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  1. #21

    Default Re: Beginner Fly Tying Advise

    Cgriff,

    This comes up often......and understandably. Tying flies can be quite daunting. Taking a class at a local shop or stopping in and asking them questions and to look at the different tools and materials is a great first step.

    I can say that if you tie flies regularly, that you wouldn't wish the beginner kit on anyone.

    I started with a cheap Cabelas fly tying kit and like many have mentioned.....I wish I didn't. It was not worth it. The vise broke after a year or so, the scissors were poor, the hackle pliers I've thrown away and the book of patterns was black and white. The hooks are ok....but not a lot of variety.

    They throw in a patch of deer or elk hair, some tufts of rabbit fur, some bad capes, some thread, some strands of floss...not good.

    One of the best beginner books to learn a few patterns with is Charlie Craven's 'Basic Fly Tying'. It is loaded with great step by steps......

    https://www.amazon.com/Charlie-Crave...67543371&psc=1

    And he has a great site with step-by-steps too....

    Charlie's FlyBox - Colorado's Best FlyShop and online Fly Tying Tutorials

    I see you're in UT...so I assume trout flies is where you would start. I will advise you to pick up materials to tie some basic yet effective fishing flies. Forget about the walls and piles of materials out there.

    Those flies would be the wooly bugger, zebra midge, hares ear nymph, pheasant tail nymph, and an Adams dry.

    Tools (Dr Slick makes good quality tools):

    - Whip finishing tool
    - half hitch / bodkin tool
    - Good pair of scissors
    - Ceramic bobbin
    - Good pair of hackle pliers
    - Good vise (I'm partial to my Regal Medallion w/ pedestal)
    - Popsicle stick with velcro glued to it

    Materials:

    - Hare dubbing assortment
    - Black, red, olive and white thread
    - Small silver and gold wire
    - Pheasant tail feathers
    - Peacock herl
    - Turkey tail feather
    - Pack of black and olive marabou
    - Pack of black and olive chenille
    - Size 6 Streamer Hooks
    - Size 18 Scud Hook
    - Size 14 Nymph Hook
    - Maybe a bead assortment kit
    - Grizzly, Black and Brown Whiting hackle 100 packs (I could also say 1/2 rooster capes instead.......but would say buy these in person from a good shop....this is where it can get expensive and you could make a poor choice if you don't know how to select a cape. Hence my suggestion for pre-selected packs. This helps some - H&H Hackle Guide.)

    Honestly I don't tie many traditional catskill style dry flies with hackle any more.....but I do still use hackle fibers/feathers alot for nymphs, streamers and tails on dries/emergers.

    You will need some sort of hackle if you're wanting to tie some buggers. They make bugger packs in various colors for $10. So that's an option.

    If you're worried about the cost of capes......CDC is a good choice too. You can tie some simple and highly effective dry and emerger patterns and the color choices are amazing.

    I'd say stick to brown and dun CDC to keep it simple. CDC Feathers and How to select them - Fly Tying

    I use these bulk packs from Montana Fly Company (MFC).......

    bulkcdcall.jpg
    MFC_Bulk_CDC_Feathers_6.jpg

    $6 per pack.

    Just some ideas...... sorry if I added to your confusion.

    But you can see that eventually understanding the various hackles, grades, sizes, colors is the tricky part and will take some research and hands on touchy feely time.

    I was fortunate to have someone give me whatever material he no longer used.........which were some very nice Metz capes.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by flytie09; 12-12-2018 at 12:18 PM.


    “If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.”
    ~Zane Grey

    " . . . shouldn't a man stand on his own two feet and catch his own steelhead? Maybe put out some effort and find his own fish just for the fun of it?"
    ~Syd Glasso

  2. #22

    Default Re: Beginner Fly Tying Advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Cgriff View Post
    Thanks everyone, sound advise from all! Really appreciate the advise! I'll be doing some research on vises today, I like the cost of the Peak rotary vise but I really like the the way the jaws of the vise clamp in the Regal. Like a kid in an expensive candy store!
    My only issues with the Regal vice are: 1) I don’t consider it to be a true rotary vice; 2) I find tying small with the standard jaws to be awkward.

