fly tying books

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by M00se456, May 1, 2002.

  1. i just started fly tying and got some stuff off ebay, it came w/ the book art of fly tying, which doesn't show many patters. What book or books should i get for tying all types of trout flys. thanks
  2. I highly reccomend "Western Hatches" by Dave Hughes and Rick Hafele. It's not exactly a beginners book. It's getting a little long in the tooth by now, and won't have the most up-to-date patterns (no CDC emergers or bead-head nymphs for example), but it's new enough to include the modern standards (parachutes, comparaduns, etc). It will also give you a very complete understanding of the bugs you're trying to imitate, their habitats, life-cycles, and behaviors, that will help you chose and fish your flies more effectively, and give you valuable insights for eventually designing your own flies, or at least giving standard paterns your own personal touch.

    Oh! and for just plain pattern guides, Randall Kaufmann's "Nymph Manual" and "Dry Fly Manual" are excellent, and have a Northwest slant.
  3. The Art of Fly Tying is a good one. I still use it as a reference and I've been tying for a decade.

    Here's something to keep in mind:

    When you learn how to tie one type of fly, you essentially know the steps and procedures necessary to tie hundreds of different patterns.

    For example, let's say you just learned how to tie the Parachute Adams. You now know most of the techniques necessary to tie any parachute-style mayfly. (Just substitute the dubbing and hackle with different materials--and there you go!)

    Learn the 10 basic flies demonstrated in the Art of Fly Tying, and you'll be ready to tie 80% (or more) of the trout flies known to mankind.

    And by the way, if you have the same edition of the book that I have, there's a nifty catalog of recipes for dozens more great patterns in the back.

    Once you get to a more advanced level, you will only need one more reference and that's The Fly Tyer's Benchside Reference. This is a massive book that describes nearly every type of technique used by fly tyers. Like the Art of Fly Tying, however, this is not a "Recipe Book." It focuses on technique.

    If you're hunting for recipes, I would try not to spend a lot of money for them. Check online. Virtual Fly Shop has a vast fly-pattern recipe database.

    Good luck!
  4. Dave Hughes "Essential Flies for Trout" (or maybe it's "Essential Trout Flies") is pretty darn good. It has a good section on "how to's" in the beginning, then goes through a pretty deep selection of dry fly, wet fly, nymph and streamer patterns. What I like about it is that the first page of each new pattern section will have detailed tying instructions for one fly, then on the facing page 6 additional flies in the same general pattern with recipes, and at the bottom instructions for how to fish the fly. I think this book is only $20 or so.

    Another book I use extensively is Randall Stetzer's "1000 Best Flies" (or something like that). It does not have tying instructions, but it's got great pictures and basic recipes for 1000 flies, ranging from trout flies, to steelhead and salmon flies, to saltwater flies. If you feel comfortable tying from just a picture and a basic recipe, this is a great resource. It is my go to resource for steelhead patterns. It too is not terribly spendy - $20 - $25 is my recollection.
  5. my best advice if you are just starting out fly tying is to spend your money on a fly tying class. you may only learn a couple of patterns but you gain a ton of knowledge of the basics of tying. there is nothing that can improve your tying more than someone showing you how to do it. after that get some pattern books and the benchside reference, but before that take a class. most shops offer them and they are usually less than a good book
    good luck
    steve s
  6. Get online I think it's to Kaufmann's site and order a catalog. They have hundreds of very good color photos of common can look at them and see the proportions, colors, materials etc. I refer to it here and there if I hear of a certain fly. (Make sure you spend a few bucks there to keep them in business!)

    :THUMBSUP A very,very cool web resource I found is . There is tons of patterns, large, very clear detailed photo's with fly descriptions....

    Learn the basic patterns, once you get them done the variations are pretty easy to figure out.
  7. I'd recommend starting with the Tying Nymphs book from Kaufmann's Streamborn. It's spiral bound and will lie flat, it gives easy to follow, step-by-step instructions, and you starts you out tying patterns that will give you the skills to tie even more complex patterns. If you can tie nymphs well, you'll have the skills to tie dries. It's not cheap -- the spiral bound hardcover will set you back $43, but it's built to last. Then follow it up with the Dry Fly book.
  8. Here's a tip for when you're trying to tie a new pattern from a recipe that doesn't include tying instructions: If the recipe is written correctly, the materials will be listed in the order that they get tied onto the hook.

