As Futuramille said "Having someone to guide you through the first couple helps though" it is much easier when someone shows you how. with youtube, you can watch many tying videos, and there are many listed in a couple other active threads, and thats almost as good as having someone sit with you to tie. I sometimes experiment with my flies, and my fishing buddy and I will sometimes sit down together and I will show him the pattern, or he will show me one of his patterns. Cabelas here in Reno has fly tying classes every other week that are free. Check your local trout unlimited chapter, they most likely have classes or get togethers as well, or just talk to you fly fishing buddy, if he ties, I bet he or she would be willing to show you how.
Jimbojo - I hope santa is good to you, and like I said, in the original post Cabelas has a kit on sale right now (you can get it online too!).
Sandfly, try the pattern I listed, it works, especialy during a baetis hatch, not sure why that is, but the fish hammered it at the local lakes. don't leave out the hackle, it makes a difference.
This is a picture of the fly frm the recipe in the first post. It is a mixture between an arizona peacock lady and a denny's stillwater nymph and works well on our local stillwaters near reno.
Heck of a post you made here, I tie them during the winter with hopes of having enough of what works in season. Seldom does this work out, it seems that each year I find that the pattern that is working is one that I have only a few of. Like Rip Tide said, I then go home and make a batch of what works. Even though my flies are pushing the envelope as far as economy goes most are not available for sale and if they were I figure they would cost more than my home made patterns.
Just this past week I was happy to have a good number of the pattern 'Freight Train' in my box. I put a nasty little cut on the tip of my index finger (left hand) and this severely affected my ability to tie a good knot. The results of the bad knot tying on Wednesday totaled out to 2 flies that broke off when the fish grabbed onto the hook. I'll be tying soon...............
Thanks Mark and Ard for the kind words, and others for joining in on this thread.
Ard - I checked out the 'Freight Train' in one of your previous posts - nice fly does not look "that hard" to tie, at least not as hard as some of your other patterns, and from the looks of the fish you are catching it seems very effective.
I tie a lot in the winter as well, that also tends to be when I get in the fly swaps (hint hint Mark).
With all the new members, as stated in post one, maybe we should do a swap for beginners again, or a tie along, like was done previously - one fly pattern a week, you could even have different tiers assigned for each week - focusing on easier flies to start and working up to some of the more advanced patterns, you coul post the pattern and tying recipe, post some pics or video on how to tie it, then everyone post the flies they tied up. Next week a different pattern. You would not have to have a swap, if you just wanted to do a tie-along, just get folks to own up to a specific week, with an alternate in case work or life gets in the way. I would even volunteer to sign up to teach the peacock and mallard pattern posted above (and Ill use a camera instead of a cell phone for pics). Its a pretty easy tie, and as I said, pretty effective in the local lakes.
I'll start another thread and put something together to come up with some virtual "tie-alongs" for beginners with a list of basic materials and some suggested patterns-- we can use the thread to get input from everyone, and see if we can get some volunteers that might want to do a step by step for one or more patterns.
As mentioned in another thread IF YOU KNOW ANY HUNTERS, or if you hunt yourself...
It's that time of year... pheasant, grouse, chukar, partridge, ducks, geese, deer, elk. All have fine materials and if you learn what to pluck/cut and how to process them properly, you can get a good supply of materials to help you tie.
If you don't know how to process them, there are a lot of posts here on 'preserving materials' and on 'cleaning materials'. It's critical to learn how to properly process and clean materials to make sure they're bug-free, and to "tag and bag" them and freeze them until you learn what else to do with them.
And don't go overboard on stuff you're not sure what to do with. You don't need whole skins, but a few pairs of wings from ducks/geese/pheasants/turkeys, a few tail clumps from pheasants/turkeys, a couple of patches of deer/elk, and a good selection of flank and body feathers form various ducks, like mallards, teal, wood, widgeon, gadwall would be VERY useful.
You might not be able to offer them flies in trade just yet, but a bottle of their favorite booze or a few cigars (if they smoke 'em) will be cheaper than a lot of these materials would be.
Had a little time to kill so here is a materials list for the pattens listed in post 1.
Wooly buggers (use a peacock herl brush, 6 strands of herl, or wrapped maribou for the body),
Hook: 8 or 10 streamer hook
Tail: Root beer marabou (1-2X hook length)
Body: Dark olive chenille
Weight: Lead wire (under body)
Rib: Silver wire or clear mono
Hackle: Grizzly hackle
Stillwater nymphs – Rust (olive in parenthesis)
Hook: size 12 nymph hook (2x long)
Thread: Olive (rust)
Tail: Rust Marabou (Olive Maribou)
Body: Peacock Herl 3 or 4 strands
Hackle: Grizzly (red or brown grizzly if making an olive one)
Hook: 18 - 10 Dry fly hook
Body: synthetic dubbing (Fine SLF Olive or Tan)
Rib: Fine gold wire (Xsmall Ultrawire)
Wing: Elk or deer hair (I like Coastal Deer hair)
Hackle: Brown or Grizzly
birds nest (modified)
Tail: Yellow Mallard or lemon wood duck flank
Abdomen: SLF or Possum
Thorax: SLF or Possum
Hackle: Yellow Mallard or lemon Wood duck flank
AZ Peacock Lady,
Hook: #12 nymph hook
Tail: golden phaesant or you can use an orange or red feather
Rib: none (xsmall copper wire if you want to rib it)
Body: Peacock Herl
Hackle: brown hackle at the eye, grizzly hackle at the tail (or you can palmer hackle 3 to 4 wraps the entire body).
Hook: 20 - 12 Wet-fly or Nymph
Thread: black or brown
Tail: Pheasant tail (male)
Rib: Copper wire
Body: wrapped Pheasant tail
Thorax: Hare's Ear (or SLF dubbing)
HOOK: sizes 14-22
RIB: Fine copper wire
BODY: Peacock herl
HACKLE: Grizzly, palmered
Hook - standard dry fly 10 - 14
Thread - black
Tail - brown hackle fibers
Body - brown hackle palmered-heavy
Hackle - grizzly
Hook - dry fly 2X sizes 6 - 10
Thread – burnt orange or fire-orange
Tail - elk hair with black tips
Rib - fine gold wire
Body - orange dubbing (the shinier the better) or orange antron yarn
Wings - elk hair with black tips
Head – yellow dubbing or antron
Hackle - grizzly wrapped over head section
Hook - standard dry fly sizes 12 - 20
Thread - black
Tail - grizzly hackle fibers
Body - light and dark moose mane wrapped in alternate color bands
Wings - grizzly hackle tips
Hackle - grizzly
Size 8 - 18
Fine to Medium copper wire
8/0 Brown fly tying thread
Hook: Tiemco 5262 sz. 10-18
Bead: Gold Bead (Cyclops or Tungsten)
Weight: Lead Wire .015
Thread: 70-Denier Ultra Thread (Black)
Tail: Brown goose biots
Abdomen: Copper Ultra Wire
Wing Case: Thin Skin covered with epoxy or SHHAN (I have used a Ziploc bag)
Thorax: Peacock Herl
Legs: Mottled brown hen neck or substitute
Grizzly Zug bug Nymph,
Thread: Danville Black 6/0
Weighted: lead wire (or leadfree)
Body: Peacock Herl
Ribbing: Silver Tinsel
Hackle: Brown Hackle
Wingcase: Lemon Wood Duck or mallard flank, Clipped
Tail: Peacock herl or Sword Fibers
Hook: 12 - 24 dry fly hook
Tail: Brown and grizzly hackle
Body: Muskrat or SLF
Hackle: Brown and grizzly Hackle
Wing: Grizzly hackle points