Hey all, I've decided that I'm going to further my addiction of fly fishing by learning how to tie my own flies. I am asking for any suggestions (books, videos, suggestions of equipment, anything) on where and how to get started. I've seen videos on how to physically tie but have not seen any that break down types of material or proper construction of specific flies (like what does what and why). I haven't purchased any material, equip, or how to manuals, thought I should ask people who have experience to guide me in the right direction.
You honestly can't go wrong with a kit. There are some decent ones out there these days that can get you started on the basics. As far as reading material and videos I can't help there but ask your questions here and they'll get sorted out.
I agree with Bash. I have seen a ton of people tell newbies to stay away from kits but in my opinion they are a great way to start. The kit I started on was from bass pro and came with a dvd for $60. Sure, some of the materials could have been a little better but over all it was a good value and got me started tying some very productive flies.
Check with your local fly shop and see if they offer a class. I did that almost 20y ago and they also included a kit with everything you need, including the materials for the flys covered by the class. I used the vise and tools in the kit for several years before I started upgrading.
If cost is an issue, go at it. There are kits of various price points with different levels of quality tools and materials. Keep in mind that you'll probably be replacing a lot of the tools if you get into it. If starting inexpensively or if you are not very committed to fly tying, this is a good start.
If you are willing to go full steam into tying, buy everything a la carte. It will cost you more from the start, but you will get the better quality tools (especially the vise) and materials.
You can find some good resources without putting out too much effort. I am sure that Metro Atlanta has a fly fishing club and some fly fishing shops. Clubs usually have free lessons for their members. Shops usually hold classes, too. A Google search is your friend.
If you DO get a kit,,,get just a 'materials' kit without tools if there is such a thing. Buy your own vise, and invest a little time in studying , asking questions about vise's (not vices,,ummm,,,that's not always a bad subject either...). Doesn't take many 'tool's' to do basic tying,and some of the best fun I've had is adding and tweaking my small tools as I've learned.
I love my Regal. So nice having a vise you never have to adjust. But some others vises offer other features that you may or many not want or need.
Wait till you start catching fish on your own flies,,,, learning some tying and using my own,,,it's been a big step for me. Worth every penny. And I'm still pretty new to it and already having a blast !
Location: beside the AuSable River in northern Michigan
Re: I want to start tying
Due to my annual free fly-tying classes for "my kids"-- kids who, like me, are battling cancer --I hear this question a lot from the parents of "my kids." The mere wrapping of a hook and the chance to fish it when the weather warms makes a HUGE difference in the lives of "my kids," as it removes cancer from the equation for a few hours and holds their attention.
I have to side with fly_guy12955 on his observations. The Regal is a great vise, as are both the Renzetti and the HMH Spartan. I've owned all three-- as well as a Dyna-King and a number of others --and I keep coming back to my HMH and my Regal. Built in the USA and both with super warranties.
The only other pieces of advice that I would give is to commit to it, buy the best stuff you can afford-- especially tools and hackle, as good hackle is much easier to wrap than "cheap" hackle --and practice... Practice... PRACTICE!!! Great tiers didn't become great tiers without putting in a lot of time and energy at the tying bench. No matter how good your flies become, always strive to tie the next one better than the last!
And, if you need an assist on the critical decisions, don't be afraid to ask!! Most of us here who've been into tying for awhile no doubt have made our share of "mis-steps." A few might even be willing to sell you a few "must have" items at far below the going rate. This forum is loaded with some great folks...
Since you live in the Atlanta area, you should check out this organization and see if they offer fly tying classes also stop by the local fly shops as they usually will offer beginner classes: Atlanta Fly Fishing Club | The Largest & Most Active Fly Fishing Club in North Georgia.
Also get yourself a copy of Charlie Craven's book Basic Fly Tying, it is loaded with tying tips and will start out tying very simple patterns and progresses to more complex patterns and he lists out the materials needed for each pattern and in the beginning of the book goes over the various tools and what to look for in hackle and their various uses.