Complete begginer

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by msteudel, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. GAT Active Member

    Posts: 3,980
    Willamette Valley, OR
    Ratings: +2,557 / 0
    The pattern was one that somebody must have came up with because I've never seen anything like it in a pattern book. It's a nymph. I took the one I had remaining to the fly shop that Mike Gorman just opened in Corvallis. I asked if he sold such a thing. He said no but told me I could tie the pattern myself.

    That's how it all started. He looked at the and we searched through tying books. We couldn't find the exact pattern but found that a Bird's Stone Fly was very close. The only difference was the pattern I was looking for was grey in color with a clear plastic shellback.

    So Mike sold me the tying book (American Nymph Fly Tying Manual by Randall Kaufmann), a Thompson A vise, scissors, bobbin with grey thread, grey goose biots, peacock herl, muskrat fur for dubbing and grey saddle hackle. I'd use a clear plastic sandwich bag to cut out a strip for the shellback.

    The plan worked. I followed the instructions for tying a Bird's Stone Fly but used the grey colors instead of brown as the pattern was shown.

    Then, of course, I decided to try some of the other nymph patterns in the book...

    The rest is history. I became fly tying nut and eventually ended up writing a flytying column for a flyfishing magazine.

    ...all because I wanted to tie one specific nymph.

    I kept one of the first patterns I tied... A number of years later, I searched it out and took a photo.

    You'll notice the head is quite large... this is because the thread we used in the old days wasn't exactly size 12 :)

    Gary Knowels and FinLuver like this.
  2. FinLuver Active Member

    Posts: 423
    Mid-Willamette Valley
    Ratings: +92 / 0
    Second... Hans' videos; as well as Davey McPhail's on YouTube. :)
    GAT, Thom Collins and Patrick Gould like this.
  3. Super Dave New Member

    Posts: 3
    Maple Ridge, BC
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    I would buy your tools all separate, spending what your budget can afford. As above don't skimp on the vise, scissors and bobbin. My next suggestion is to start tying Chironomids. They are fairly easy to tie, and generally you will need hundreds in various sizes and colours. From there add tying materials as you need them. A good fly shop can help you with all of this.
    GAT likes this.
  4. Jason Copas Member

    Posts: 34
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    I went the kit route, and am just getting started. But the vise/tools have worked plenty well enough for me to learn on.

    I would recommend staring with large, simple pattern. I've wasted a lot of time and materials working on small trout patterns. What I have gotten right seems more luck than anything. So recently I bought size 8 4xl streamer hooks and chenille, marabou and hackle in 4 separate colors and started tying an assortment of woolley buggers. This has really helped me learn the techniques, working with stuff that is large enough that it's not a fight to control. I'm 16 buggers in and feel a lot more comfortable wrapping hackle, tying parts in etc. Not sure what I am going to move onto next, maybe muddlers. Whatever it is will be a large pattern.

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  5. FinLuver Active Member

    Posts: 423
    Mid-Willamette Valley
    Ratings: +92 / 0
    When starting out, I too went big...standard bucktail steelhead patterns. Over time, I found that reading, videos and expos were all very helpful in progressing. Don't be afraid to try your hand at learning Atlantic Salmon Classics either. For me they were useful in learning thread and floss control - also thinking about the "planning" when in comes to tying a fly. That thread control then relates to tying small-ish patterns. Main challenge I had when starting out, was proportions and crowding the hook eye. Fly tying is a progressive travel - ENJOY the journey. :)