Fly Patterns are grouped in categories that make the sense to us. Categories represent the type of fly, not fish, location, or time of year. Go to the drop down category you’re interested in first, then look through the pattern names for links to images and tying instructions. Salmon flies are usually fairly specific patterns, so we have listed the species we feel each pattern will work best for behind its name.

We’re fortunate to live and fish in Alaska; most of the flies that catch fish are not too difficult to tie yourself and don’t require a microscope. For the most part success is a matter of having something a bit different (a pattern that the fish haven’t seen a zillion times already) and good wading/casting/drifting technique; especially on our fisheries in Southcentral.

For the most part, if Lance and I fish with a fly pattern, we tie it. Although some of the flies listed here are available commercially, most of them are patterns that have been developed by Alaskan fishermen for their fishing and we were lucky enough to find out about them. If you have a question about any pattern you see listed, or know of a fly pattern you have questions about; drop us a line. We’ll do our best to get answers for you.



If you have an inquiring mind the information below may be of some interest.

If you’re just a fly tier, rabid to get started, skip it and get right into the Fly Pattern Sheets.

 The Fly Pattern Sheets (FPS) are an evolution of a project I started late in 1997 for the Alaska Fly Fishers. The monthly AFF newsletter had a fly pattern feature for years, and when AFF created a web site I started doing step by step instructional photos and text and called it Fly of the Month (FOM). At first my process was film to prints (die-cut),  scanned to digital, then manually put into the website by our web master.  But a problem (for me) always persisted. The web site format was HMTL, which just didn’t print out very well.  I finally figured out how to create digital pages with small photos and text for each step, which I formatted into PDFs. I had converted some of my old FOMs into PDFs before we lost all the images with a web site change (and no backup on my part). I currently shoot with a digital camera, crop and size the images in Photoshop, then build the pattern sheets in InDesign, which allows me to save to PDF.

I tell you all this only as an explanation as to why some of the FPSs on our site at this point are crap quality (older) and some are really good (newer). I was able to rebuild some of the PDFs from the old AFF web site, but the quality of those images is not up to my current standards. Some of them are not even close. So welcome to my world – my first job was to get as many of the FPSs rebuilt as possible using the old images. My next job is to redo all the old images with newer images and update the FPS’s.

The good news is that when that job is finished this whole boring bit of trivia will disappear.