Preparing for the next season – dyeing and tying

Preparing for the next season – dyeing and tying

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It is time to fill up all the tying materials after the quiet early winter time. During this season I start to fill empty material stocks and buy missing materials everywhere - from local dealers, web shops and from other flytyers. I also like to dye materials, like hairs and feathers.  The first reason to start dyeing was to find the perfect color for banana and I started to fix the colors of bought materials. Later I have started to buy more and more pure white materials and dye those by myself. Sometimes when you order materials from web shops the color isn’t exactly the same than in pictures and you have to fix it a bit. By dyeing the materials yourself you get exactly what you want. Here are my simple tips to home dyeing.


  • First of all, the quality of feathers and hairs is the key
  • Wash grease off the materials carefully with shampoo or dishwashing liquid
  • Heat one liter of water, do not boil



  • Add two teaspoons of Veniard dye color and blend it

  • Add three tablespoons of ceramic tile cleaner as a primer. The key is in the low pH value. Old school guys use vinegar but I prefer tile cleaner as it doesn’t smell so bad.


dying hair for salmon flies

  • Add the materials to the hot water and stir it 6-12 min. Check the color’s tone and remove when the desired color is reached. Note that the color is darker when the material is wet.


dying hair for salmon flies

  • Rinse the dyed materials with cool water and let them dry a little bit

  • I want to see the result immediately, so I dry the materials with a hair dryer. If you have better nerves than me, you can let it dry over the night.


dying hair for salmon flies


  • Comb dry hairs to get a smooth last result


dying hair for salmon flies


Be careful with the colors and don’t use any kitchen instruments meant for cooking. For starters, you need a pan,  measurement cups and pliers.
Here are three effective patterns from freshly dyed materials.
Brown and orange on bottle tube. Easy way to tie fluoro fibre tail straight to cleft of bottle tube.


bottle tube flour fibre

bottle tube baltic salmon

Allrounder Willie Gunn tied on copper tube

willie gun great salmon fly
Bright banana for flooding river

banana fly banana flug

I hope everyone who is interested in dyeing got some tips from this text. I have found this “recipe” from Finnish fly fishing forum and this isn’t the one and only way, but this is my simple DIY way.


tying salmon flies

Happy holidays to everyone and tight lines for the next season!