Fellas,,Fly fishing has always been my number one passion,,all my life. The FIRST thing I ever bought with my own earned money,,was an old Eagle Claw fly rod..long since gone. (wish I'd saved it!)
I took about 10 years off,,wow,,,seems stupid why I did now..but life was difficult mentally at the time..oh well. I've returned,,and this last year I've been 'rebuilding' with new equipment and am totally impressed at how far quality for the dollar has jumped,,so all is good in the fly fishing community ! I do miss my ol' Far and Fine,,,, And if God is gracious to me,,,this next year I want to add a superfine to my rods. Not that the rods I have arent good rods,,,,,,I just remember how soft I could lay a dry down back then.
But,,I never tied very many flies...although I did have a 'cheap kit' one time,,I just never was patient enough to do it. I guess age changes things,and I find that crafts...not just this one..really interest me now. I can sit longer without having to jump up and do something lol
I fully realize there is a learning curve to fly tying,,but you guys give me encouragement that these might even catch fish...and that is 'nuff to make me hang in there !
Not to get all mushy here,,but you fella's are all right.
Not all mayfly nymphs are dainty and slim. Burrowers and clingers can be quite chunky. Some are wide and flat, others slim and trim and others configured differently for the type of waters they thrive in.
There are four basic types, clingers, burrowers, swimmers and crawlers with differences within each group.
The ties you've shown will all catch fish. If you spend some time turning over rocks where you fish and learning which mayflies hatch and when you'll go a long way towards tying what works in your area and in being prepared.
Here's an idea of the wide variety just mayfly there are out there... https://www.google.com/search?q=mayf...w=1366&bih=638
Practice by tying a bunch of copper johns in various colors and sizes. You will improve on smoothness and tapering the body over time as you figure out how much thread to build up underneath your top layers.
The tail, segmented abdomen, wingcase/flashback, Abdomen, hackle/leg, and collar are elements that will be brought into myriad other patterns. Having a bunch of copper johns in various colors and sizes will be useful in the end.
I'd say the infamous wooly bugger is another must, as it contains so many useful elements that get carried into other streamers and bigger bugs.
Get some super fine point craft scissors if you don't have a pair. Keep the 'not so good' scissors for cutting wire. catch some fish
I'll echo many of the others here, less is more. When dubbing, use what seems like a ridiculously small amount in your fingers. You can always twist a little more on, but removing bulk from a dubbing noodle is hard. If your body is too thin, just twist a little more on and go back over.
Also, I recommend using fewer materials altogether. I understand the urge and desire to make legs, a wing case, a collar...and build a nice fancy looking fly like those you see on the glossy pages of Fly Tyer or on the websites. But the fact is, simple nymph patterns catch just as many fish, and when you are just learning, a nymph with all those element is one of the most difficult flies you can tie. Make a bunch of Hare's Ear Nymphs. I know it sounds boring, but you can vary the color of body, the rib material, the thorax (dubbed with synthetics like Ice dub in many colors, herls like peacock or ostrich), and with or without a wingcase. Personally, I think the wingcase on a nymph could be most superfluous element of any fly. Use a beadhead or not. There are so many combinations to use it will keep you busy and you'll learn how to dub, you'll learn proportions, and most importantly you'll be making flies that will catch fish.
A #10-12 black hare's ear nymph will represent a stonefly nymph. A #12-14 tied in varying degrees of sparseness will represent many of the clinger mayfly nymphs. Sparse and slim olive H.E. nymphs in #16-18 will work for Baetis and BWO's.
Then there is the H.E. tied on a light wire hook with some feather or antron fibers for a tail (or shuck) and a soft-hackle collar that will kill during caddis hatches.
It's a lot of fun to tie fancy, detailed, intricate flies. I do because I like to, it's fun! But I also love the pure simplicity of a classic hare's ear nymph or flymph and how effective it is.
Thanks guys,,for all the tips and information. Here is my last try for the night...will practice more tomorrow !
Nice work, the improvement is obvious.
The tail is a little long. Tie in the biots one at a time. Tie in the close side with one loose wrap and then pull it back to shorten the length and add one tight wrap. Then tie in the far side with two loose wraps, adjust length and bind down. You got it.
Also maybe try a longer hook, 2xl for a nymph like that is fine.