The Fly Tying of Son Tao

I recently started to notice some beautifully tied flies posted by Son Tao. After seeing a friend from Indianapolis post that he was fishing with Tao, I was surprised to learn he was here in Indiana. I contacted him and below you can read a little about him. He has also been touched by Project Healing Waters, which is a fantastic organization that help vets. In a very short time, you can see by the photos, that Son has skills! Check out his work below!

From Son Tao:
“I’m 44 years old and currently live in Indianapolis, Indiana. I grew up in Pennsylvania but have bounced around for the past 16 years since I am active duty Army. My current rank is Master Sergeant.

I’ve been tying for 14 months now. I was first introduced to tying by a Korean War vet as a way to deal with post traumatic stress. I’ve been deployed 5 times and have seen some unimaginable horrors around the world. After dealing with numerous surgeries and the horrors of war, I was in a dark place. Fly tying provided me with an avenue to escape those memories. It relaxes my mind and focuses my attention in a positive way.

Other than that, I thoroughly enjoy tying classic patterns. I’m a history nerd and find the story behind Flies as interesting as fly fishing itself. So when I got started, I naturally was drawn to Catskill style dry flies.”

Stimulator with Elk wing

Fan Wing Ginger Quill

Lady Benson

Foam Back Humpy

Size 20 Griffith Gnats


Filed under Catskill, Classic, Dry Fly, nymphs, Trout flies

6 Responses to The Fly Tying of Son Tao

  1. God bless you Son Tao, and thank you for your service. Hard to believe you’ve only been tying flies for 14 month! Your beautiful assistant reminds me of my own granddaughter whom I taught to tie flies as well.

    • Son Tao


      Thank you for the kind words. My 4 year old daughter loves tying. The fly must be pink though!



  2. Jon Hicks

    Very impressive flies…and for someone so new to tying it makes them all that much better!

    • Son Tao


      I highly appreciate your compliments. Fly tying is such a great hobby. I’m a very slow tier and try to put forth the best effort with every fly. It’s very relaxing for the mind and body! Tight lines!

  3. DavidR

    I don’t think I’ve managed a single fly as nice as any of those in 14 years, very nice ties.

    And thank you for your service.

  4. Rina Gregson

    I am a friend of Bear Owings, I have spoken to Bear and asked if you could make some flies as a Christmas Gift. If I could email you privately I would appreciate it.
    I think your work is Art…..Thank you for sharing it and all that you have done for your country.