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Old 12-15-2012, 07:00 PM
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Default Suggestions on how to teach (lots of) kids to tie?

I happened to be talking to a friend and the subject of fly fishing came up. He said he has always thought it looked cool but was always afraid to try it. The conversation evolved into tying flies. Whenever I told him I try to tie, he wanted to know more about it.

I told him I started going to these little fly tying classes that were held at a church by my house. The first classes were two years ago and it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. Last year, they held the classes again and mostly the same guys showed up, so we tied more difficult flies. This year, we plan to do it again.

This guy's son is just about ready to be an Eagle Scout and they are both very involved in their troop, from Cub Scout to Eagle Scout. He wondered out loud if I could have a session or two to teach the boys about fly tying.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!

After I finished laughing, I thought about the guys who taught the classes I have been going to. Two of them are in their early 30's and are "hip" (if you know what I mean). One of them is a high school art teacher and he ties some absolutely wonderful flies. The third guy is a retiree but he is a whiz at the vise.

So...I asked them and all of them are in. Great, I thought, but there are 15 kids and at least ten fathers who all are anxious to learn. They also suggested that they have one or two fly casting sessions as the place where these kids meet has a huge room, at least 50 feet long and 30 feet wide, and a 12- to 15-foot ceiling. Seems like it would work fine.

Thing is, that is a lot of people. Even with six or eight vises, I don't think we can keep the kids interested long enough. Plus they range from first grade to high school--quite a gap.

Any suggestions on how to maybe go about this? We are hoping at least ONE boy gets interested in this and, hopefully, his dad will, too. That is the plan in our heads.

Fishing is a wonderful sport to share with your child. I wish my boy would have picked up on it but he just never got interested. I really think he would have liked fly fishing. I regret that it took me 50+ years to even try it.


ray

---------- Post added at 08:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:45 PM ----------

Oh, and WHAT would you try to tie?

San Juan worms, wooly buggers, pheasant tail nymphs, and Closer minnows were what we were thinking...
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Suggestions on how to teach (lots of) kids to tie?

I would split them up into three groups and have an instructor for each group. Perhaps tie the pattern first letting all 15 watch and then let them go off into each group. You will need a vice and tools and materials for each kid. Start with a bugger, nymph, EHC, Mickey Finn, a San worm will be to boring for them. I would have the materials for each kid in a baggy before hand so you don't waste time passing it out at the meeting but have extra on hand. I've taught all ages from 5yr old on up and found that age isn't a big factor in how well they do. The younger pick things up better by watching you do a step and then having them do it instead of trying to explain it. One thing I always did with each beginner group was to have them start the thread on the hook and then pull the thread until it broke, have them do it a couple times. Gives them a good feel right off on how tight they can wrap things. You get those that don't go tight enough and then you get the ones that go to tight plus they won't feel to bad if they do break the thread. Hope this helps some.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: Suggestions on how to teach (lots of) kids to tie?

Schrob is right. Manpower is very important and then simplicity of the pattern perhaps a Wolly Bugger.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:55 PM
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Default Re: Suggestions on how to teach (lots of) kids to tie?

Quote:
Originally Posted by schrob View Post
I would split them up into three groups and have an instructor for each group. Perhaps tie the pattern first letting all 15 watch and then let them go off into each group. You will need a vice and tools and materials for each kid. Start with a bugger, nymph, EHC, Mickey Finn, a San worm will be to boring for them. I would have the materials for each kid in a baggy before hand so you don't waste time passing it out at the meeting but have extra on hand. I've taught all ages from 5yr old on up and found that age isn't a big factor in how well they do. The younger pick things up better by watching you do a step and then having them do it instead of trying to explain it. One thing I always did with each beginner group was to have them start the thread on the hook and then pull the thread until it broke, have them do it a couple times. Gives them a good feel right off on how tight they can wrap things. You get those that don't go tight enough and then you get the ones that go to tight plus they won't feel to bad if they do break the thread. Hope this helps some.

Good suggestions. Never thought about having the kids pull the thread until it breaks. Heck, should have done that myself when I first started.

I was thinking San Juan worm because it is easy but I see your point. Bright colored and/or sparkly things would be more interesting.

Thanks for the suggestions. I think we need to procure more vises.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:13 AM
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Default Re: Suggestions on how to teach (lots of) kids to tie?

BusBus:

Tie Wooly Buggers for a streamer .

Tie Griffiths Gnats for a dry

Brassie for a nymph.

The supplies will cost a lot less, and it should serve well to teach the basics.
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