Re: Any headache saving tips for a new tyer? (besides don't start the addiction)
Tie a few non flies. Meaning, sit down with a size 12 or 14 hook some thread and 1 material - say peacock or pheasant tail. start out just starting the thread and whip finishing. then razor blade off the thread and do it again.
Now do that, and try applying the material to the hook in different ways. tie it in and palmer (wrap) it up the hook shank. Tie it in as a wing or tail or throat... try this after laying a foundation of thread, and without - both can be useful strategies at times.
Get a sense of just how LITTLE thread you need to wrap to securely hold material. And get a sense of how hard you can pull on the thread without it breaking!
I know for me, it could have saved years and made much prettier + equally durable flies if I'd learned how little thread is really needed.
Proportions. Most flies have relationships. For example wing = body length or tail = body length or half body length or 2x etc. Look in your books or on video's or here and you will see that flies are proportional. Observe that, and get a sense by practicing with minimal material how to determine those proportions.
Also, there are gazillions of great vids on youtube, and vimeo (tightline productions s awesome instruction)... but I could not suggest a class more (as others have as well).