Trout and Salmon Flies
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Using the Needle Fly Kit


Needle Flies have now been replaced by Needle Tubes

 Making Slim Salmon and Sea Trout Needle Flies

NOTE: This kit is for making Needle Flies (i.e. flies dressed on sewing needles) NOT Needle Tube Flies

The Needle Fly was devised in the late nineteen nineties and precedes the more recently developed Needle Tube Flies , examples of which is shown to the right.


Needle Flies

Needle Flies for Sea Trout, Salmon and Steelhead Fishing

For full details of our kit components, see: Needle Flies


Instructions for use with the Needle Fly Kit, now available in our online shop.  

This kit has been put together for those who would like to tie their own Needle Flies but might find some of the components ( such as PVC tubing) not readily available. The kit does not include fly tying tools, thread or materials. To complete the Needle Fly, in addition to the components supplied, you will need standard fly tying tools, thread, varnish and dressing materials such as squirrel hair.

This kit should be purchased and handled only by adults with some experience of fly tying.


Fishing hooks and needles may cause injury.

It is strongly recommended that the materials in this kit should be purchased and handled only by adults with some experience of fly tying. Please handle needles and hooks very carefully and keep out of reach of children. The construction of the Needle Fly, as in all fly tying, involves the risk of minor injuries from hook and needle points etc.

Take all sensible precautions while handling the materials in this kit. It is essential that you wear a safe and effective form of eye protection, such as safety glasses, when handling and using the needles and hooks in this kit, as needles and some hooks are brittle and may break when bent. It is also important to wear effective head and eye protection when fly fishing.

Instructions - How to make a Needle Fly

Select a needle and fit in fly tying vice so that around two to three centimetres of the pointed end of the needle is exposed to the right of the vice (if right handed). Be careful when handling the needles as they are brittle and may break when bent.

At one centimetre from the point, apply a tight wrapping of fine tying thread no more than 2 millimetres in length. This wrapping forms the needle stop and should be just thick enough to prevent the needle slipping through the PVC sleeve on the treble hook while fishing. Apply two coats of varnish to the thread stop (allow to dry between coats).

 Needle Fly - step 1

Remove the needle from the vice, turn it and fit with the eye to the right, allowing enough room to work on the dressing. Be careful not to damage the thread stop, which should now be to the left of the vice jaws.

Lay a bed of tying thread, around half a centimetre long, behind the eye of the needle.

Needle Fly - step 2

Take a length of strong nylon monofilament and form a loop in the end. Lay this loop, pointing forward, over the bed of tying thread and continue with enough firm turns of thread to secure the loop.  

Needle Fly - step 3

Cut off the excess ends of the monofilament and cover the ends with tying thread to give a smooth, level bed for applying the dressing of your choice. The loop should be large enough to allow a leader of around twelve pound breaking strain to be easily threaded through it. Apply a coat of thin varnish to the whipping.

Needle Fly - step 4

 The needle can now be dressed in any way you wish. I generally prefer a fairly sparse dressing of hair, usually squirrel or Arctic fox, extending to the point of the needle, with a strand or two of Crystal Hair. I leave the silver shank of the needle bare.

Needle Fly - step 6

Needle Fly - step 7

Needle Fly - step 8

Needle Fly - step 9

Select a treble hook and PVC tubing of appropriate size (the thicker PVC tubing, bore 1.5mm, is better for the larger treble hooks, size 10 or 8; thinner PVC tubing with a bore of 1.0mm is better for fine wire treble hooks size 14 and 12). Cut a short length of PVC and carefully slide it over the eye and on to the shank of the treble hook, leaving the eye of the hook clear.

Needle Fly - step 10


Attaching the Needle Fly

STEP 1 - Thread the line through the "eye" of the Needle fly and attach one of the specially adapted treble hooks.  

STEP 2 - Carefully push the point of the needle into the plastic sleeve on the treble hook until the plastic stop on the needle touches the sleeve.

Step 1

STEP 1 - attaching Needle Fly


Step 2

STEP 2 - attaching Needle Fly

It is important to wear effective head and eye protection when fly fishing.  


