Published Mar 24. 2017 - 6 years ago
Updated or edited Oct 28. 2021

Chris Helm's thread articles

These three articles on tying thread were written by renowned fly tyer and deer hair equillibrist Chris Helm.

Chris Helm tying at FlyFair
Chris Helm tying at FlyFair
Dougie Loughridge

I met Chris a few times while he was still an active fly tyer. My interest in deer hair work and muddlers had already driven me ”in his arms” so to say, and I knew who he was and had read some of his articles, seen his videos and even bought stuff in his shop ”Whitetail Fly Tieing Supplies”.

When I met him the first time

at a tying show in the Chicago area, he proved to be very helpful and willing to share techniques and knowledge. I connected with him and met him again several times during the 90's and early 2000's at shows and workshops. He contributed one article to the site back then, 20 years ago, a small printed paper he had done on deer hair to hand out at workshops, which I turned into the article "Selecting Deer Hair". Chris wasn't a computer and email guy when I met him (if ever...), so our only contact was when we met in person, which just happened a few times.
Chris Helm passed away in late 2014.

Through another renown tyer,

Wayne Luallen, I managed to get these three manuscripts, which Wayne got from Chris' wife, Judith. I stored them in a “Chris Helm thread articles” folder on my computer, and first remembered them recently.
I decided to brush them off, edit them a bit and publish them.
These articles are reprinted here out of historical interest, to make sure they are preserved, but also to honor Chris and his legacy. They are of course also interesting because they contain useful knowledge from a very skilled and knowledgeable tyer.

They are from 2003, 2004 and 2006/7 respectively,

but even though the thread market has changed since then, with a few brands disappearing and a few new ones having appeared, the basic knowledge in the articles is still useful, and a lot of the brand specific knowledge equally so. The “outdated” information can easily be applied to existing brands and thread types, or used to build your own conclusions with what you have and work with.

- Fly Tying Thread Options, about selecting threads for certain applications (2003)
- New Age Tying Thread, about Gel Spun Polyethylene, GSP (2004)
- Using Denier to Standardize Fly Tying Thread, about thread standards (2006/7)

These articles were an important part of what spawned my own article Fly Tying Thread Blues on tying threads published in 2014.

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