Top tying tips
Decide whether you want to tie on barbed or barbless hooks. This season I have been tying on the Fulling Mill grab gape hooks which are excellent, especially if you are allowed to fish catch and release. Tie some flies with metal beads and some with glass beads. Very often you will find that depth is important to find the fish. When tying in the marabou tail use your thumb nail and forefinger to strip out the flue so that you only tie down the stalks. This creates less bulk. Tie in the strands of blue tinsel so they lie neatly along the marabou tail. When palmering the hackle make sure the front face is looking in the direction you want the palmer to go (i.e. dark side looking towards the eye of the hook). As you wind the hackle forward, wet your thumb and forefinger and sweep the hackle fibres back after each turn. This will keep them neat and regular. Ensure the dark side of the hackle is facing to the front after each turn. It is easy to inadvertently twist the hackle. Use the stripped marabou flue in a dubbing rope or, if you want a more compact body, use a dubbing loop. Take two turns of the hackle immediately behind the bead head. When finishing the fly, paint some head cement or Superglue onto the thread and then tie down. This prevents the glue going anywhere near the hackles.