    Having said that, I’ve owned a Regal pedestal since the 80’s. I still tie on that vice. It is a great piece of equipment.

    You asked for advice. I would learn to tie with a rotary vice. I like the control over the placement of material verses what I obtain by hand winding material — particularly palmered material.

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  4. #23

    Default Re: Beginner Fly Tying Advise

    Very helpful!!! Thanks so much!

  5. #24
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Truckee, CA.
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    Default Re: Beginner Fly Tying Advise

    What ever vice you buy, look for replacement jaws......I like using midge jaws for little flies.
    Then switching to big jaws for sz 2 hooks.
    If you tye enough, you can wear them out.....then the hooks squirt out......
    I love my Dyna king.......love the rotary, but mostly to pivot the fly to look at it when tying.
    It's 18years and still going strong.

    Jim
    The bar isn't set by the fish we catch, but by the one's we don't.

    Bigfly

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  7. #25

    Default Re: Beginner Fly Tying Advise

    Very helpful!!! Thanks so much!

  8. #26

    Default Re: Beginner Fly Tying Advise

    My advice: Get your credit cards ready and jump in with both feet. Also, you may want to stock up on lent rollers.

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  10. #27

    Default Re: Beginner Fly Tying Advise

    Tools are durable goods. They will last a long time. Good scissors are a must. Bobbin holders with ceramic inserts are good. I like whip finishers but people can do them with their fingers. I just tie myself to the vise doing that.

    Vise? I say go rotary. You don't need it but you have it available when you get experience down the line. I use a Griffin spider, my son has a Renzetti. I used a Thompson A for many years. Worked well, but I'm so used to the twisty feature that I don't even know I use it.

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  12. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Anthem, AZ
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    Default Re: Beginner Fly Tying Advise

    Lots of great advice here already, so I won't really add anything to the shopping list.

    There are several places that offer free tying lessons, such as Orvis, Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops, as well as most if not all of your local fly-fishing clubs. Usually these are a once-a-month kind of thing, usually the same time every month.

    As for equipment, the only thing I'll say is get a ceramic-tipped thread bobbin; the cheap metal ones are so bad that they can make you wish you never even heard of fly-tying. Pretty sure you can still get a decent ceramic bobbin for about $15-$25, I think, and well-worth the money.

    One other piece of advice concerning tying itself: a good mantra to repeat to yourself in the beginning is: "less is more." Try to be 'sparse' with materials, use the least amount of thread possible, less glue, and so on. After you've tied a couple-three hundred flies of each pattern you'll have acquired enough experience to have a pretty good idea of exactly how much you need of everything and when you can get away with using more.

    Oh, and don't expect your first ties to look like the book/video/internet pic, because it's unlikely that they will. Yours will look disproportionate, bulky, odd, whatever. They will probably still fish okay, but they won't look right. Put a small mason jar on your tying desk for these "culls." Fish them, give them away, use them for spare parts, etc.

    Side note: when you finally tie one that looks exactly the way you want it, KEEP IT. I stick mine on pieces of wine bottle corks and set them on the shelf above my desk at about eye level. These are your 'models' so that you have a quick visual reference when you want to tie something.

    Proportionate flies take time and practice. Even a dozen years later, when I first sit down to the vise my first few flies look wrong to me. I usually get comfortable after about a dozen flies or so.

    Just a few thoughts.

    Peace.
    "Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark

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  14. #29

    Default Re: Beginner Fly Tying Advise

    Quote Originally Posted by Cgriff View Post
    Greetings all, with winter setting in and my first year of fly fishing under my belt it seems the natural progression is to spend some cold winter nights tying up some flies.
    -Chris
    Read this:

    Free Beginner's Guide to Flytying
    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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