The Tube Fly Shop

Tube Flies and Fly Tying Tubes and Accessories

The Tube Fly Shop showcases a range of tube flies and fly tying tubes from Grays of Kilsyth, a Scottish fly shop specialising in salmon flies, sea trout flies and trout flies. Our particular focus is on the manufacture and supply of Grays Needle Tubes, ultra slim stainless steel fly tying tubes, which have proven extremely effective in salmon, steelhead and sea trout fishing since their introduction in 2008. Please visit our sister site Grays of Kilsyth to view details of the full range of flies, tubes and accessories available, all with free worldwide shipping.

Sea Trout Tube Flies

Sea Trout Snake Tubes

Sea Trout Needle Tube Flies

More Sea Trout Tubes


Wee Monkey Tube Fly

Tubular Belles

Wee Monkey Salmon Tube Fly

Tubular Belle

Tube Fly History

The origins of the tube fly are unclear. It is said that a type of tube fly – dressed on a hollow quill – was used by native North Americans fishing for west coast salmon more than a century ago. Tube flies were in use here in Britain before the Second World War.  Alexander Wanless, an enthusiastic advocate of what he called “thread line fishing”, a method he developed for presenting light baits or flies to trout and salmon using a fixed spool spinning reel, described his own specially adapted salmon flies for threadline use in his books on the subject, “Thread Line Fly Fishing for Salmon” and ”The Angler and the Thread Line” as early as the nineteen thirties. These included salmon flies dressed on hollow barrel leads, designed to be armed with a “sliding tail hook”, a single hook in Wanless’s early flies, “so that when a fish is hooked the fly will slide up the line out of harm`s way or rather to prevent it from levering the small hook out of the salmon`s jaw”. Charles Playfair & Co, of Aberdeen, are thought to be the first company to make and sell tube flies commercially, around 1945. The tube flies they offered are said to have been created  by one of their fly dressers, Mrs Winnie Morawski, dressed initially on sections of feather quill, with the hook fixed inside the hollow quill. The later use of plastic tubing made the tube fly more durable and, combined with a free swinging hook, commonly a treble hook, at the tail, helped eliminate the problem of leverage associated with longer salmon flies, which were known to cause the loss of many hooked fish through the loosening of the hook hold during play. In the post war period, developments in the design of salmon flies continued apace, including the adaptation of all kinds of tubing for the making of salmon tube flies.

The Tube Fly Today

In recent years, there have been many innovations in fly patterns and designs of fly on both sides of the Atlantic, for Atlantic salmon fishing, Pacific salmon and steelhead fishing, together with those intended for sea trout fishing here in Britain and Ireland. Whatever his chosen quarry, the modern fly fisherman has a great many weapons at his disposal, ranging from the more traditional flies dressed on single, double or treble hooks; snake flies and needle flies; and a whole range of tube flies utilising a variety of materials, including tungsten, copper, brass, stainless steel, aluminium and various types of plastic, often used in conjunction with various attachments, such as turbo discs, diving vanes, cone heads and spinheads.

Some Tube Flies

A small selection of salmon tube flies dressed on fine stainless steel needle tubes

Sunburst Cascade Tube Fly

Bucktail Tube Fly

Magus Tube Fly

Orange Claret Tube Fly
Furnace Shrimp Tube Fly Spring Green Tube Fly

The tube fly then has proven a most versatile weapon in the fly fisher's armoury. It has found its way, over the years, into the fly boxes of fishermen worldwide, from Alaska to Russia, whether they are after Atlantic salmon and sea trout or Pacific salmon and steelhead. For early and late season salmon fly fishing on the rivers of the UK, the traditional salmon fishermen's fly box will include a range of heavy tubes flies, dressed on brass and copper tubes of varying lengths, or flies incorporating cone heads of tungsten or brass, fished off high density lines, to get the fly down quickly to a good depth to cover the salmon in their cold water lies. He is also likely to have a selection of the smallest of plastic tube flies for floating line grilse fishing in the shrunken highland streams in the dry summer months. In between he is likely to carry a range of tube flies in all shapes, sizes and materials, sufficient to meet the wide variety of water and weather conditions likely to be met on our salmon and sea trout rivers throughout the fishing season. The tube fly has indeed proven a great success, for a variety of species and fly fishing situations.

Needle Tube Flies

Initially, though, it was in the possibilities presented by the tube fly as a lure, not so much for salmon, but for summer sea trout that my main interest lay. Following the development, in 1999, of the Needle Fly, the slimmest of all lures for nocturnal sea trout fishing, further extended experiments over the following decade would lead ultimately to the development, in 2008, of the ultra slim stainless steel Needle Tube Fly.


Needle Tubes

Tube Fly Tying

Needle Tube Flies

Tube Fly Tying

Needle tubes and needle tube flies are available online at Grays of Kilsyth. To view the complete range, please visit our ONLINE FLY SHOP

Needle Tubes and Tube Flies

Illustrated below are just a few of the tubes, tube flies and associated accessories available online from Grays of Kilsyth, all with free worldwide shipping.  See:



Grays Needle tubes

Grays Needle Tubes


HMH Tube Fly Tool

HMH Tube Fly Adaptor


Wee Monkeys


Irish Shrimp Tubes

Irish Shrimp Needle Tube Flies





Scottish Shrimp Needle Tubes

Scottish Shrimp Tube Flies


Sea Trout Tube Fly

Sea Trout Needle Tube Fly


See the whole range at Grays of Kilsyth


Plastic Fly Tying Tubes

For excellent value in plastic fly tying tubes see

Plastic Fly Tying Tubes



Tube Fly Shop