Easy Flies

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by GUZ808, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. I am thinking about getting into fly tying and was wondering what are the first/easiest flies to tie for a beginner?

    Also could anyone recommend a starter kit to begin my tying?

  2. GUZ808-

    You'll get lots and lots of opinions on which fly is the easiest to tie. You'll hear woolly bugger, wooly worm, glue eggs, hare's ears, etc. But, I have to say the easiest fly to tie that really will catch a bunch of trout is a simple rabbit strip leech. All you do is tei in a crosscut section of olive or black rabbit strip, wrap it up the shank, and tie it off behind the eye. If you want to expand; first tie a small rabbit tail on it and at the finish, throw a few strand of krytal flash in it. Done. I usually show my friends that are beginning fly-tyers this fly, because they are so simple, and they catch trout fished on a sinking or sink-tip lines.

    As for the "kit" idea, I personally don't recommend it. When I first started to tie a long time ago, I bought a kit. What I found was that there was a BUNCH of materials that I never used, the vise was sub-par, and the instruction book sucked. Maybe nowadays things are better. But, my recommendation is to go by a good vise (not the most expensive one you can find, but a quality vise. And consider a pedastal base if your wife/girlfriend will have issues with you clamping a C-Clamp vise to any of her tables). Next, decide what type of fish you will pusue or what type of fly you want to tie. Only pick a couple patterns at first. Then, go to the fly shop, ask the guys for exactly WHICH materials you'll need to tie, for example, a wooly bugger used for trout in lakes. Buy the materials for that pattern only, go home and tie some up. Now, if you're like me when I started, the first two or three went into the trash, but after that, you'll start to get the hang of it. Tie up at least a dozen. Then, when you have flies you are proud of, go for your next pattern. Buy only the materials you'll need for that one, go tie a couple dozen, then move on to the next pattern, etc.

    I think this will be way better for you, because many flies are region specific, and in a fly-tying kit, they give you a lot of "junk" for old-school, East coast patterns that you'll never use (but you might). If you just buy a vise and then the materials on a as-needed basis, you'll always have the right stuff to tie the patterns you know, and your fly-tying room won't be a collection of stuff you don't want or need.

    To start I recommend the following:

    Some thread
    Good scissors
    head cement
    Lead/or non-lead substitute

    You can buy more tools later as you need them. If you have questions, feel free to pm me. However, there are many, many tiers on this board that are much better and more experienced than I that can offer you a wealth of knowledge.

    Good luck. It's FUN!

  3. san juan worm is the easiest. wrap a scud hook with thread, tie a short peice of chennille in by its middle going parallel to the hook. whip finish the thread. heat the ends just so they are more tapered/wormy looking.
  4. I just started yesterday. I just bought a vise and all the simple tools. I got the material for wooley's and clousers. I also picked up a simple book that shows you how step by step to tie simple things. Also it has basics of using the thread, cementing head, etc etc. Its not that hard, if i can figure it out im sure you can.
  5. If you use the search function of the site and search for "beginning fly tying" or "starting fly tying", etc. you will find a good amount of very useful information.

    In short, kits aren't worth it unless you get one custom put together for you by a shop.

    The best thing you can do is get a good vise, not a cheap, imported from India one because the cheap ones (under $50.00 retail) don't hold hooks well, don't hold up, and are false economy. Thompson and Griffin each have very good vises in that $50.00 area and you can often find someone wanting to sell on because he decided to get one of the true professional vises that sell for $250 or more.

    Get these tools (vise, bobbin, scissors, whip finish tool, bodkin), some 6/0 thread, and head cement. Only get the materials (hook included) you need to tie one to three simple patterns and only add materials as you need them to tie a fly you don't have materials for. San Juan Worms, Grey Hackle, Brown Hackle, Woolly Worm, Woolly Bugger, Hare's Ear Nymph, etc. are great simple flies to start with. In other words, start with flies that have no more than three parts (tail, body, and hackle).

    I also highly recommend you take a fly tying class because it will get you started on the right foot, help you avoid developing bad habits, help develop tying technique quickly, and keep you from getting too frustrated.
  6. I'm just starting my daughter on fly tying - age 8. Her first fly was a San Juan Worm, easy and I know it'll catch fish. Her second is a bead-head Hares Ear. The dubbing part will be a trick, but since I'm there to help she's not doing too badly. The rest of it is easy, though.
  7. While the San Juan and Bunny Leech are easier, I would recommend trying to tie up a bunch of Wooly Buggers. The Wooly Bugger is fairly simple, and it will teach you to become proficient with a variety of different materials (hackle, ribbing wire, wrapping a body.....) Plus not only is there is more than enough info on the web on how to tie a Wooly Bugger, there is not a species of fish that won't eat one.
  8. Thanks for the info guys.

