hello im just starting out fly tying and need some simple patterns to get started with. I don't want anything with a lot of materials because i dont have a load of money for supplies. I was thinking of getting supplies for about 3,4,5 flies and get them down good then move on. What do you think?
Here are a few flies i have thought of:
partridge and orange spider
What will you be fishing for ?
If it's pan fish, a foam spider would be easier than a cork popper and foam makes a nice ant too
You can buy sheets of foam at a craft store or in the craft dept of a dept. store for pennies
Soft hackles like the partridge and orange are easy enough.
Most game bird hackle works, soft hen hackle too. For bodies use different colors of thread, dubbed fur (meow, woofwoof ), and my favorite peacock herl.
Lets see, so far that's thread, some game bird hackle, cheap foam, peacock herl, and free fur.
I've got to second the Woolly Bugger. It's pretty easy to tie and only uses 3 materials, not counting any lead wire, bead heads or dumbell eyes you might want to add. But the best thing about a bugger is that just about anything that swims will eat it and it doesn't even need to be tied especially well for it to work. I tie them in olive, black and brown with dumbell eyes in several sizes.
I recently started tying and started with Pheasant Tails, then moved to Hares Ear and now am tying Fox Squirrels. They were easy flies to tie and fairly cheap for the material. My next venture is into something with hackle, maybe an Adams dry or a woolly worm. Hackle can get expensive so I am trying to choose wisely.
You'll probably get enough to tie at least 50-60 Pheasant tail nymphs from one tail feather. Best bet is to stop in a fly shop (not a big box store) and get some advice from a guy or gal that knows how to get you started with some basic stuff you can use for a couple of patterns, and will give you a lot of stuff to be used in other patterns down the road. That way you'll build up an inventory of useful stuff, instead of buying things that might be useful for just one pattern of fly. If you don't have a local shop nearby, here are a few suggestions for materials that are fairly low cost to tie a bunch of simple stuff. Don't feel you have to buy it all at once, but just as a suggestion if you want to pick some things for a shopping list.
Like a lot of the stuff you buy, there's that initial start up cost, but the material you get will likely last you a long time, and you'll build up a good inventory of stuff if you stick to patterns that use a lot of the same materials.
For nymphs, I like to use Pheasant tail nymphs in size 16 and smaller, and Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear dubbed body type nymphs in size 14 and up. For your first couple of pheasant tail nymphs, tie them on size 14 hooks, they'll be easier than a 16.
Nymph hooks like a Mustad 9671 (2 xlong) in sizes 12-16 pack of 25 hooks
would be good for these, and you can also use these hooks for foam ants too. If you just buy one pack to start, pick a 14.
Nymph stuff (for trout panfish)
Hare's Mask $4 get a natural (undyed) one with lots of different shades of creams, tans, browns, and dark browns to pick from to make light, medium and dark nymphs.
Peacock herl pack of strung herl 1/4 oz $
Gold beads sized to fit some of those hooks if you want. A bead 7/64" or 2.8mm would fit size 12-16 hooks.
Fine gold wire for ribbing
Wet Fly stuff (Flymphs and soft hackles for trout and panfish)
Hooks:You can use the same hooks as above, or wet fly hooks like a Mustad 3906B or 3906. size 14-16
Body, you can use a dubbed body using your Hare's mask, or buy a spool of green, yellow, or orange floss.
You'll use the fine wire above for ribbing.
Wet fly hackle 1/4 oz pack of partridge or grouse feathers. You can use this for legs on nymphs too.
Marabou Streamers, Woolly Buggers, Damselfly Nymph for bass and trout
Hook Nymph/streamer hook like a Mustad 9672 (3xlong) or 79850 (4xlong) in size 8
Marabou black, olive, white
Body: chenille black, olive, and pearl sparkle braid
Bead: black or gold bead for size 8 hook (5/32" or 3.8mm will fit hooks 6-10), or lead wire wrap .035
Bugger Hackle: black or grizzly strung saddle hackle
With this you could make black and olive woolly buggers with or without bead heads or weight, and marabou streamers with pearl tinsel braid body, all black, all white and black over white marabou wings and a topping of peacock herl. You can make a simple damsel fly nymph with just olive marabou and wire ribbing.
Clouser Minnow bass
Hooks, streamer hook above
Bucktail chartreuse is best, and/or white
Foam ant for trout panfish
black rubber foam sheet from craft store or preformed ant bodies
Dry Fly for trout and panfish
Hook: Mustad 94840 size 12 and 14 to start
Deer Hair (sold as comparahair or coastal deer hair) a patch for about $2 = 100 flies
Snowshoe Hare's foot
With these you'll be able to tie a caddis pattern with peacock herl body, and deer hair wing, and a "Usual" which has a snowshoe rabbit tail, body and wing. The Usual will float like a cork, even in fast water. The peacock/deerhair caddis floats best in slower water. None of them use expensive dry fly hackle, but they're fun to fish, and it's great to see fish come up and whack them on the surface.
As you keep tying, you'll want to add more materials, smaller and larger hook sizes etc., but these are just some ideas to think about.
Yeah getting started can be a little tough on the wallet. Eventually you'll want to have a bunch of different types of hooks, and a range of sizes in each. To get started, you might want to get inexpensive, but decent hooks by Mustad or Daiichi. The Mustads come in packs of 25, 50 or 100, and I've listed approximate prices. Daiichi has similar hooks and prices. If you could swing it, I'd go for 50 packs to be able to tie plenty of different things, and have a bunch leftover. If money is tight, go for the 25 packs. I'd just buy hooks and materials for 1-3 patterns at a time depending on what you wanted to tie. These hooks would give you a range of different things to tie as you add more materials, and they're big enough to be pretty easy to learn on.
You can use this for Gold Ribbed Hares Ear Nymph (with or without bead head, Bead Head Prince Nymph (using 2 fibers of pheasant tail for the tail instead of biots), a small version of a marbou damsel nymph, and for the hook on a foam ant. Even though this is heavier wire than a dry fly hook, the foam will float it fine.
Use this for a pheasant tail nymph, with and without bead head, soft hackle wet flies and flymphs (using colored floss or hares mask for dubbed bodies, and partride or grouse wound around as hackle) and for the caddis and usual dry flies.
If you have a local flyshop, they should be able to give you good advice to get started, help pick out materials, and suggest other patterns to tie using common ingredients.
Hope this helps some.... feel free to ask tons of questions as they come up.