Brita Fordice on Tying Flies

Anchored Podcast:


Fly tying expert, Brita Fordice, joins me on this episode of Anchored to discuss tying flies, life, and much more. Fishing has always been a part of Brita Fordice’s life. Growing up in Washington she fished for steelhead, trout, and salmon. She even started tying flies at 10 years old. As an accomplished angler and guide in Puget Sound, her custom patterns are loved by fly fishers everywhere. Listen to this fun conversation to hear more about Brita’s life, designs, fly tying tricks, and so much more.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:15] Brita Fordice grew up fly fishing in Washington
  • [10:22] Brita has taken tying flies to a whole new level
  • [17:35] How does she keep from having her beautifully crafted flies not turn into a terrible mess when mass-produced?
  • [20:20] What does she love and hate about different flies?
  • [25:25] Why do they use UV hardened resin?
  • [31:05] What are her thoughts on intruders?
  • [35:22] Which flies is she most proud of?
  • [40:09] What is a true Spey fly?
  • [45:08] Does she modify any of her materials?
  • [48:05] What kind of feathers does she use?
  • [51:22] What is the perfect deceiver for her?
  • [53:44] What is her biggest frustration with hooks?
  • [57:26] What tricks is she willing to share?

Brita Fordice has always had ties to fishing

After a childhood spent fishing the waters of South Fork, Washington, Brita studied biology in college before becoming a vet technician. She came full circle back to fly fishing after wandering through Idaho and Alaska while working at vet clinics. When she returned to Seattle she spent more and more time fly fishing in Puget Sound until she finally realized that she was spending as much time at the fly shop as some of the staff. She started working at Avid Angler in Seattle in 2004 and balanced work there with being a fly fishing guide. Discover how she gained attention on Instagram and what she is up to now.  

Brita has taken tying flies to a whole new level 

Brita’s fly tying has evolved over time since she loves to experiment with different materials and flies. On social media, her fly posts are even more popular than her fish posts. Brita now designs flies for RIO full-time and she also sells custom-made flies to private customers. She loves tying all kinds of flies, but is really drawn to squid and shrimp patterns. She focuses on how shrimp swim and pays special attention to hook placement. Learn why Brita doesn’t post pictures of her favorite flies by listening to our conversation. 

How does she prevent her beautifully crafted flies from turning into a terrible mess when mass-produced?

Mass production of fly designs brings its own set of problems. You can craft an amazing fly but once production starts, your beautiful work often turns into a heap of junk. Brita understands how these problems arise and she knows that she has to be extremely specific when talking to the manufacturers. Sizes, distances, and materials have to be exact. 

Brita shares her tricks of the trade

Brita has been tying flies for so long that she has developed her own tricks of the trade. She clues me in on the benefits of UV resin, how it works and why it’s beneficial to many different fly designs. We discuss which flies she is most proud of, her favorite materials, and her biggest frustrations. She has many tricks to share with us so make sure to listen until the end to hear her recommendations. 

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