Best 5 flies to tie for beginner

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Kyle Escamilla, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Kyle Escamilla Member

    Posts: 125
    Tukwila, WA
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    Hello, I am 6 months new to fly fishing and fly tying. I am currently mostly interested in swinging flies for steelhead. Eventually will jump into other things. I am looking for your 5 simplest/basic flies for swinging for summer steelhead. I am just overwhelmed with all the flies out there and would just like some basic ones to start with.

    My current fishing set-up
    -Sage 8136
    -Lamson guru reel
    -Backing/running line/Skagit flight/sink tip/ leader

    Thanks,
    Kyle
  2. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,862
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,262 / 1
    I'd suggest tying egg sucking leeches.
    By changing the body and egg colors, you'd have a lot of variety to offer the fish.
    Also leech patterns in solid colors, blue, black or purple.
    SF
  3. Kyle Escamilla Member

    Posts: 125
    Tukwila, WA
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    Ok Thanks. There's one I will add to the list.
  4. Bugsy Member

    Posts: 35
    California
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    They may not be on everyone's "best" list, but two flies I would carry are green butt skunks and a muddler of some kind. Muddlers don't need to be fancy; scruffy works fine. If you're motivated to spin hair, it's not hard to learn.
  5. Connor Parrish Member

    Posts: 292
    Covington, Wa
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Agree with everything so far. Would add the orange butted skunk, the original skunk maybe a polar shrimp pattern too. The various leech patterns out there are endless. You can mess around with rabbit strips and different amounts of maribu along with flash to add some movement and life to your flies. But if your just staring out maribu is much cheaper than rabbit strips to learn with.

    -Connor
  6. Dave Evans Active Member

    Posts: 535
    E. WA / N ID
    Ratings: +101 / 0
    I would pick up Shewey's Steelhead Flies. He has some classics in there with step-by-step instructions. Great resource you will use for a very long time.
  7. Kyle Escamilla Member

    Posts: 125
    Tukwila, WA
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    OK great! Had a feeling someone was gonna say green butt skunk. I'll add the polar shrimp to the arsenal too. I just wasn't sure if those worked very well for swinging. Also aren't muddlers dry flies? If so I didn't no you could swing dry flies. If so then I will add a few as well. Going to pick up materials tomorrow and will begin. Anyone have any recommendations for hooks and sizes? Would Number sixes be a good average size? Dave I think I will check out some of Shewey's once I get a handful of these more basic ones.

    So far I have..

    -Leeches
    -Green butt skunks
    -Polar shrimps
    -
    -
  8. Kyle Escamilla Member

    Posts: 125
    Tukwila, WA
    Ratings: +18 / 0
  9. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 4,009
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,592 / 0
    The black head coating can be automotive touch-up paint, black fingernail polish or specialized UV colored or clear coating that is now on the market.

    You probably want to toss in a Freight Train and a Purple Peril for your list of patterns.
  10. Big E Moderator

    Posts: 1,431
    Coon Bay
    Ratings: +364 / 0
  11. Kyle Escamilla Member

    Posts: 125
    Tukwila, WA
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    Got it! Thanks guys. Looks like I have enough to keep me busy for a little while.

    -Leeches
    -Green butt skunks
    -Polar shrimps
    -Freight trains
    -Purple perils
  12. Steve Saville Active Member

    Posts: 2,489
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +315 / 1
    I almost always put a coat of 5 minute epoxy on my fly heads. It is very shiny and lends durability to the flies. It sounds difficult but is actually quite easy to do.
  13. kelvin Active Member

    Posts: 2,015
    Seattle,WA
    Ratings: +288 / 0


    easier than it looks
  14. Kyle Escamilla Member

    Posts: 125
    Tukwila, WA
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    Whats with the eye of that hook and what kind of hook is that?
  15. troutdopemagic Active Member

    Posts: 406
    Lake Stevens, Washington
    Ratings: +134 / 0
    That is an old school blind eye salmon hook, they're what atlantic salmon and steehead flies have been traditionally tied on. They have no eye (I'm assuming thats because they didn't have the technology to create a metal eye on a hook back in the day). So instead of the traditional ring eye, a piece of braided silkworm gut was use to create the eye by tying it in place before starting the pattern. Plenty of people use them today for swinging traditional patterns, although your better off using heavy dacron backing or braiding flourocarbon then trying to use silkworm gut, its not very durable and really expensive for fishing flies. Or better yet, tie that Lady Caroline on an Alec Jackson Spey Fly hook with a standard ring eye. Don't worry about the blind eye if your just starting out. It doesn't effect how the fly fishes.
    plaegreid likes this.
  16. Kyle Escamilla Member

    Posts: 125
    Tukwila, WA
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    Thanks for the info
  17. Bugsy Member

    Posts: 35
    California
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    That's a "gut" eye, traditionally formed from twisted strands of silkworm gut. The eyeless hooks are termed "blind" for this reason. The tyer adds the eye.

    The muddler minnow was originally tied to be fished subsurface as a baitfish, but it is also used as a dry attractor or hopper. Many of the muddler variations used for steelhead are intended to be skated in the film or just beneath the surface (damp). But they can be effective anywhere in the column, so it needn't be excluded if you only have a sink tip.
  18. kelvin Active Member

    Posts: 2,015
    Seattle,WA
    Ratings: +288 / 0
    dont worry about that
    just get a steelhead hook you like with an eye (jackson good advice)
    It is a fly if you tie a few will teach alot of stuff you can then use on other flies
    and they work!

    you can leave out the feather wings and just make hair wings at first and they will still work
    good luck!
  19. Dave Evans Active Member

    Posts: 535
    E. WA / N ID
    Ratings: +101 / 0
    Tacoma Red likes this.
  20. Tacoma Red Active Member

    Posts: 607
    Kitsap
    Ratings: +301 / 0