Announcing the winners of our #OrvisFlyTyingContest.

We had an even tougher time judging this year’s contest than we did last year.

The quality and originality of the flies submitted (over 900!) was first-rate and we could have easily have given a dozen first place awards—but somebody has to win. We judged the patterns on originality, and also our predictions on how effective the winners would be under real fishing conditions. “I would fish that in a heartbeat” was the primary consideration, not how beautiful or realistic the pattern was.

And your winners are. . .

First Place
Fly by Johnathan Min of Dover, NJ.
Everyone loves a hopper pattern, and we felt this one had a combination of eye appeal, a natural profile in the water, visibility, and floating qualities. Johnathan’s fly will be included in our 2017 line.

Second Place
Fly by David Reich of New York, NY
Emerging flies are some of the most difficult flies to imitate, and we feel our winner would be effective for both dragonfly nymphs and emerging caddis pupae. The foam on the upper front of the fly ensures that it will ride properly in the surface film, and the sparse use of CDC should give the fly lifelike movement. David will receive a new Regal Revolution Vise.

href=”″ target=”_blank”>Renzetii Vise.

I explore and investigate the wings growing on some emergers, on top of the fly there’s foam to guarantee the correct position and flotation of the fly while on the water. I wanted to use some material really strong that I wasn’t afraid to tie tight for the body, so I found extremely resistant and durable the peccary hair, this also gives great contrast to the flie in browns, whites, tan and black colors, that’s the material used for the body of the fly. The wings are ultra thin vinyl with texture that gives a translucent effect that mixed with the under cdc shows veins and aleatory shadows on the wings, this fly also shows the real growing of the wings on an emerger. Trout approved already. #orvisflytyingcontest

A photo posted by Davιd R Reιcн (@davidrreich) on

Third Place
Fly by Dustin Pack of Plant City, FL
We had a number of very fishy-looking crab and shrimp patterns submitted but this one took third place, because it is small and subtle, made great use of both natural and synthetic materials, and the claws made of Zonker strips should give this fly amazing action just lying on the bottom. Dustin will receive a new Orvis Premium Fly-Tying Kit.

On the fly crab patterns…… #hcft #skinnywaterculture #flytying #flyfishing #orvisflyfishing #orvisflytyingcontest

A photo posted by Dustin Pack (@dustin_pack_) on


Congratulations again to all of our winners and thanks again for participating.

20 thoughts on “Announcing the winners of our #OrvisFlyTyingContest.”

  1. Dear Mr. Expert Rosenbauer,

    How about showing us the last pool of 50 that was used in order to find winners 1, 2, and 3. These top three are amazing, I’d bet many others would love to personally inspect flies number 4 through 50. Talk about a worthwhile post.

  2. these top 3 are incredible ties so I don’t mean to come off as a hater but the winner currently sells his flies on his online store. Does this preclude him as the winner? (Still a great looking hopper none the less).

    1. Hi Al, I am the store owner. I designed this fly two weeks ago and dont sell this particular pattern in my store, although I have similar ones.

  3. Seeing barbs on the hooks of the #1 fly makes me regard this whole undertaking as barbaric. It’s time for fly fishermen and women to go barbless, whether they intend to kill fish or not. Fly fishing hook manufacturers should discontinue the practice of putting barbs on hooks.

    1. Barbaric? Why don’t you get a little more dramatic? Have you ever heard of needle nose pliers? They do a great job of mashing the barbs of hooks.

    2. If barbs on hooks are what you consider barbaric, what do you call hooking a fish in the mouth, fighting it until exhaustion and ripping it out of his home against its will? I think maybe you need to find a gentler hobby than fishing.

  4. Wow, those top three are amazing work, congrats to the winners!
    Like the others have said, it would be great to see more entries, I bet it was extremely difficult to come up with the top three.

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