MDC offers free virtual fly-tying classes starting Jan. 3

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St. Joseph, Mo. – Flying fishing has two arts. One is the fishing, the other is hand tying flies and lures to catch fish. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer a free virtual fly-tying class between 6 and 8 p.m. every Monday and Thursday evening from Jan. 3 to Jan. 31. These online classes will help newcomers learn how to twine a hook with thread, hackles, feathers, and fur for fly fishing lures that catch fish.

Using a flyrod to cast very small lures is a sport that’s been around a very long time. But flyrods and flies are proving just as effective in modern times for trout, bass, and panfish. A fly tied in winter can be tested on rainbow trout at one of MDC’s urban winter trout lakes.

Students will learn a variety of techniques for the art of fly tying. Participants will need to have a variety of tools and materials to complete the online course. That includes: a common vice, thread bobbin, black tying thread 140 (2/0), and 210 Denier (6/0), bobbin threader, Dr. Slick Rotary whip finisher, or Cabela’s brand (the kind that freely spins in the handle), hair packer, hair stacker, dubbing brush, fly tying scissors, tying wax, hackle pliers, and bodkin.

Some optional items that would be useful includes head cement, multiple bobbins, other colors of thread (red, white, olive, and tan), a wine cork for displaying tied flies, small block of wood with 1/8 to 1/4-inch holes drilled in it for tool storage, cheap magnet for organizing hooks, extra scissors, small wire cutters, and small tackle box for storage.

MDC will also send some materials ahead of the class times to registered participants. Anyone having difficulties obtaining tools or materials, or who has questions about what to purchase, is asked to contact TJ Peacher, MDC education district supervisor, at

Students will be encouraged to take note and practice fly tying between classes. Classes are progressive, sessions will use techniques learned in earlier classes. The virtual classroom will be open a half-hour early before each session for anyone needing extra help.

These classes are open to participants ages 15 and older. Registration is required. To register, visit