spiral-bound)

Fly Tying Pattern Books

There are many basic fly tying patterns that can provide some consistency for fly-tyers, but there are also thousands of different pattern variations. Anglers continually create new designs that can be used for particular fish types, water conditions, and times of day.

Our recommended fly tying pattern books hold a wealth of information on all the available fly patterns (both classic and modern). These books contain the techniques for top patterns and all the information needed to design the patterns correctly with expert tips for solving any problem.

Fleye Design: Techniques, Insights, Patterns
by Bob Popovics and Jay Nichols (Kindle, Hardcover)
Striped Bass Flies: Patterns of the Pros
by David Klausmeyer (Hardcover)
Fly Pattern Encyclopedia: Over 1600 of the Best Fly Patterns (Federation of Fly Fishers)
by Al Beatty, Gretchen Beatty, Jim Schollmeyer, Dave Whitlock (Paperback, Spiral-bound)

Salmon Fly Tying Books

There is a broad range of books focused on tying both classic and modern salmon flies. The books have been written by some of the best tyers around today, and they are inspired by the past innovators and masters.

These books feature in-depth and detailed descriptions of both traditional and modern fly patterns for salmon from the easiest to the most complex.

The books have several tying techniques, and they provide detailed information on the materials, components, and styles of salmon fly tying. Whether you're a beginner salmon fly tier or more experienced, these inspiring books on salmon fly tying can take you to a whole new level.

Flies for Atlantic Salmon
by Dick Stewart, Farrow Allen (Hardcover, Paperback)
Salmon Flies
by Paul Jorgensen (Hardcover)
The Atlantic Salmon Fly - The Tyers and their Art
by Judith Dunham and John Clayton (Hardcover)

Saltwater Fly Tying Books

Saltwater fly fishermen take pride in their craft, and the best know that having the right kind of fly ties can make all the difference.  These books look at the principles behind the saltwater fly and give you guidelines to set you on the path of successful saltwater fly tying.

In reading these books, you will find clear and useful information about fly-fishing in saltwater and If you plan to fish for bonefish or tarpon, these books have got you covered.

They contain guides designed for all skill levels of tyers and provide carefully crafted presentations of everything a tyer needs to get started.

Pop Fleyes: Bob Popovics's Approach to Saltwater Fly Design
by Ed Jaworowski and Bob Popovics (Kindel, Paperback)
Saltwater Fly Patterns
by Lefty Kreh (Hardcover, Paperback)
Saltwater Fly Tying
by Frank Wentink (Hardcover,Paperback)
Tying Contemporary Saltwater Flies: An Illustrated Step-By-Step Guide
by David Klausmeyer and Larry Largay (Hardcover)

Steelhead Fly Tying Books

Fishing for steelhead can be an incredibly rewarding yet challenging experience. Steelhead flies are designed for catching steelhead trout, which are mostly found along the Pacific coast of the United States. They represent the highest class of artistic fly design.

This particular type of tie enjoys a rich tradition as both a creative expression of fly angling and a functionally designed tie for tempting highly treasured steelheads.

So if you are preparing for a steelhead fly-fishing trip, you probably need a solid book about the specific techniques and patterns for steelhead fly tying. Look no further because the books in this category are all you need for success, featuring in-depth analysis of the required techniques, materials, and fly patterns.

Steelhead Flies
by John Shewey (Harcover-spiral)
Steelhead Fly Fishing and Flies
by Trey Combs (Hardcover, Paperback)
Modern Steelhead Flies
by Rob Russell and Jay Nicholas (Kindle, Hardcover)
Steelhead: Fly Tying Guide
by H. Kent Helvie (Hardcover, Paperback)
Tying Steelhead Flies: 12 of the Best
by Deke Meyer (Paperback)
Steelhead Fly Tying Manual
by Tom Light and Neal Humphrey (Paperback)
Tying Saltwater Flies: 12 of the Best
by Deke Meyer (Paperback)

Trout Fly Tying Books

Trout flies are designed to catch trout in both lakes and rivers. Trout are brilliant; they can reject a fly based on mismatched colors or the tiniest imperfection.

If you want to catch any trout, you will need the guidance of expert tyers. Hundreds of books have been written about trout fly tying, but only a few are worthy of reading.

The books listed in the category are the best for trout that are available on the market. Some of them provide advice on accessories and tackle along with instructions on fly tying and casting, while others display well-illustrated photos of fly tying patterns and also offer tips on how to locate likely trout spots.

