Fly Tying - It's all about action!

Fly Tying - It's all about action!

Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Most fish can feel our flies without seeing them from quite a distance! Still most fly tiers are focussing on how their flies look to fellow fly fishermen instead!

In my fly fishing experience the movement of our flies is most important in terms of catching fish. The right movement often can outweigh color, shape and even size of our flies! The other way round? Doesn't happen as often as movement is king.

What movements can we support by the design of our flies?

Wobbling action = left, right, left, right symmetric action (usually a lip involved)

Spinning action = rotating around the length axis

Jigging (sinking) action = sinking when no retrieve, lifting again by retrieve

Opposite jigging (rising) action = floating and due to a sinking line sinking by retrieving

Popping (floating) action = floating and "blurping" water by a huge front (nose) when retrieving

Popping (sinking) action = sinking and blurping upwards by a huge transversely front

Jerking/Twitching action = short strong pulls will make the fly break out in all directions. Brilliant movement!

Flanking action = turning slightly up and down along the length axis (color changes from dark upside to bright downside are brilliant here)

Skating action = floating straight movement in relation to the line above moving water

Hitching action = floating angeled movement in relation to the line above moving water

Pulsating = Looks like the fly is breathing. Tied with fluffy materials or hackles wrapped around the shank.

No-action action = Can be done by a stop and pause in between all action to some of the above and is often deadly!

Yeah, that's obviously a lot of action! I bet most of you fine fly fishermen and fly tiers have not yet thought of all these possibilties! I yet have to meet a single first fly fisherman mastering all these movements.

Believe me every single of these actions can be the one only key to catch a lot or just the one fish you are after in a certain fishing situation.


Hopefully I could inspire you to start fly tying outside your current box!?

Great fly fishing week to all of you!

All my best


This time no pictures thus not as always. This fp is all about movement and movement only!