Critique my starter buy list

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Ryan Higgins, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. Tried my hand at a bugger. I dont have any hackle here yet so I used marabou. Laugh away! I also tried a marabou soft hackle a boogered that one up good. I started too close to the eye so my hackle got messy, my chenille was buried under the marabou, and the hot pink bou I have is trash as hackle. Too short and thin. It works for jigs though.

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  2. The first tied fly is usually not a pretty one. You might also want to add a fly tying dvd or book to your list for some tips.
  3. I have 3-4 books laying around and the pc with youtube next to the bench. My hackle gets here Tuesday, then I'll make another attempt.
  4. OK I added a few items like biots and some more dubbing, wire, foam, legs, hooks, beads, and heads. I placed an order with PFF and Caddis. I run to the Moses Lake area through Ephrata quite a bit in the summer. I plan on picking Darcs brain and getting supplies for carp and bass flies from him. I'll swing in if I end up hitting Rocky Ford this winter. Already put $300 in materials down...
  5. Top jig on the left. Try not to trim the ends of marabou if possible.
    Try to leave the tips of your marabou feathers with their natural taper.
    If you ever need to shorten marabou, tear it with your fingers rather then trimming it.
    Alpine4x4 likes this.
  6. Thanks for the tip. It was quite bushy so I trimmed it down. Should have used less to start with.
  7. "I might have to make a second order at another shop like Caddis to get the bunny and smaller thread. I'll take the others into consideration." I buy a good amount of materials from Caddis. But I keep a shopping list going on my tying desk, and I'll only place the order when I have enough on there to get the free shipping. Also, if you sign up for different mailing lists, you'll get email offers for discounted pricing and free shipping.

    I've been tying for a little under 50 years now, and through that time, I've learned a few lessons. One word of advice I'd like to pass on to you is try not to buy your feathers (necks & saddles, and more expensive plumes like ostrich, lady Amherst tail, etc.) sight-unseen. It's good to take them out of their packages and examine them to make certain that feather length and orientation and fiber lengths are suitable for the tying you intend to do. Your flies will look and present better when feathers are consistently colored, are not cupped or curled, and the hackle fibers are of suitable length for the flies you intend to tie. It's also advisable to buy some of your furs/hairs the same way. You might look at two packages of kingfisher blue arctic fox or Finn raccoon fur, and they'll be quite different in shade, and sometimes the coloration won't be consistent. There might be a band of black on the hair fibers, or not. Sometimes you might want those black tips, or black band, but other times not. So buying the piece of fur that gives you the look you want, instead of a look you're stuck with.
    Simply ordering materials like these is a crap-shoot at best. Materials are expensive enough, and to throw money out for some of the more expensive stuff without it having been seen or handled can result in wasteful spending (and additional spending to get the correct material or "something better".) To avoid this type of thing, it's good to do what you've been doing... buy local. Support your local fly shop, but don't get married to it. Buy what you need from them, not necessarily just what they have in stock. Try to attend fly fishing shows and events where material merchants are present, and spend your time digging through what's there. But make sure you have your shopping list in hand, and try your best to stick with it. Hope this helps.


    PS - Wanted to mention that it's also a good idea to get to know your local taxidermist(s) as they can often become a good source of pieces of hide (fur) and feathers. Bring them in a few flies you tied with their stuff once in a while, and they'll continue to supply you with what they get. I have taxidermist friends who call me to let me know that there's an animal coming in, and they offer me the scraps. Free materials. Works for me!
  8. Thanks for the tip on a taxidermist, my girlfriend mentioned that last night and I was wondering if they would have anything.

    As for local, the nearest shop is an hour away from me. Kind of tough to justify running out there for one or two things. I ask for a certain quality or preference when buying the material (not that I know what my preferences should even be yet!) and hope the shop I ordered from is good enough to follow them.
  9. Don't over looked Hooked for the basics or emergencies either. Their assortment is small but they've saved my bacon a time or two. And, I love shopping the gear section to see what things could be used for flies - take apart the skirts (?) for the rubber legs in cool colors, some awesome squiggly shaped hooked for San Juan worms, tiny corkies for fly bodies, etc. Craft stores are another great treasure trove for materials - doll eyes, wire, beads, even feathers some time, stretchy clear bead stuff for bodies, etc. I find it really fun to see what I can come up with.

  10. I actually picked up a Boa from Hobby Lobby to tie up some jigs. It doesnt have a ton of very usable material, but enough I was able to get some jigs done. I've bought a few items from Hooked on, I find a lot of their material is sub par. I'm also not a big fan of them in general, too much of an elitist attitude from some of the staff.

    Thanks for the tips!
  11. Played around some more. I'll be using this on the snatch tomorrow

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  12. Looking better. Put the eyeballs on the other side of the hook.
    Doing so will turn the fly over so it rides hook point side up.
  13. Been busy;)

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  14. When I started tying I made the mistake to tie all kinds of flies at the same day.
    IMO (?) it is better to tie multiple of the same flies in different sizes. So you learn something what is very importent in fly tying: proportions.
    But your flies are sure nice tied. Have a lot of fun!
    Rodney Bryan and Ryan Higgins like this.

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