    But what about some easy flies to tie for fishing high alpine lakes?

  9. I'd recommend taking a class. A lot of the fishing clubs offer group classes for almost nothing. For a little more, most shops offer smaller group classes.

    If you want to learn from a book, I'd recommend starting with Skip Morris' 'Fly Tying Made Clear and Simple'. It starts off explaining tools and materials, then guides you through a dozen or two patterns. Each pattern is included to teach you a certain skill or technique. I think the first pattern is a caddis pupa, which teaches you how to apply dubbing. The whole pattern consists of a green dubbed body and a brown dubbed head. That's it.

    If you tie up a half-dozen of a pattern before trying the next one, by the time you tie them all, you will be exposed to 90% of the common tying techniques.

    I don't spend a whole lot of time fishing stillwaters, but buggers and leaches have worked for me when I do. In alpine lakes, the fish are generally not too picky, so a selection of simple nymphs should take care of you.

    Like everything about fly fishing, you can make tying as complicated as you want to make it. But there are a ton of simple patterns that will catch fish. Ask around about patterns that work on specific bodies of water then look up the recipes. Find a pattern or two that fit your tying skills, then give them a try.
  10. I second the skip morris book. That was the one i got a few days ago. It is pretty helpful.
  11. Check out this book: "The Benchside Introduction to Fly Tying" by Ted Leeson and Jim Schollmeyer.
    The way it's organized into the A section (above) being assorted patterns, and the B section (below) being assorted techniques is very convenient. The pages are split so you never need to leave the pattern page as it references the various techniques and you look them up as needed. Killer idea.
  12. Here's my favorite progression when teaching:

    -Bunny Flies
    -Wooly Buggers
    -Hares Ear
    -PT Nymph
    -Bucktail Streamer
    -Elk Hair Caddis
    -Dhalberg Diver
    -BWO or whatever upwingh
    -Parachute Adams

    once those are mastered you can tie anything
  13. Thanks for all the great info. Will be trying to get into a class to get me started. I don't think it will be hard for me to tie some simple patterns. Just need to get it to look perfect.

  14. iagree Hell, the guy got me going the same way 11 years ago while teaching me ninth grade math and I'm still going to this day!

  15. Also from FAOL, take a look at the "Too Simple" nymphs. http://www.flyanglersonline.com/alcampbell/ac011204.html and http://www.flyanglersonline.com/alcampbell/ac040504.html

    I've found you can simplify them even more by leaving out the legs, and you certainly don't need to use only "Punch" embroidery yarn. If you can find some "heather" or "tweed" wool yarn that has some highlights of a second color in the yarn you can make some very nice looking nymphs. The best I've found is mostly a charcoal color, but with some brown and maroon highlights (leftover from one of my sister's sweater projects, so I don't know the brand or specific color - but it's deadly!). If all you can find is a solid color, that'll work too. http://www.flyfishohio.com/Frank_Sawyer's_Killer_Bug.htm Use tying thread for an unweighted nymph or thin copper wire instead of thread for a weighted nymph. Basically just wrap the yarn around a 1xl nymph hook with extra wraps to make a thicker thorax area. Rough it up with some velcro and you're done. Doesn't get much easier.
  16. I check out that flyanglersonline site. This things got some good stuff to get me started.
  17. I just started tying a few months ago myself. What I've discovered is that there is a plethora of information available on this noble art. The internet is loaded with forums, books, videos, fly fishing and tying websites and a lot of different sources on tools and materials. My favorite source so far is Peter Gathercole's "Beginning Fly tying" from Barron's books. It is a quarto spiral bound book that fits nicely on the bench and is wonderfully presented with step by step color photos with explanations. Peter gives a series of core techniques followed by instructions on how to tie 50 different flies. My 2nd favorite book is Gary Soucie's "Wooly Wisdom". It is an awesome illustrated tome that covers every imaginable woolly worm and woolly bugger in exquisite color and tying recipe detail. A very instructional and entertaining read. Leroy Hyatt an awesome Idaho tyer has a video fly tying series on public tv that can be accessed online, where he shows how to tie a bunch of different patterns. http://www.kwsu.org/Offers/OMNFlyTying.aspx. These videos plus the aforementioned books are enough to keep me busy learning to tie throughout the winter. Finally, The advice given by various board members regarding tools is dead on. I purchased an $80 Danvise from Cabellas and it is perfect for a beginner and then some. Good luck. Once you begin this journey there's no turning back.:eek:
  18. Kbris,

    I downloaded several of these free videos. They're pretty good vids. Thanks for the link.


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