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Old 07-11-2011, 05:46 PM
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Default I'm just starting out tying..

I was wondering what flies would be easiest for a new fly tier? I've tied one wooly bugger, it turned out pretty good I think. Also speaking of wooly buggers; what is the critter that a wooly bugger is suppose to imitate most? Which color pattern would be the best to tie? What size should I tie for trout, sunfish, and (small) small mouths? Thanks tiers!
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: I'm just starting out tying..

The WB imitates nothing, and everything just depending on the colors. There recently was a wooly bugger thread asking about colors. Browse that and get some ideas. But I don't nescesarily think there is a bad wooly bugger color. Experiment with different bodies, hackles and tails. Add flash, legs and deer hair collars. Experiment. The Wooly bugger isn't nescesarily a specific fly pattern with set instructions, but more so just a general guideline.
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: I'm just starting out tying..

Kevin- congrats on getting into tying.

The woolly bugger is a great pattern for beginners-- the size large enough to be manageable, the materials are relatively inexpensive and can be used for a lot of other patterns they teach a lot of different tying techniques you'll use on other patterns-- and, as a bonus, they can be really effective patterns and it's hard to fish them wrong.

Woolly Buggers can be tied from size 2 to 12, but a size 8 woolly bugger tied on a 3 extra long hook would be a good all around choice for all 3 types of fish (trout, small bass, and the occasional panfish), with a size 6 being more of a meal for trout and bass but probably too big for panfish. Add some lead or non toxic "lead" wire wraps or a bead head for additional weight.

As Lancer said buggers don't look very much like anything in particular, but they do sort of vaguely resemble a wide variety of different types of food, and the way the marabou tail and hackle pulse in the water on the retrieve sends out a lot of eat me signals. Black ones can look like leeches in ponds and lakes, large stonefly nymphs in streams, and baitfish. Olive ones resemble damsel and dragon fly nymphs found along weedlines in lakes and ponds, large mayfly nymphs and small green crayfish in streams and baitfish. Brown ones imitate hellgrammites and crayfish in streams as well as all manner of large mayfly and stonefly nymphs in streams and brownish baitfish like sculpins.

The 2 most popular colors for buggers are probably black- (with black tail and body and black hackle (grizzly hackle) and olive (with olive tail and body and olive hackle sometimes black or grizzly hackle. Brown buggers might also be a good idea for your smallmouths. (brown tail, body, and hackle).

As far as other patterns, I'd try and buy materials for 2-3 other patterns at a time and tie a bunch of them before moving on to the next pattern. Where you start is up to you, and depends on what kind of fish you want to chase first. Here are some suggestions with links from Charlie Craven's excellent site.

For trout some simple nymphs like a Pheasant Tail Nymph on a size 16 2 extra long nymph hook and a Hare's Ear Nymph on a size 14 2 extra long nymph hook are excellent choices. Both teach core skills that you will use on other patterns, and use basic materials that you can use to build up your inventory of stuff. Both patterns will also catch bluegill as well as trout.

Pheasant Tail Nymph Charlie's FlyBox - Colorado's Best FlyShop and online Fly Tying Tutorials

Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Charlie's FlyBox - Colorado's Best FlyShop and online Fly Tying Tutorials

For smallmouth, you could add a bucktail or two, perhaps chartreuse and white, a length of beadchain or some 1/50 oz dumbbell eyes and some Pearl Krystal Flash and some size 4 or 6 standard length hooks to tie some Clouser Minnows
Charlie's FlyBox - Colorado's Best FlyShop and online Fly Tying Tutorials

You could also use your size 6 or 8 woolly bugger hooks and add some braided mylar like Diamond Braid for a body to make simple bucktail or marabou wing streamers for smallmouth. Here's recent thread with some info on making them as well as some simple foam spiders for panfish:
Patterns for a new Central Florida fly tier

Good luck and keep asking questions!
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: I'm just starting out tying..

I started on Wooly buggers and Phesant tail nymphs, both use minimal materials and they dont use expensive hackles like dry flys. I then moved onto the hares ear.

Now im trying to get the Elk Hair Caddis down.
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:23 AM
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Default Re: I'm just starting out tying..

Sounds like your off to a great start. One good point to take into account...

If you tie the flies that your local flyshops/fisherman are saying are the key patterns for your area, that would ensure your tying what will produce when on the water. The bugger, Hares ear and PTN are all great patterns just about everywhere. If your looking to move onto other flies than maybe look into it from a most productive point of view.

Its always a better driver for a tier when thier work is bringing fish to hand.

glad to have you in the tiers threads and I look forward to you sharing some pics of your work.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:50 AM
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Default Re: I'm just starting out tying..

Hi Smoky Hiker,

You've gotten some great advice but I thought I'd chime in with some things that were helpful for me getting started. One is watching youtube videos, which you've probably been doing. For me it got me interested in different patterns, but also let me see how to do the things I was reading about in books.

I second the black, olive, and brown comment for wooly bugger colors. Ultimately, I'd say tie what you want to fish with since you'll be motivated to learn to tie them. I know I felt great when I figured out how to tie a parachute adams and BWO since I love fishing them and think they are beautiful flies (though don't start with a size 20 parachute BWO).

If you want some advice I'd say, in addition to the nymphs mentioned by others, tying some foam beetles and ants could be good - the materials are cheap and they work for a lot of fish. You could also get some popper bodies for bass and panfish.

Good luck and happy tying - post some fly pics when you can.

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