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Tracker12 12-22-2010 08:46 PM

Pick my 1st Fly
So I have all the goodies as far as vise and tools coming for Xmass and I will start on my fly tying career. I guess I now need to decide what should be my first tie. I was going to do an egg pattern but after watching several Youtube videos on trying I am pretty confident I can attempt something that looks more like a fly. Hares Ear is one of my considerations what else should I look at.

goldentrout 12-22-2010 09:02 PM

Re: Pick my 1st Fly
wooly buggers, wooly worms :rolleyes:

rangerrich99 12-22-2010 09:27 PM

Re: Pick my 1st Fly
Green weenie, griffith's gnat, wooley bugger, zebra midge, SJ worm. And so on. But those are really easy to get right.

raindogt 12-22-2010 10:18 PM

Re: Pick my 1st Fly
This will not answer your question.... BUT, I'd focus more on building skills among two or three patterns.

Wooly Buggers are good beginner flies as they are fairly simple and will teach you about wrapping materials (chenille for the 'textbook' version of Wooly Bug.), and more importantly-- palmer hackling flies.

Another good beginner fly is anything with a dubbed body. Dubbing is a strange material to use in the beginning-- Most (myself included) put waaaaayyyyy too much dubbing on and wrap it waaaayyyyy too loosely. ///EDIT/// By 'wrap it way too loosely'; I mean the dubbing on the thread, not the thread on the hook.../// Hare's Ear will be good 'practice' for dubbing.

lastly, I'd try something along the lines of an elk hair caddis. This will teach you to work with 'coarser' hairs that will tend to 'flair' on you-- good on many patterns, not so good on others....

With these three patterns, you will have many of the basics down, and could tie several other patterns based on the skills/techniques used for these three. Also, all three will be productive for nearly any species of freshwater fish-- and you will have a fly from the three main 'categories' of flies--i.e. wet/streamer, nymph, and dry. One of them ought to catch something on most outings.

Jimmie 12-23-2010 12:38 AM

Re: Pick my 1st Fly
This Caddis Pupa is a prolific fly found all over the country. It picks up the dubbing skills that raindogt mentioned. It was the second fly that I learned to tie. First was Wooly Bugger.
Here's a link to Larry's tutorial:

clouserminnow22 12-23-2010 09:15 AM

Re: Pick my 1st Fly
Forget green weenies, start of with a sj worm and once you get good, try more and more difficult flies until you can make almost exact replicas of what your tying, most effective fly you can have is the clouser minnow or a wooly bugger

FrankB2 12-23-2010 09:16 AM

Re: Pick my 1st Fly
Excellent! Dave Hughes' book Essential Trout Flies breaks flies down into categories: Catskill drys, parachute drys, herl nymphs, fur nymphs, etc.
Hughes says that once you've learned how to tie a Parachute Adams, you will have the skills to tie any parachute fly. I think he's correct, and would recommend tying a Hare's Ear, Pheasant Tail Nymph, Wooly Bugger, Soft Hackles, and some bucktail streamers (Black Nose Dace has worked well for me). There are other types of flies, and I haven't mentioned drys at all. A Griffith's Gnat will get you started down that path, and catch fish. I would echo raindogt's comments about dubbing, and add that you should only use as much thread as needed. I was one of those people that thought a zillion wraps of thread were needed to prevent a fly from exploding, and most of them looked terrible. Using the absolute minimum number of wraps has become a source of pride in my tying now. Take a look at Davie McPhail tying videos on YouTube. Davie's videos are very useful on many levels, and he uses only enough thread wraps as necessary. Oh don't need to wrap materials all the way up to the eye. Leave a space to build a thread. It's very easy to run out of room otherwise, and that can be very frustrating.

Davie McPhail Hare's Ear (note how often Davie says, "Take your time" ;) ):

peregrines 12-23-2010 12:33 PM

Re: Pick my 1st Fly
Congrats you'll have a lot of fun this winter. i agree about learning different techniques--- here's some patterns, basically in order of difficulty, that will teach you different techniques, add to your inventory of basic tying supplies, and build up your fly box with proven patterns that are effective all over the world.

I would get stuff to tie 2 or 3 patterns at a time rather than buying stuff to tie everything at once. Tie a bunch of each pattern (feel free to vary some a bit by tying some in different sizes, different colors, adding bead heads etc). Tie several of each pattern, and make each fly a bit better than the one before it, paying particular attention to proportions.

Note that every time you are able to successfully tie one of these patterns, your ability to tie other patterns goes up geometrically--- it will just be a question of using the same techniques with different materials. After working your way through a couple of these different patterns you'll soon be able to just look at a pic of many flies and a recipe listing materials and be able to figure out how to tie them--- and with the help available on the internet with youtube vids and step by step instructions you'll be able to take on a ton of different patterns.

Assuming you're going to be chasing trout, I'd suggest working your way through something like these styles of flies, in order from easy to more difficult--- i've suggested some specific patterns that reflect each "style" of fly, but there are many other choices as well:

1. reverse palmered hackle and ribbing- woolly bugger
2. twisted herl bodied nymph- pheasant tail nymph
3. dubbed body nymph- gold ribbed hare's ear nymph

wet flies and streamers
6. Bucktail- Mickey Finn or Black Nosed Dace
4. Soft hackle- partridge and yellow
5. Quill slip winged wet fly- lead wing coachman wet
7. Feather wing streamer- Black Ghost

dry flies with dry fly hackle (dry fly hackle can be expensive, there are other options for dries that don't use dry fly hackle)
8. down wing, palmered hackle- Elk Hair Caddis
9. Wing post and parachute hackle- Adams Parachute
10. Catskill style dry fly- (Light Cahill, Hendrickson etc)
11. Hair wing dry fly- Royal Wulff

12. Spun deer hair collar- marabou muddler

Check in here if you have any questions about materials--- it can be really confusing.

sandfly 12-23-2010 06:40 PM

Re: Pick my 1st Fly
Just learn thread control and the whip finnish first. then a simple dubbed body for your first. then go for the other stuff.

Rip Tide 12-23-2010 07:06 PM

Re: Pick my 1st Fly

Originally Posted by sandfly (Post 183333)
Just learn thread control and the whip finnish first. then a simple dubbed body for your first. then go for the other stuff.

I agree, a dubbed body winged wet fly will teach you dubbing, the pinch-wrap, quill wing matching, and the hand whipped finish.
An excellent start.
Please don't try to use a whip finisher tool until you can do a whipped finish by hand

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