How to Mount Fishing Flies

Written by keith dooley
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How to Mount Fishing Flies
Mount fishing flies to create unique and interesting displays. (Hand Tied Fly Fishing Fly image by Chuck Alexander from

Fishing flies are imitations of insects and even small rodents and amphibians that are tied using a variety of feathers, animal hairs, thread and hooks. Many anglers have favourite fly patterns they use on a regular basis, when fishing for a variety of fresh and saltwater game fish species. There may be times when a favourite fly pattern or fly used to catch a memorable fish would like to be preserved or used as part of a display. With some patience and creativity, mounted flies can be used to create a unique and impressive display.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Shadow box
  • Contact paper, cork, material or other covering
  • Scissors, knife
  • Fishing flies
  • Pictures, license and other mementos
  • Hot glue gun

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  1. 1

    Place the shadow box on a flat work surface with the glass facing down. Remove any retaining clips and pull the back of the shadow box off of the box frame. Place the back of the shadow box on the work surface so that the inside, or side that is visible when viewing from the front, is face up.

  2. 2

    Cover the back of the shadow box with interesting themed contact paper, cork, cloth or other materials. Cut the covering with scissors or a sharp knife so that it completely covers the back of the shadow box.

  3. 3

    Apply hot glue to the corners, edges and several spots in the centre of the shadow box back and press the covering in place. Smooth the material, cork or paper so that there are no wrinkles or bubbles visible.

  4. 4

    Arrange any pictures, license or other objects on the shadow box back along with the fishing flies. In many cases, the flies will need to be mounted so that they are prominently displayed.

  5. 5

    Use a small piece of wood, such as a toothpick, to help the fly stand out in relief from the back and other objects. The small stick can be painted to match the background so it will not stand out. Hot glue the items in place and then mount the fly with a small drop of hot glue.

  6. 6

    Hot glue the fly to one end of the small stick to create visual interest and separation. Apply hot glue to the opposite end of the stick and attach the mounted fly to the shadow box back. Allow the hot glue to thoroughly dry.

  7. 7

    Turn the back of the shadow box over and place it onto the frame of the shadow box. Hold the back firmly in place against the frame and turn the entire shadow box assembly over to view the display from the front. Make any adjustments to the items or flies in the box and then secure the back to the shadow box using the attached retaining clips.

Tips and warnings

  • Select a shadow box that is the appropriate size for the flies and any other objects that may be used. If including an old fishing license, picture or even a reel, make sure that the box will easily accommodate the items. Also consider the style and material used to make the shadow box. Various woods including cherry, oak, walnut and plain black finish are often available.

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