Fly Tying Software

So I have been on the search for a better fly tying software. I have used Eli Robillard’s Superfly Fishing Machine for years  , and it has been great. The only problem is that as windows is getting more and more advanced, it gets harder and harder to get superfly to work (couple tweeks got it to work with XP, but it seems unreliable with windows 7). It was a great software because not only did it allow you to index your fly patterns with photos, there were areas for:

  • Tying Bench (Fly Patterns & Materials Inventory)
  • Critters (Bugs, Fish & Folks)
  • Water (Fishin’ Holes & Fishing Logs)
  • Library (Notebook, Gallery & Book Inventory)
  • Charts & Tables (Leader Formulae, Fish Scale & Hook Charts)

I’ve tried several other software packages and have made MS Access Databases myself, but it never seemed to be user friendly. Another feature I really liked about Superfly is the ability to open (and share) multiple databases. I thought this was a great feature for fly-tyers to share compilations of patterns / tying info. I have mentioned on several fly-tying forumns that I’m a member to see if their were any users of this software interested in sharing, but no replies.

Then it hit me that I already have a pretty good software package for organizing fly-tying information Microsoft Onenote (which came with my Microsoft Office Suite)  or alternatively a Free software package Evernote


There a ton of tutorials on the onenote ane evernote websites, but basically they are note taking applications with full functions of a word processor. Basically you have a Notebook “Fly Tying” with however many sections you want, and underneath each section you can have a subsection or individual pages. Currently I have sections for Entomology, Photographing Flies, Material Information, Classic Featherwings, Blogging, Fishing Log, Fly Patterns, Fly Tying Tips, etc. I’ve got my Fly Patterns section broke down into Salmon Flies, Trout Flies, Nymphs, Dry Flies and wet flies.

If you like reading fly tying blogs or forums it is a great tool to compile the tips/articles that you would like to make reference to later and the beat part whatever information if copied or sent to onenote a reference is automatically sent to the bottom of the note (great if you ever want to reference an author or revisit a bloggers page), also great to help save a few trees.

I am just starting to add fly patterns to my fly pattern pages, so no pictures to show yet, not sure if I will just have a running list or have a seperate page per fly. The search engine is great and easy to use when looking for information on a specific pattern and one benefit over traditional fly pattern index software you are not limited to one photo of the fly with the pattern, you can compile a step by step for all patterns if you wish.

Hope somebody finds this useful too. If you have any other ideas of how to use this for organizing Fly Tying info / patterns, let me know. The longest part for me at setting this up was copying all my info from my superfly software to onenote.


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3 Responses to Fly Tying Software

  1. billforward says:

    Holy Cow, I also posted this on fly tying forum and my inbox is full of requests for my notebook, heres what I posted. I’ll post my notebook here when I have it completed.

    Ahhhhhh, never thought of using it as an alternative for MAC users. I dont think Onenote is available for MAC but Evernote is, and it is available for Ipad and pretty much all smartphones, so if you wanted to make a page of materials you have, or materials you need, you can sync from your computer to your phone and have it with you at the fly shop. I used to keep an old laptop on my fly-tying desk running windows 98 just to run Superfly (Yes I liked the Superfly software that much and would definately pay for an upgraded version, it was very user friendly with all the features I wanted), but it recently died.

    Everything I have collected so far are articles I have found useful/interesting that I found online either by googling “fly tying tips” or by pouring through all the wonderful ideas in this forum (I have a special section that I collect pictures/ideas that I find interesting from “show us your bench” that I want to add to my bench when I remake my workbench. The couple articles you see are just some articles I “printed to onenote” instead of printing to paper (saves trees) to read later when I’m at work (5 weeks at a time with no internet). The articles I have here were not written by me (The interesting article you see was retrieved from, they were all written by the creative fly-tiers and wonderful authors that publish their ideas freely available on the internet for all us to benefit from their creativity and experience. In order for them to have the creative outlet to share their ideas, many have their own affiliate companies and advertisers that provide great products / services. If you want to begin creating your own notebooks of fly-tying tips / ideas / patterns for personal use, you should visit these webpages yourself and visit some of the advertisers/sponsors that make it possible to keep webpages and forums such as fly tying forum available and free. Remember it is great to share and post ideas but remember any ideas taken directly from webpages / magazines / books are someones intellectual property and that person should be given credit.

    I’ve just begun starting to add my personal handwritten fly pattern collection to onenote, When I get them typed up I’ll post them along with a blank fly-tying/fly-pattern/fishing log notebook, I wont be adding other peoples online published articles/tips though. Hope everyone has fun with this idea and if it catches on perhaps we can see a section on this forum where we can share notebooks for specific pattern themes / fishing locations, etc.

    How about this for an idea, I used to attend “river-talks” where photocopies of river maps were shared with all in attendence showing locations of pools / riffles / successful flies, seems onenote can be used to compile/share this type of info especially withing a small fly-tying or fly-fishing group. Just an idea


  2. Joseph Chauffe says:

    After reading your posts I too likes Superfly but now that I have tried One Note It seems to be pretty adaptable to the task. In your post above you siad you would post your Note Book and I would very much like to see and explore it for ideas to add to mine.

  3. billforward says:

    For anyone interested, Microsoft has just made Onenote completely free, and it is finally available for Mac, android, and ios. Check it out here

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