These books contain instructions for both novice and expert fly tyers.

Techniques of Trout Fishing and Fly Tying
by George W. Harvey (Hardcover, Paperback)
Jack Dennis Western Trout Fly Tying Manual
by Jack Dennis (Paperback)
Fly Tying for Trout
by Eric Taverner (Hardcover)
Western Trout Fly Tying Manual I
by Jack Dennis (Spiral-bound)
Trout Flies: The Tier's Reference
by Dave Hughes (Hardcover)

Fly Tying Instruction Guide Books

Almost every fly fisher doing this sport started by tying flies on their own. There are lots of reasons for doing this, and it’s pretty easy to get the basics down.  However, without any help, fly tying might seem confusing. It can be challenging to find the right equipment, design the correct pattern and so on. Sometimes all you need is the right book.

Fly tying instruction guides can teach anyone how to tie flies. All the essential techniques in the books are illustrated with photographs that make them easy to comprehend. These books are so detailed that anyone without prior experience can pick them up and quickly learn how to start tying.

Complete Book of Fly Tying
by Eric Leiser (Hardcover)
Fly-Tying Tips & Reference Guide
by Dick Stewart (Paperback)
Orvis Fly-Tying Guide
by Tom Rosenbauer (Hardcover, Paperback)
Fly-Tying Tips & Reference Guide
by Dick Stewart (Paperback)

Fly Tying Material Books

These books show what is still useful and what new options are available in the ever-increasing armory of tools and materials.

Some of the books offer patterns and directions for hand-made flies by making use of off-the-shelf materials, creating better results, while some describe how to meet the challenges of new tying materials.

All in all, these fly tying material books provide tips and techniques, address common tying problems, and provide solutions to all of them. The books also cover new proven techniques and patterns and help any fly angler sort through fly tying materials.

Fly-Tying Materials: Their Procurement, Use, and Protection.
by Eric Leiser (Hardcover, Paperback)
Fly Tying with Common Household Materials (Fly Tyer)
Jay "Fishy" Fullum - Publisher: Lyons Press - Edition no. 1 (11/22/2011) - Spiral-bound: 176 pages
Flytying Tools and Materials
by Jacqueline Wakeford (Hardcover)
Modern Fly-Tying Materials
by Dick Talleur (Hardcover)
Fly-Tying: Materials, Tools, Techniques
by Helen Shaw (Paperback)
The International Guide to Fly-Tying Materials
by Barry Ord Clarke and Robert Spaight (Hardcover)

Midge Fly Tying Books

If you are interested in tying midge patterns and want to learn what the process is, then you need to get your hands on one of these books. With a little practice, you’ll find that tying midge patterns is very easy to do.

Each of the books contains an extensive list of midge patterns with tons of variations, nuances, and colors. The patterns in the books have been used time and time again with success across many rivers and states.

You can add any of these books to your collection and use them as inspiration whenever you want to tie.

Modern Midges: Tying & Fishing the World's Most Effective Patterns
by Jerry Hubka and Rick Takahashi (Kindle, Spiral-bound)
Midge Magic
by Dan Holbrook and Ed Koch (Kindle, Hardcover)
Tying Small Flies
by Ed Engle (Kindle, Paperback)

Modern Fly Tying Books

For most anglers, fly tying is the next best thing to fishing. New materials and tools are being added to the arsenal of fly tyers every year, so this leads to practical, down to earth, and well-illustrated books on modern fly tying.

These books cover the cutting-edge techniques and fly tying patterns being used by expert tyers. They can walk you through everything from the latest tools and materials to the more advanced techniques needed to tie a broad range of modern flies.

The books are built on successful fly tying classes, and most of them start with the simple flies and work their way up to more complex modern patterns.

Smallmouth: Modern Fly-Fishing Methods, Tactics, and Techniques
by Dave Karczynski and Tim Landwehr (Kindle, Paperback
Modern Fly-tying Techniques
by John Veniard (Hardcover)
Modern Fly Dressings for the Practical Angler
by Paul Jorgensen (Hardcover)

Nymph Fly Tying Books

Nymphs make up 90% of the diets of brown and rainbow trout. This is why it is essential that you learn how to use nymphs for fly-fishing. If you want to be a better nymph fisherman, you won’t be disappointed in purchasing any of these books.

