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chzheadguy 03-13-2012 09:32 AM

Whats next???
(First post)
I have made my initial buyin and have begun tying flies. I have started with the wooly bugger. I feel that I have done a good job and am wondering which fly to try next. Is there some sort of list from easy to difficut out there? I live in Arizona and would like to tie for Rim lakes, White Mountain lakes, and the rivers and streams in those areas. Any help would be great. Thanks.

norvise 03-13-2012 10:08 AM

Re: Whats next???
Have you tried the Maribou Bugger?
I've a little video that will help get you going.
Let me know what you end up going with next.

peregrines 03-13-2012 01:07 PM

Re: Whats next???
hey chzheadguy- welcome to the forum and welcome to fly tying--

Starting with a woolly bugger is a good first step-- you've learned some good techniques that will come in hand on other patterns down the road and it's a productive fly to fish.

Working your way up from easy to more difficult flies is also a good way to go.

You might want to add some nymphs-- good ones to start with are Pheasant Tail Nymphs and Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymphs. More difficult to tie, but also definitely worth learning are some Copper Johns and Prince Nymphs. I would tie all these nymphs with bead heads--Nymphs can be very effective fished alone, but I think you'll find a fishing with a dry fly/dropper combination will also be very common way to fish out there in streams-- using a large dry like a hopper or stimulator with a beadhead nymph tied to the bend of the dry with a short piece of tippet. Hete's a link to a virtual Tie-Along" that member Pocono did recently with step by step instructions and pics on tying up several nymph patterns:

For lakes, in addition to woolly buggers, leech patterns like the Simi Seal Leech in our pattern library tied by forum member Mosca Pescador here: and chironomid (midge) patterns like the Zebra Midge are easy ties and also staples for Western lakes. There's also the Red Chironomid in the Nymph Tie along and some existing and soon to be added additional midge patterns in the Fly Swap Pics forum.

After you've tied a few nymphs and midge and leech patterns you may want to move to some dry flies-- some of these will require dry fly hackle which can be expensive. But patterns like the Renegade and Elk Hair Caddis are fairly easy to tie and are excellent for lakes and streams 9 respectively). You'll also want to learn to tie some parachute style dry fly patterns -- and if you learn one like a Parachute Adams, you'll have learned them all -- it's usually just a matter of switching hook size and color of body dubbing and/or hackle color. Down the road after you've gotten comfortable tying the basic dries like Elk Hair Caddis and Parachutes you can add more difficult dry flies like Stimulators and/or incorporate other materials like CDC for smaller dry fly patterns and foam for stuff like hoppers etc. for other dry fly patterns.

Hope this helps a bit-- but keep asking questions!

Keep asking questions-- and browse around through the Fly Tying FAQ forum for some info on material and techniques that might be helpful and Fly Patterns forum for some step by step pics an instructions.

littledavid123 03-13-2012 01:25 PM

Re: Whats next???
Welcome to the forum :)

Do you have any fly tying books? I do recommend Charlie Cravens basic fly tying book, very good detail and he steps you up so what you learned on the last fly will help with your tying in the next chapter. The book includes lots of hints and information on material quality.


fire instructor 03-13-2012 01:51 PM

Re: Whats next???
I started tying on my own, with a Wolly Bugger in early January, and then starting to tie some of the easier patterns in Charlie Craven's book. Slhortly thereafter, I started in an 8-week tying class sponsored by the local Federation of Fly Fishers chapter.

Last night was the last night of the class, and we tied a deer hair popper and a Muddler Minnow. Fifteen new tiers, all spinning deer hair.... There was deer hair EVERYWHERE!!! LOL!!!!

Since the first of the year, I've tied WELL over 120 flies (each week of class after the first week - where we learned the tools, basic wraps, whip finishing, half hitches, etc, we tied two different patterns, and had to tie five of each fly, so I have 70 flies just from the class)! Additionally, I've tied 24 flies for two swaps that I'm in. Actually, more like 30, because I didn't like some of my pheasant tail nymphs.....

If it's at all a possibility, get hooked-up with your local Federation or Trout Unlimited Chapter, and see if they have a tying class. For me, it was a great way to learn, meet some new friends, and afterwards, have a couple of cold, carbonated, adult beverages! I've found tying to be a MUCH better evening/afterwork past-time then just sitting in front of the tube with my laptop warming my lap.....

If you CAN'T get involved with a group, then my recommendation would be to get a copy of Charlie Craven's book as a great step-by-step way to learn, starting with simple techniques, and advancing in difficulty.

Good luck, and enjoy yourself!!!

BTW - The local Federation chapter (which I've now joined) is manning a tying demo table at the local LL Bean this weekend, and they've asked me, the new guy, to be there for a few hours on Saturday to demo and help new-comers to tie either a Wolly Worm (similar to Bugger, but with shorter, hair tail) or a foam ant. (And LL Bean is supplying all the materials, too!)

silver creek 03-13-2012 02:49 PM

Re: Whats next???
I think flies should be chosen so they are skill based. The next skill you should learn is dubbing.

You could try a brassie next. Then a serendipity. Both are simple flies that will catch fish.

Then could try a simple fur nymph to learn to dub a body. Nymphs can have rougher and imperfect bodies and still catch fish. From a simple fur nymph go to a GRHE. Then a pheasant tail.

A pheasant tail IMHO is much too difficult a next step right now. A PT means you need to learn to select the right number fibers for the hook size, tie a tie of the right length, wind the body to the proper point and to tie a wing case and legs. Way too many things to go wrong.

Then try a fur ant to teach you to form a dubbed dry fly body and wind hackle; or an EHC dry fly to teach to tie a tapered dubbed body and the elk hair wing.

chzheadguy 03-16-2012 11:46 AM

Re: Whats next???
Thank you all for the responses. I am having fun tying.

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