The Fly Tying Materials Source

Baltimore’s Fly Shop for Fly Tying Materials

One of the most difficult but pleasurable decisions you have to make while preparing to tie your own fishing flies is selecting fly tying materials. The choices appear endless, from feathers and furs to hooks and beads. Aren’t you lucky that the staff at the Great Feathers fly shop in Sparks MD (North of Baltimore) is just waiting to help you?

Once you have assembled the equipment and tools you need, it’s time to indulge yourself in browsing through all the materials available, including:


If you are new to fly fishing, you might be surprised at the variety of sizes and styles of hooks. To make the process more manageable, first pick a fly pattern recipe that appeals to you and is just right for the kind of fishing you do. Such recipes usually recommend the best size. If not, Great Feathers staff can provide a convenient hook chart.


Not just any thread will do if you want to produce an excellent fly. Size is the most important factor as the thread needs to be in proportion to the hook. Have a chat with Great Feathers staff so you are confident in your choice of mixed, corded Uni thread or yarn, or nylon UTC thread, braid or yarn. You sure don’t want to lose one of those Gunpowder River trout because you put too fine a thread on a large fly and it snapped.

Fly Tying Materials

This is where the fun begins! There are two main categories:

  • Natural – You might be partial to real feathers, skin or fur for the tail, body and wings on your fly. See what you can fashion from bits of skin from grouse, pheasant and chicken or the fur from rabbits and deer.
  • Synthetic – Perhaps, you prefer to work with manmade materials which mimic and even enhance their natural counterparts. There’s nothing like a bit of stretch or flash fiber to spark up a design so it looks better than the bug or fish you’re trying to imitate.
  • Feathers – Whether you are partial to real or synthetic feathers, you will find what you need in our Great Feathers stock. We understand how important it is to have just the right color, size and strength of quill for your pattern. You can choose among turkey, marabou, partridge, pheasant, duck or peacock feathers. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, we can search for you or discuss options for substitution.
  • Specialty Feathers – If you are collecting materials for tying an extraordinary fly, Great Feathers is the place to shop. We have sourced rare materials, including specialty feathers from across the US and UK. Imagine working with English partridge grey neck feathers or a peacock blue neck in shimmering iridescence. We take as much pleasure as you in tracking down just the right feather.
  • Furs and Hairs Many expert fly tiers find natural furs and hairs are the best for dubbing. Whether you want squirrel, calf tail or deer belly, to the more exotic Arctic fox hair or fibers from an Angora goat, we will be glad to supply you. Furs and hairs won’t just look real on your nymphs, streamers and emergers, they will also bring the flies to life. Let us help you find exactly the material and color your pattern requests.


Lead wire is useful for ribbing and for weight. Great Feathers also carries a large selection of lead, brass or tungsten beads which add weight and the bonus flash and color to attract that catch.


We can provide you with lead or lead free wire for ribbing and for weight. Our staff would also be pleased to tell you all about the new UTC Ultra Wire. It’s good for the usual ribbing and weight but you just might be interested in making a complete fly from Ultra Wire. It looks great and sinks like a stone.


Great Feathers also carries a large selection of lead, brass or tungsten beads which add weight and the bonus flash and color to attract that catch. Some are multi-faceted to reflect even more light and others have realistic eyes to catch the attention of an unsuspecting trout.

If you’re going to take fly tying seriously, you want to make sure your fly tying bench is well stocked with all the necessary materials for your favorite fly patterns. Use the knowledge and experience of our Great Feathers staff to help you organize a shopping list and then work your way through all the choices to select what will work best for the kind of fly fishing ties you want to make.

If you can’t actually visit the store in Sparks MD, browse the online shop and ask your questions via email or phone. You’ll receive the same prompt, knowledgeable service as if you were in our Great Feathers fly shop.