Tube Flies Article Tube Flies in the Great Lakes
There exists a method of fly tying that has been around for over a century and enjoys wide-spread use around the globe (including North America) but is conspicuously absent from the Great Lakes fly fisherman's arsenal. I am of course referring to tube flies, which are flies tied on a length of hollow tubing rather than a hook.

With the exception of the Great Lakes salmon fisherman, who use flashy tubes trolled at depth along side other offerings such as spoons, the tube fly has gone virtually unnoticed in all other areas of Great Lakes sport fishing. This is quite surprising given the many ways that tube flies have been adapted around the globe. From the British and Scandinavian Atlantic Salmon fisherman, across the pond to the east coast Striper set, down to the Caribbean and Pacific oceans for both inshore and blue water species, and up the west coast all the way to Alaska for Steelhead and Pacific Salmon, we are quite literally surrounded by tube flies. However, in 8 years of fly fishing 100's of watersheds throughout the Great Lakes I have NEVER ONCE crossed paths with a fisherman actually using a tube fly*.

So why then has the tube fly not "taken off" so to speak in the Great Lakes basin? I suspect it's due to a lack of available information and the supposed difficulty in obtaining materials rather than the designs suitability to our fishery. This series of articles will attempt to shed some light on this style of fly design, make a case for it's use in many Great Lakes fishing situations, and provide a rough foundation for tiers to build upon and experiment.

Tube Fly
Learn More About Tube Flies
  • History of the Tube Fly
  • The Benefits of Tube Flies (Coming Soon!)
  • Buying & Making Tubes (Coming Soon!)
  • Tube Vise Options (Very Soon!)
  • Basic Tube Fly Tying Techniques
  • Saltwater Tube Flies
  • Steelhead Tube Flies
  • Rigging & Fishing Tubes
Fly Tying Article By: Brian Doelle

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* Before we get flooded with email, I should point out that there are a very few Great Lakes anglers using tube flies. However, this group is incredibly small both as a portion of Great Lakes fisherman as a whole and compared to the potential benefits of tube flies in many Great Lakes watersheds. For the most part, it is safe to say that tube flies have been relegated to a handful of adventurous fisherman or a novelty at the fly tying bench.