The Dressings Database (previously referred to as the ‘Dressings Library’) is the list of dressings that used to be available on the old FDG website. It was resurrected and enlarged by Bernard Sunderland of the Craven Branch, who converted it into a text file and wrote a software program that allowed users to search the database and extract the information for particular patterns – thank you hugely, Bernard.

The aim of this database is to establish a ‘record of references’ – a valuable resource for fly-tyers researching original dressings and the development of patterns, styles and materials. It provides a record of around 2,000 established, named patterns taken from reputable published sources, listing the basic materials and the source of the information which can be referred to by anyone who wishes to verify the detail.

Further information on the background to this database and its intended use can be found in this article by Bernard, extracted from the Spring 2014 issue of Flydresser.

Accessing the Dressings Database

Option 1: Access the database using Bernard Sunderland’s files and software.

Bernard prepared three versions of his software, which he kindly agreed to make available to FDG members: one for PCs using Windows, another for PCs using Linux operating system and a third version for Macs. Depending on the type of operating system you use, click on the appropriate link below.

This will download a compressed folder onto your computer called “flypattsMAC”, “flypattsLINUX” or “flypattsWIN”, depending on the version you chose to download.

Open the folder and extract all the files. You should then have a normal folder on your computer called “flypatts”.

Open up that folder and look for the “Read me” file or – if you’re impatient – the “Quick Start” file, and follow the instructions therein.

Note: download and use of Bernard’s software is at your own risk. The software was provided in 2013-14 and operating systems have evolved quite a bit since then. As at December 2022, the Windows version still worked with Windows 11, but the Mac version is not compatible with macOS Ventura. Unfortunately, we’re not able to text the Linux version, but if any member using that operating system can test it for us, we’ll update this note. 

Option 2: Access the Dressings Database as a Google Sheets file

Open the Dressings Database online as Google Sheets file. You’ll be able to perform some limited searches and manipulation online but to have full editing rights and take full advantage of it, you will need to download a copy of it onto your computer (the downloaded spreadsheet will work with Excel and should work with other spreadsheet programs too, depending on their capabilities).

Option 3: Access the Dressings Database as a PDF file

Click on this link to open the Dressings Database as a PDF file, which you can then download and save on your computer. The dressings have been ordered alphabetically and you can search the file using Adobe’s search function. Before you head off to the print button, be warned the file is 290 pages long!).