So I have started to try and tie flys and have been pretty overwhelmed at the all the material to purchase. What do you guys/girls always keep on hand for your go to or standard material? Do you always have certain feathers, hackle, thread, wire, etc...?
I've been at it for 12 years or so and as a result I the materials I've got on hand borders on obnoxious. The materials can be daunting to build, so what I'd recommend is focus on the flies that you want to tie and buy the materials for those. Over time, you'll build up your supply.
Specifically, the materials you will want to have on hand are going to depend on what type of fish you're targeting and the types of flies you use. If you can help us out there, I'm sure you'll get suggestions.
You can absolutely go broke buying materials when you start out. As Jaybo said give us a clue what you are chasing and we can help you narrow it down. If you tie the same style for awhile, i.e. woolies, nymphs, soft hackle wets, scuds or whatever, you can tie multiple patterns without feeling you need to order new materials everyday.
LOL, on any given day, I think I know about what I have. But I think I'm afflicted with hoarders syndrome. Like yesterday, I bought 2 golden pheasant skins and 4 whiting American hen necks...but you see, they were great deals (can't pass those up!) and, well, American hen necks are, uh, scarcer than hen's teeth. I just wish I had planned as well for my financial future as I have for my fly tying future!!!
I don't know what "standard" you're talking about! I've been collecting materials most of my life! I tied commercially for many years & still have supplies I bought then. Plus, all the other tying items I've added in the last 10 years since I gave up commercial tying just to have on hand. Yep, I may even be classified as a hoarder too!
I don't have pics like Gary, but I likely have enough supplies to stock a fly shop!
This is one wall in my basement, & this is some of the hooks I tie on! I have a lot more tucked away in boxes! In all these years as a fly flinger, I've accumulated materials to tie just about anything, including jigs for use with other tackle. About the only flies I never tied were classic feather wing Salmon flies. I can cover most others!
BTW, I'm not just a fly angler, I make lures too and have plenty of supplies for that as well!
The advise given about getting what you need for specific patterns to get you started is right on the money!
Meat you may not need a bank loan with your species list. For the gills and crappie I would suggest chenille in black, yellow, chartreus, white etc. Hooks in the 8-12 range. Lead wire for weight. Pheasant tail and peacock for some nymphs. Always need some wet hackle feathers. There's no end to it but that's a short list of things I try to never run out of for warmwater species.