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Thread: material advise

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Utah moving back to Scotland soon

    Default material advise

    i have just got starter tying kit but didnt get any materials and went to the local tackle shop and bought some basic materials to make some buzzers but was lost when it come to what feathers and dubbings to buy so was wondering what is your advise for a starter materials and colour materials a new tyer should get so i i dont waste money on materials
    i will be tying flies for trout on rivers and streams

    many thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: material advise


    Here is what I would do, first get a copy of Charlie Craven's book Basic Fly Tying. It is one of the best books I have found for beginners. What it does is start with a simple fly, and then progresses to more difficult flies and it shows detailed information on how to tie each fly with a material list for each fly in the list. Then just order the material needed for one or two flies and then add on to your materials as you progress through the book.
    [ame=] Charlie Craven's Basic Fly Tying (9780979346026): Charlie Craven: Books[/ame]
    Or another approach if you have some basic fly tying skills is to take a look at Charlies Fly Box, he lists numerous fly tutorials with a detailed list of materials needed. Here is the Fly Box, take a look at what he offers: Charlie's FlyBox - Colorado's Best FlyShop and online Fly Tying Tutorials

    Of course, if you have specific questions don't hesitate to ask the forum members we have some great folks on here that are more than willing to get you started on the right foot and provide any assistance you might need. Good luck!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: material advise


    Larry beat me to it-- and gave you grat advice. Charlie Craven has a great site that will be a big help to you with tutorials for a bunch of different flies.
    Here’s a link to his index of fly patterns
    Charlie's FlyBox - Colorado's Best FlyShop and online Fly Tying Tutorials

    Look in the drop down box labeled “Charlies Flybox” to browse patterns, click on one to get the pattern.

    Each pattern has a detailed list of materials, and you can click on a link for detailed tying instructions. Pick a couple patterns at a time – I’m sure your local fly shop would be able to help you pick out materials for the patterns you choose, or you can look at the list for each fly pattern you choose to tackle--- I’d pick 2-3 at a time instead of trying to buy a ton of stuff to tie everything.

    Some good patterns to start would be (in order of difficulty):
    Wooly Bugger size 8
    Pheasant Tail size 16
    Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear size 14

    These are pretty popular flies that work well, are relatively easy to tie, and use inexpensive materials that are used for lots of other patterns. They’ll also teach you a couple of different techniques that will build your skills as you move to different and/or more complex patterns. Oh—and even if they look a bit scruffy, don’t be afraid to fish them.

    After you twist up a few, you can move on to other patterns- perhaps some dry flies like Elk Hair Caddis and parachute style mayflies with some dry fly hooks size 12-18, a 12 color assortment of synthetic dry fly dubbing (Superfine, Fly Rite etc) and some dry fly hackle (brown, grizzly to start, adding medium dun and cream (or light ginger), and patches of elk hair and calf body hair.

    Having a local shop you can go to and have them help pick out materials is a big advantage-- if not feel free to ask here and folks can suggest specific stuff to get for different patterns you decide you want to tie.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Upper Mojave Desert

    Default Re: material advise

    Another to echo Larry's recommendation of Charlie Craven's "Basic Fly Tying". I bought it after he recommended it to another member, and glad that I did. I've tied for a year and it is almost the only book I use for a reference.
    If you just want a fly to tie immediately then get:
    Pheasant Tail Feather
    Peacock Herl
    Thread (black or rusty brown)
    All for well under $10
    You can tie a Pheasant Tail Nymph.
    Dubbing I'd just start with hare in basic colors; tan, olive, grey.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Northern California
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: material advise

    When I started, I took a three night beginner's fly tying class program. Here are the flies that I learned.

    Session 1:
    San Juan Worm #12
    Woolly Bugger #6

    Session 2:
    Pheasant Tail #12
    Hare's Ear Nymph #12

    Session 3:
    Elk Hare Caddis #12
    Adams #12

    Each of these flies help teach techiques that will help create a basic foundation for most fly patterns. Of course there will be some new techniques that will come along later.

    The sizes that I listed are larger, but usable. I like to learn on a bigger fly to get a knack for proportions. Once I get it right, I will start tying other sizes. Also you aren't spending too much on hooks right off the bat. Both nymph patterns and the SJ Worm use the same hook. Both dry flies use the same hook.

