Message from David Taylor, our former Guild Awards Manager, who set the 2022-23 Fly Tying Competition in the Spring of 2022:

Most years, I try to choose the fly patterns for the FDG Fly-Tying Competition from recent editions of Flydresser. This year, I have adopted a different approach and selected patterns from the videos available on Barry Ord Clarke’s ‘Feather Bender’ YouTube channel. A supporter of the Guild for many years, Barry has agreed to our using his videos in this way and provided the images of the finished flies for this article, for which much thanks. I have tried as much as possible to avoid materials that are difficult to source. Should you have any difficulty obtaining any materials, guidance on suitable substitutes can be sought from the Awards Manager.

The FDG will provide a trophy and certificate to all winners and Veniard have again kindly agreed to support the competition by providing a prize for the winning entry for each category (one prize per person, regardless of the number of categories won). Runner-Ups will receive a certificate. As ever, we are grateful to Veniard for their generous support, and to our Chairman Peter.


Competition Categories and Flies

Novice TroutTreacle Parkin
Novice LureWoolly Bugger
Open TroutTellico Nymph
Open SalmonThe Dunked
Prize Winners TroutBurrowing Mayfly Nymph
Prize Winners SalmonThe Rusty Rat
Dry FlyHair Wing Dun
Creative FlyA caddis pattern of your choice incorporating organza

Information on the flies and their dressings can be found in this document.


How to Enter

A brief overview of how to enter is set out below. Please read the full rules and follow the instructions carefully!

  • To take part, you must submit three identical samples (tied by yourself) of the fly for the category or categories you wish to enter, placed in a suitable clean container (one per category) labelled only with your membership number.
  • Each entry must be accompanied by a duly completed entry form (one form per category).
  • Entries must be received by the FDG Awards Manager by 5:00 p.m. on Saturday 1 April 2023 at the address shown below. Late submissions will not be accepted.
  • The Novice Trout and Novice Lure categories are open to tyers who have been tying for less than two years and who have not won a prize in a previous FDG or other national competitions.
  • The Open Trout and Salmon categories are for FDG Members who have not won or been a runner up in an FDG competition in the relevant category.
  • The Prize Winners categories are only for FDG Members who have previously won or been a runner up in the corresponding Open category.
  • The Dry Fly and Creative categories are open to all FDG members.
  • Winners of multiple categories will only receive one prize from Veniard.


The full rules and entry form can be found below or obtained by sending an s.a.e. to the FDG Fly Tying Competition Secretary, c/o Chris Reeves, 2 Briar Close, West Byfleet, Surrey KT14 6QF. All entries should also be sent to this address.


Improving the consistency of your tying

If the idea of tying dozens of flies to obtain three identical specimens puts you off competitions, look up Tim Benn’s excellent article, ‘Prizes and Surprises’ on Donald Downs’ advice for tying competition flies, published in the Winter 2012 issue of Flydresser and available as an extract here. Also, do make use of the Guild Fly-Tying Award booklets for help with any unfamiliar techniques and, if you live close to a Branch, take advantage of their tying evenings.


Clarification published in Winter 2022 issue of Flydresser – relevant to Prize Winners Trout Fly only

Further to an email received from one of our members, we published a clarification in respect of the Prize Winners Trout Fly (the Burrowing Mayfly) to deal with a discrepancy between the pattern given in Barry Ord-Clarke’s book and his video demonstrating the tying of the fly. For further details, please see here.