Several nymph patterns have evolved from the different basic tying techniques and designs. These books talk about how modifications can be tailored to the fly designs to produce the desired behavior.

Once you know how to do it, nymph fishing is one of the most effective angling methods. All the books include detailed tying instructions, techniques, and how to prepare the materials.

Nymph Fly-Tying Techniques
by Jim Schollmeyer (Paperback, Spiral-bound)
The Art of Tying the Nymph
by Skip Morris (Hardcover, Paperback)
Tying Nymphs (Flyfishing Reference)
by Randall Kaufmann (Hardcover, Paperback)
Tying & Fishing Fuzzy Nymphs
by E. H. Rosborough (Hardcover, Paperback)
American Nymph Fly Tying Manual
by Randal Kaufmann (Paperback)
Tying & Fishing Soft-Hackled Nymphs
by Allen Mcgee (Paperback)
Pheasant Tail Nymph Fly Tying Book and Kit
by Steve Hudson (Paperback)
Fly Tyers Nymph Manual
by Randall Kaufmann (Leather Bound, Paperback)

Streamer Fly Tying Books

Streamers are created to resemble a sizeable aquatic prey or some form of baitfish. Streamers can be patterned after both saltwater and freshwater prey species. There are lots of things to know about streamer fly tying, and if you are interested in this particular sport, then you need some help.

Many authors have written books about this topic, and we have listed just a few good choices for you.  The books show detailed photos and complete instructions on how to match several patterns, while also providing different tips that can help any fly tyer fish well.

Streamer Fly Tying & Fishing
by Joseph D. Bates (Hardcover)
Tying Heritage Featherwing Streamers
by Sharon E. Wright (Kindle, Paperback)

Dry Fly Tying Books

This section contains a range of dry fly tying books showcasing some tremendous dry fly patterns, tips, and techniques. The books are designed for every tyer from beginner to expert, so no matter your skill level, you will find a book that will help you with your specific goals.  

The books come with concise and clear instructions and photos, and some of them feature all kinds of insects for any situation. They feature all the tools, materials, and techniques required.

Flies that Catch Fish - Volume One - Dry Flies & Emergers
by Bob Wyatt and Carl McNeil (DVD, CD-ROM)
Tying Dry Flies (Third Edition)
by Randall Kaufmann (Hardcover, Paperback)
The Art of Tying the Dry Fly
by Skip Morris and Richard Bunse (Hardcover, Paperback)
Tying Catskill-Style Dry Flies
by Mike Valla (Kindle, Hardcover)

Fly Tying Books by Authors

In this category, we present collections of our favorite authors of fly tying books. They translate their fly fishing experience into reading experiences that we enjoy. These authors capture fly fishing with a language everyone would understand irrespective of their skill level. They are some of the leading experts on fly fishing, flies, and fly tying.

These authors are known to anglers around the world and have written a series of books that cut across several categories of fly tying. You can learn the tricks of the trade from some of the best tyers in the world.

Charlie Craven:

Charlie's Fly Box: Signature Flies for Fresh and Salt Water
by Charlie Craven (Kindle, Paperback)

Randall Kaufmann:

Tying Dry Flies (Third Edition)
by Randall Kaufmann (Hardcover, Paperback)
Fly Tyers Nymph Manual
by Randall Kaufmann (Leather Bound, Paperback)
Tying Nymphs: Tie the World's Best Nymphs With Speed, Ease, and Efficiency
by Randall Kaufmann (Hardcover, Paperback, Spiral-bound)
Fly tying made easy for beginners
by Randall Kaufmann (Paperback)

Skip Morris:

Fly Tying Made Clear and Simple
by Skip Morris (Hardcover, Spiral-bound)
Concise Handbook of Fly Tying
by Skip Morris (Paperback)
Tying Foam Flies
by Skip Morris (Hardcover, Paperback)

But Wait, There's More...

Tying Flies With Jack Dennis and Friends
by Jack Dennis (Spiral-bound)

“Tying” it All Together

You might be saying to yourself, “That’s a lot of books. Which one do I pick up first?” We know that individual taste in fly tying books varies as much as fishermen’s favorite flies or rods, and your choice of fly tying depends on a lot of factors like your location, the type of water you plan to fish in, the fish you want to catch, and more.

With all this in mind, we put these fly tying books into categories so that you can quickly find the books you need. We hope with this list we have been able to match your preference with the books that will be most helpful to you.

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