    Last edited by MoscaPescador; 12-18-2009 at 02:53 AM. Reason: added sizes

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Monroe, Michigan

    Default Re: material advise

    You got great advice from everyone...I like the idea that MP posted...Start slow and practice a particular fly until you have the method for tying it down pat, then move to a new pattern.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Utah moving back to Scotland soon

    Default Re: material advise

    thanks guys i would have replied sooner but the snow here in scotland took out my internet so havent been able to get on till today and they cant seem to handle even a little bit of snow lol but i found a few old fly tying books in the carity shops here so i got them to have a look at and got some bits for tying the simple ones in the books and had a go there nothing amazeing like some of yours i have seen here but i'm inproveing slowly and i made a few tweaks to some lol to give them a bit more character i just need to get out and try them lol and look forward to trying some other patterns thank you all again

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: material advise



    Well then you might want to add a few more patterns--- like some classic wets. Generally they're not as popular over here, so you don't tend to see them in many of the American beginning fly tying books, but since you're in Scotland...

    Definitely tie up the stuff that you'll fish--- nymph patterns like the pheasant tail and gold ribbed hare's ear would be very good to start, and dry patterns like the Elk Hair Caddis and Adams might be a little more difficult and require more expensive materials (dry fly hackle) but would be great to add.

    Some classic Loch style flies might be good to take on and sort of slot in between nymphs and dries in terms of difficulty and price of materials. If you wanted to tackle some you could do them in order of difficulty:

    Wingless with simple hackle collar (Black and Peacock, Black Pennell)
    Wingless with palmered hackle (Kate McLaren, Zulu, Soldier Palmer, Biblio)
    Winged wets (Bloa and Black, Lug and Plover/Woodcock, Wickham's Fancy)

    Some of the material that you'll find in Scotland will be a bit different than in the US like the availability of seal's fur dubbing and Kamasan hooks (Nymph B175, Wet B170, Dry B401) and the more widespread use/availability of paired wings (snipe, woodcock, mallard, jay etc).

    Not sure where you are in Scotland, but some good resources for you include the fly dressers guild The FDG with branches in Edinburgh, Luggiebank and Ayrshire (also an informative site with pattern library), the Milngavie Fly Dresser's in Glasglow (google them to find out about tying classes) and The Step by Step Fly Tying Resource with an extensive pattern library and step by steps for tying a lot of popular British and Scottish patterns.

    If you have a local fly shop, they can recommend simple and effective patterns, and/or pick out material for the fly patterns you want to tie (and advise you on substitutes that you may have that would work perfectly well). If you don't have a local flyshop, something like the following list might be good for a start to tie nymphs (Gold Ribbed Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail, Diawl Bach) and a bunch of wets (Black and Peacock, Black Pennell, Zulu, Kate McLaren, Blae and Black, Invicta, Greenwell's Glory etc):

    Hooks: Nymph Kamasan B175 size 12-16, Wet fly (Kamasan B170) size 10-14
    Thread: Black and brown 6/0 (or 140 denier)
    Peacock: Herl and swords
    Floss: Black, red
    Wool: Red
    Dubbing: an assortment of seal's fur (or substitute) or just black, yellowish-amber and red for now, and a Hares mask (natural color)
    Wire: Fine copper and gold
    Tinsel: Fine silver and gold oval, double-sided silver/gold flat tinsel
    Hen Hackle: Black, Brown, Ginger
    Rooster hackle: Black, Brown, Ginger (not sure if you need dry fly quality hackle for these wets, you may be able to get less expensive rooster)
    Wings: pair of mallard wings for now (to use on winged patterns in place of woodcock, jay etc)
    Ringneck Pheasant: tail feathers
    Other: Golden Pheasant head (crest and tippets), bronze mallard feathers, starling skin ( slips from wing flight feathers can be used on many wets for wings, and many feathers for soft hackle collars on wets from back and upper/lower wing coverts-- a very useful and inexpensive thing to have)

    Dry flies will require some additional materials including dry fly hooks (Kamasan B401 size 12-18), an assortment of dry fly dubbing (like Superfine), and there are many options for other materials depending on the patterns. Dry fly quality hackle can be expensive-- but some alternatives are dries tied with CDC like the F-fly and/or hair like the Sparkle Dun, X Caddis, CDC and Elk-(all actually tied with deer hair sold as "coastal" or "compardun" deer hair).

    Good luck- and feel free to post pics of your flies we'd all enjoy seeing them if you want some constructive feedback just ask-- And also feel free to jump in on the fly swaps-- everyone is always welcome, regardless of tying experience.

    Last edited by peregrines; 12-28-2009 at 04:40 PM.

  9. Default Re: material advise

    For the record, my BUZZERS are simply
    Scud Hook, Black thread, built up in the last 1/4 behind eye

    Rib, either wire or Flashabo in what ever accent color I am building (ex: red, gold, blue, white, ORANGE)

    Then I tie in Clear Mylar on top the built up portion and matching colored biot to the rib on both sides of built up area.
    Fold all three over and tie off behind the eye. Coat whole thing with a couple of coats of Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails.

    BUT, instead of biot and flashabou, I have used present ribbon. Gives a nice flash.

  10. #10

    Default Re: material advise

    I agree do it.

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