Matthew and the Atlas is an English alternative folk outfit based around musician Matthew Hegarty. Having played and recorded as a five piece band since early 2010, Hegarty also tours with a stripped-back set up. via lastfm.com
It's easy to crowd the hook eye especially with small flies or patterns with lots of material. Luckily there are several ways to avoid it. One of my favorites is working backwards. Instead of advancing the thread towards the eye when tying materials make your wraps rearward.
Another is to tie off the material with wraps on top and underneath. Now when you trim the material it won't hang over the eye.
To start, I use a 70 thread and give it a counter clockwise spin to make it an even flatter, smoother surface to wrap your wire.
It's also important to pay attention to how you tie in your wire. I get the best results when I secure the material on the near side of the hook and closely follow the contour of shank.
Make each thread wrap count creating a smooth body especially in areas of transition (from the shank to the lead).
Now that you spent all that time on the underbody don't blow it when wrapping the wire! One easy cheat is to use a thicker gauge wire. The smaller the wire the more difficult it is to keep the wraps tight. Hook size will dictate that a bit, but next time try bumping up your wire size!
When wrapping, I angle the wire towards the tail. This allows each wrap to seat the next instead of trying to place them side by side. If you get gaps pull the tag end of the wire to bring them together. If that still doesn't work use your finger nail to push them tight. Another cheat I use, when possible, is matching the thread with the wire. In the event you do have a gap it won't be as noticeable(see photo in bottom right).
Another trick is wrapping the wire directly to the shank without tying in a tag first. A brassie is a great pattern to implement this technique. I start by positioning the hook in the vise so I can use the jaw as a booked. Then I wrap the wire directly on the hook. Without thread it is easy to push the wraps together. Once started I simply slide the coils down to the jaws and continue building the body. This creates and ultra slim profile with tight segmentation. I like to use a little epoxy on the end to keep it from pulling free.
These techniques will work when tying one or multiple wires into a pattern. Like most things with fly tying the more you tie the easier it will be. Hopefully this helps you tie better wire body flies!
No need to worry about tying it in a certain way (see example below).