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  1. #1

    Default Where to begin in CO?

    I'm an incredibly raw newbie, although I do have a pretty good set of tools. I know that the standard advice to someone like me is "take a class". And I will . . . when they start getting offered (i.e., when people stop fishing and start tying). In the meantime, I'd like to try to get my hands busy.

    My strategy has been to identify the top ten flies (suggested) for the Front Range of Colorado. I've queried lots of shops/sources and have the list. My question is which would be the best one to start learning on? I can find books and videos for all of them.

    What do the learned tiers on this forum think? (The number in parentheses indicates the number of "votes" for most necessary fly in the region)

    Parachute Adams (7)
    Mercury Pheasant-tail (6)
    RS2 (5)
    Elk Hair Caddis (5)
    BWO (Comparadun) (4)
    Mercury Black Beauty (4)
    San Juan Worm (4)
    Bead Head Prince (4)
    Copper John (4)
    Woolly Bugger (4)



  2. #2

    Default Re: Where to begin in CO?

    Rs2 I've killed the Big Thompson this summer with it!! Good luck!!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Where to begin in CO?

    There is learning to tie and then learning to tie particular patterns.

    A lot of the flies I fish in Colorado are rather small so learning to tie those patterns would be a tough place to start. Before moving on to tying 16 and smaller it is good to learn larger patterns that will let you work on things like thread tension and control, how to tie material onto the hook shank and have it where you want it, wrapping material and dubbing, proportions of the fly, wrapping and tying off hackle, etc etc. For that I vote for flies like the wooly bugger since it'll catch fish, is larger, and isn't too complicated.

    Other good and useful patterns to start with might be foam beetles, the san juan worm, pheasant tail and hare's ear nymphs in beadhead and non-beadhead, elk hair caddis, and perhaps parachute adams/hare's ear, all in sizes 14 and 12. A stimulator is a great, larger pattern as well, but involves more materials.

    Before moving to smaller patterns like BWO, rs2, and other small nymphs and dries learn that basics on the larger patterns. It's a fun hobby
    - William

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Where to begin in CO?

    Gary: Get yourself a copy of Charlie Graven's book, Basic Fly Tying, it is the best I have seen.
    [ame=""]Charlie Craven's Basic Fly Tying: Modern Techniques for Flies That Catch Fish: Charlie Craven: 9780979346026: Books@@AMEPARAM@@[/ame]
    Also check out Charlie's Fly Box, he lists 180 patterns for Colorado, and they are all step-by-step, so once you have the basics down they are an excellent reference.
    Charlie's FlyBox - Colorado's Best FlyShop and online Fly Tying Tutorials

    If you live close to Denver, take lessons from Charlies Fly Shop you won't regret it.


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  7. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Norwich, CT
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Where to begin in CO?

    learning techniques is more important than learning recipes. at least it is to me

    get the book above and take lessons from charlie craven if you can

    another book to get is the flytires benchside reference. $63 + or - on amazon

    heres some other flies that are very good for the front range in CO

    Normand Frechette flies
    Poor quality materials and tools are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them.


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  9. #6

    Default Re: Where to begin in CO?

    Not very learnt here, but a vintage front ranger who thinks the "region" has missed a few good ones.....there are others but here is a start that come to mind...

    HW Rio Grande King
    Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear
    White Winged-Black spinner
    Miracle Nymph
    Olive Grizzly Matuka
    Royal Coachman Wet
    Black Ant
    Brooks Stone Fly nymph

    No.1 fly for me is the #14 HW Rio Grande King. I fish it dry from April to December.

    ....and let me point out that the fly is a small part of the is the "cast" that will catch you the fish !

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  11. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Sidney, Nebraska

    Default Re: Where to begin in CO?

    If near Ft. Collins check out St. Peters fly shop. They are a wealth of knowledge on the area.

  12. #8

    Default Re: Where to begin in CO?

    Thanks to all of you! Great suggestions! Much appreciated!

  13. #9

    Default Re: Where to begin in CO?

    Eggs and worms
    Pheasant tails
    Elk Hair Caddis
    BWO/Adams dries
    Trico spinners
    Woolly Buggers
    Anything by John Barr or Charlie Craven, both Colorado boys...

    “Fishing for me, as funny as it sounds, is sorta my brand of praying almost. I’m never closer to my spirituality than when I’m in the act of fishing.” - JT Van Zandt

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  15. Default Re: Where to begin in CO?


    The High Plains Drifters Flyfishing Club in Colorado has two kinds of clinics / Fly Tying Classes.

    One kind is Free where you show up and everyone is friendly and ties what they feel like. ..., and the other kind costs $10.00 where they teach you to tie specific flies. on a certain night.

    They are really nice people, and their website gives the dates for those events and the location.

    When I went there, I thought they would be a bunch of "Hoity-Toity" Snobs; but they are not.
    They are very nice people, some of the nicest I have ever found in a group of any kind.
    Everybody helped me, and they let me tie on their vises and everything.
    Last edited by brucerducer; 09-21-2013 at 08:54 PM.
    Welcome to the world of Fly Crying

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