Attached Needle Fly

Needle Fly

Click on the above image to enlarge

Details of the needle fly were first published in the article, "Needles for Sewin", by John Gray, Trout & Salmon magazine, September 1999




Fly Tying Needle Tubes


fine stainless steel tubes with an outside diameter of only 1.5 mm

the thinnest metal fly tying tubes available online

More from Grays of Kilsyth

Illustrated below are some of the needle tubes and tube flies; trout, salmon and sea trout flies; spinheads; fly tying accessories, some of them unique and available online only from Grays of Kilsyth, e.g. our ultra-slim stainless steel fly tying Needle Tubes and Needle Tube Flies. 

Gray's Needle Tubes

Needle Tubes

Fine stainless steel fly tying tubes in a range of lengths with diameters as low as 1.5 mm

1.5mm Diameter Needle Tubes

1.8mm Diameter Needle Tubes

HMH Tube Fly Adaptor

HMH Tube Fly Tool

The superb HMH Tube Fly Adapter is now available in our online shop at 39.99 with four free sample Needle Tubes.

Sea Trout Needle Tube Flies

Sea Trout Tube Flies

A boxed selection of one dozen sea trout needle tube flies in 25mm and 35 mm lengths.

Scottish Shrimp Salmon Tube Flies

Scottish Shrimp Tube Flies

A selection of Scottish Shrimp fly patterns dressed on 10mm Grays Needle Tubes.

Spey Shrimp Needle Tube Flies

Spey Shrimp Flies

One dozen Spey Shrimp Tube flies dress on 1.8mm diameter needle tubes.

Minitube Salmon Flies

Salmon Minitubes

A selection of twelve salmon minitube flies dressed on 10mm long needle tubes.

Wee Monkey Needle Tube Flies

Wee Monkey Salmon Tubes

A selection of 12 Wee Monkey Salmon Tube Flies in a range of popular colours.

Blackback Salmon Needle Tubes

Blackback Tubes

A box of ten Blackback Salmon needle tube flies

Traditional Scottish Doubles

Traditional Scottish Salmon Flies

A boxed selection of twenty famous traditional salmon doubles from Fulling Mill.



The Spinhead is an entirely new spinning device, a kind of fly spoon, designed and developed by Grays of Kilsyth primarily for the salmon fly fisherman who prefers the fly rod to the spinning rod.

Sea Trout Fly Singles

Sea Trout Flies

A box of forty sea trout single flies in sizes 10 and 8.

Trout Wet Flies

Scottish Loch Flies

A boxed selection of forty famous traditional Scottish wet flies for loch and river.

Trout Dry Flies

Trout Dry Flies

A box of forty famous British Dry Flies in a variety of sizes.





All of the above needle tubes, flies, fly tying and related accessories are available from Grays of Kilsyth online with free UK shipping on orders over 60




Quick Product Links

Needle Tubes
1.5mm Needle Tubes
1.8mm Needle Tubes
HMH Tube Fly Adaptor
Needle Tube Flies
Scottish Shrimp Tubes
Spey Shrimp Tubes
Wee Monkeys
Sea Trout Tube Flies
Salmon Doubles
Traditional Doubles
Trout & Sea Trout
Sea Trout Flies
Sea Trout Needle Tubes
Trout Flies
Trout Dry Flies
Fly Boxes
Extension Tubing
Needle Fly Kit

Our Needle Tubes and boxed selections of trout, sea trout and salmon flies are available in our online fly shop with free UK delivery on all orders over 60.

All online payments are processed by the trusted Worldpay payment system, the safest way to shop on the internet. You can be sure that your personal and credit card details will remain strictly confidential and secure. We normally dispatch all orders within 24 hours of receipt of your order, by first class post within the UK (which often means next day delivery for orders placed early in the day) and by airmail to international destinations.

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Related Web Pages

Grays Online Fly Shop

Trout & Salmon Fishing

Trout Fishing Scotland

Salmon Fishing Scotland

The Tube Fly Shop

Salmon Flies

Trout Flies

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Tube Flies

Sea Trout Fishing



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