This week’s Fly Tying Tuesday Tip is brought to you by Casey Pfeiffer.
Casey Pfeiffer and her husband Lubin live on the road in their blue van as full time travelling fly fishers. She has a fly tying business where she ties custom flies for clients all over, and also writes for several of Australia’s premier fishing magazines. Always keen to support and encourage ladies that want to fly fish, Casey has hosted groups and clinics in Australia and New Zealand, particularly aimed at those wanting to join competition trout fishing.
There are a number of tools that can be used to assist with finishing a fly. The most common are a half hitch tool, whip finish tool, and plain old fingers. Not every tool suits every every situation, so here is a run down of when each comes into play.
Half Hitch Tool
A half hitch tool can be purchased as an individual item, and are also found on the bottom of most bodkins. This tool allows you to finish a fly when a whip finish tool or fingers are too bulky, for instance a parachute fly like a klinkhammer has hackle fibres very close to the eye of the hook. If you were to use a whip finish, you would likely catch the fibres under the thread and ruin the fly. Size 18 or smaller hooks can also be difficult to whip finish when there is no bead, making the half hitch a valuable tool to have your fly tying arsenal.
Whip Finish Tool
The whip finish tool is an extremely efficient way to finish a fly. It creates several half hitches at once, and leaves a very tidy finish. This is ideal for beaded flies with a thread collar, as well as larger dry flies. Whip finish tools looks complicated and daunting, but there are so many YouTube tutorials out there to help you master the technique.
Although it pays to have both half hitch and whip finish tools in your kit, using your fingers can be a more efficient method to finish your flies. You can perform both a whip finish or half hitch with just your fingers, and it ultimately saves times because you are not having to pick up and put down tools constantly.
This is particularly true for those that tie with they’re scissors on their fingers. Although not all tools are suitable for all jobs, they are all worth having in your kit. Each person usually finds a prefered way to finish their flies, but having the option to use another method will mean much more successful tying.
Meet the Author – Casey Pfeiffer, Australia
Casey Pfeiffer first picked up a fly rod 7 years ago and began her journey by targeting large carp on the flats of the Murray river in South Australia. Luckily Casey met another like minded soul on the river, her now husband Lubin. Casey and Lubin’s first dates were fly tying lessons, which Casey very quickly excelled at. Her career Competition fly fishing started shortly after and she now travels all across Australia.
Casey and her husband Lubin now live on the road in their blue van as full time travelling fly fishers. Casey has a fly tying business where she ties custom flies for clients all over, and also writes for several of Australia’s premier fishing magazines.
Casey is representing Australia at the Commonwealth Fly Fishing Championships in New Zealand in March as part of the women’s team, as well as the forst Ladies World Fly Fishing Championships in Norway in July 2020.
Facebook: Casey Pfeiffer