There is nothing worse than losing your last killer fly pattern to a good fish right in the middle of a long weekend fishing trip. If you’re anything like me, this probably happens regularly, but the best way to prevent that from ruining the rest of your trip, is to have a travel fly tying kit with you, so you can whip up that good-good as soon as you get off the water. And we’re here to show you how to make a lightweight kit that you can toss in the truck, or your checked bag and bring with you anywhere!
A Lightweight Vise
The base of any fly tying operation, you’re going to need a vise, unless you want to take on the challenge of tying flies in your hands (which can actually be done). A lightweight vise won’t take up those precious pounds and ounces in your suitcase if you’re traveling by air. Having a table clamp vise will make setting up your tying station easy because it can attach to any table or desk.
A Simple Fly Tying Tool Kit
A quick and easy travel tying kit like the one above will make keeping your tools organized and in one spot. Take it from someone who brought all their tools except their bobbin on a week-long steelhead trip, if you stash a full tool kit in your bag and leave it there, you’ll never have to worry about leaving behind the important stuff!
Your Favorite Materials
Depending on where you’re headed to fish, you probably know what sorts of flies you’re going to be fishing. Bring along just enough materials to replace a few of your favorite patterns. Usually, I like to travel with the materials I use to tie up my old faithful fly patterns. Just be careful if you are traveling internationally as some natural materials (feathers & furs) may not be allowed through customs. If you’re not sure what materials you’ll need, check out our selection of fly tying kits which come purpose-built with everything you need to whip up a dozen bugs and then some!
Different Colored Threads
You never know what the colors fish prefer will be, so I like to travel with a few spools of different colored thread to make sure I have my bases covered. My usual suspects are orange, chartreuse, olive, brown, black and white, I keep them in a little ziplock baggy in my kit so they don’t make a mess if they come unraveled in my travel tying kit bag. And if you are a Postfly Fly Tying subscriber, most of your spools come with 2 colors of thread on them so you can double down and bring more!
An Assortment of Hooks
Hooks are the base of every fly and you’ll want to have your bases covered. Depending on what fish you are targetting and where your fly sizes will vary, but I like to keep a wide range in my kit. Try to have hooks two sizes larger and two sizes smaller than you think you will need, just so you can tune your patterns to what you need.
Dan Zazworsky’s passion is sharing his love of fly fishing with anyone that will listen, read or watch. You can find him exploring new waters every day while chasing any fish that will eat a fly!