While tying flies can be tricky, saltwater flies are a great place to start due to how easy they are to tie. The skills learned from tying saltwater flies transfer over to all types of flies which makes them a great launching point for any angler wishing to get into fly tying. This article will provide you with some versatile, easy to tie flies that every angler should know how to tie.

1. The Clouser

Image courtesy of Orvis

The Clouser, an easy to tie fly, was developed by innovative fly tier and smallmouth bass guide, Bob Clouser. This fly was originally tied to be a smallmouth bass fly but quickly gained popularity across many different fisheries due to its versatility. Depending on how the Clouser is tied, it can replicate many different baitfish species making it a very productive baitfish imitation. This fly can be used to catch anything from trout to bass and many kinds of saltwater species as well. When fishing for striped bass, this fly is always a great starting point. If I don’t know what fly to choose, I almost always tie on a Clouser. When tied sparsely, this fly can even be a great flats fly.

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2. The Deceiver

Image courtesy of Tighlinevideo

The Deceiver was created by fly fishing legend Lefty Kreh and was originally meant to be a smelt imitation used for striped bass. Now, the deceiver is tied in many different sizes and colors which has lent to its versatility as a baitfish pattern and made it one the most popular saltwater flies around the world. The saddle hackle used in this fly makes it look and swim in a very realistic way. When tied in bright colors such as chartreuse, this fly can also be used as an attractor pattern.

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3. The Gurgler

Image courtesy of Tighlinevideo

The gurgler was originally tied by Jack Gartside which is how it became known as the Gartside Gurgler. This easy to tie topwater fly is a lot of fun to fish due to the vicious takes it evokes. Depending on how it’s stripped, it will behave differently allowing it to be used as both a popper and a slider. This fun topwater pattern is productive in many types of water. Typically shallow water or near banks are great water to try this fly on. Another added advantage of this fly is it can be used across many species such as striped bass, trout, and both small and largemouth bass. A good time to try this fly is when there is low light or cloud coverage.

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4. The Seducer

Image courtesy of Pacific Fly Fishers

The seducer, originally a snook fly tied by Homer Rhodes in the 1940s, is another very popular saltwater fly used everywhere. The seducer can be tied in various colors, sizes, and shapes to imitate a wide range of baitfish, ocean crustaceans, and even frogs. What makes this fly so different from others on this list is its ability to be fished in very shallow water due to its neutral buoyancy. This means that anglers can make very delicate presentations to spooky fish in very shallow water. Another key attribute of this fly is the way the large pushes water, making its presence known. While this fly can be used on many saltwater species, it is most commonly used for warmer saltwater fish such as tarpon or snook. This fly isn’t particularly hard to tie but it is a good step up from the flies previously mentioned and will help to further your tying skills.

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5. The Glass Minnow

Image courtesy of McFly Angler

The glass minnow is the simplest, yet one of the most effective flies on the list. This sparsely tied fly is intended to mimic transparent baitfish such as a minnow. Since the glass minnow is a minnow imitation, it proves very effective in areas such as South Florida where there is an abundance of small prey for big fish. Another added benefit of the glass minnow is its ability to imitate juvenile baitfish, making it a useful fly to always have in your box. This fly is extremely versatile, as it can be fished in both shallow and deep water depending on where your school of baitfish or minnows are.

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