    For example: POC (plain old chironomid)

    HOOK: Tiemco 4287 or similar #12-20
    THREAD: 8/0 Unithread (color to match natural)
    RIB: Fine copper wire
    ABDOMEN: Small antron yarn (color to match thread)
    THORAX: Dark glossy hair from Hare's earlobe (w/guard hairs)
    GILLS: White Zelon
    HEAD: Tying thread

    So, once you know basic tying techniques, and if you have a picture (or know what a chironomid is supposed to look like), you should be able to tie this fly from the above recipe without tying instructions. Give it a go. :pROFESSOR (snore)
  9. Since you are just starting, I have to strongly recommend Skip Morris' "Fly Tying Made Clear and Simple." It has a good number of fundimental fly types to learn. Once you master these, you'll be pretty much ready for just about all the rest. But, to be honest, I haven't worked my way through all the patterns in this book; however, that's mainly because I've been mainly fishing lakes. That's restricted my flies to a very simple chironomid pattern and a handful of streamers. These have worked so well for me lately, I haven't attempted any dries for quite some time. :AA
  10. The Western Trout Fly Tying Manual and Western Trout Fly Tying Manual - Volume II, both by Jack Dennis, are good as well. They are a bit dated, but still have some good patterns, techniques, and good stories as well. Good luck.
  11. I might be old,but I'm good

    A few video's wouldn't hurt either. Jim
  12. I found it was easy tying once I tied a few. But one website I keep going back to for great pictures is and go into fly tying to the left of the page and they have alot of flies but not everyone . Plus all the flies have the recipes next to them. so, good luck.

    Caddisaction :THUMBSUP
  13. Good Books !!

    One of the all time classics of modern fly tying has to be 'FLY TYING METHODS' by Darrell Martin. Hard to get, out of print. Amazon got me a copy, and it took about six months. Well worth the wait. It's been voted in top tens, as the number 1, in England.
    A.K Bests 'Production Fly Tying' is a very detailed and helpful book, especially if you are planning on getting serious.
  14. Here's a big question. WHat are you planning to tie? I know some who only want to tie salmon/steelhead flies. Some only trout flies, etc. That really will help. I know that Randall Kaufmann has two good books, one is tying nymphs and other is tying dries. Lots of info, recipes, and step by steps I do believe. You then have a couple steelhead books. Helvie has Steelhead fly tying. Full of recipes, pictures, materials, and how to tie basic flies. Then if you want a bit more advanced, you have the Shewey book on tying spey flies.

    I have browsed this book, but never bought it. Though to date everyone I personally know who bought it have loved it and wish they bought it earlier. The benchside tyers reference. Expensive (lists at $100, but can find for $60-70 if you look). Shows pretty much all the techniques and lots of pics.
  15. Kaufmann's books!

    Jerry and Tom have it right; the Kaufmann's books are awesome. I like that he walks you through the various materials, shows pictures of what's good and not good materials and why, the various hook features, hook designs, thread types, etc. And, he provides discussion about the fly prior to walking you through its assembly. The photos are beautiful.

    When the Schollmeyer tying bible, the exact name escapes me now, something like fly tyer's reference but I do remember it being a hundred bucks, first came out, I remember a book reviewer in a magazine said something to the effect that if he just had Schollmeyer's book and the Kaufmann's Fly Patterns of the Umpqua Feather Merchants (not as a beginner's book, but as a pattern reference), he could scrap all of this other fly tying books. I can hate to admit it, because I wouldn't want to get rid of all of my fly tying books, but that reviewer was right.

    By the way, I just saw on the Amato Publications website that the fly tier's reference book of Schollmeyer's is being offered as a gift from Amato publications if you commit to something like a 5 year subscription to Fly Fishing and Tying Journal for 89.95, I believe it was. That's a screaming deal, because the book alone retails for more than that. That book is flat awesome, and is an absolute must have for a tyer.

    Anyway, the point is the Kaufmann's books are staples to a fly tying library, in my opinion. And, spend the extra few dollars and get the hard bound version with the spiral binding. It's durable, the spiral binding allows the book to like flat; it's awesome.

    Randall Kaufmann has a book out on tying nymphs and tying dry flies. Start out with the nymph book, and put the dry fly book on your Christmas list. Great gift!

    Listen to me now and believe me later . . . :thumb:
  16. Two books that I have found to be most useful are "Nymph Fly-Tying Techniques" by Jim Schollmeyer and "Flies of the Northwest" by the Inland Empire Fly Fishing Club. I purchased both at Sportco in Fife.
  17. Phil Rowley's book "Fly Patterns for Stillwaters" is very highly recommended. Not only does he show you pictures of all the fly tying steps, he discusses how he would fish the fly.

    Have a good time, keep at it. Like anything else, the more you do it the better you will get.

    Mike Metzman
  18. Jesse-

    All the books that have been recommended to you are good ones. And just think, before long you'll have most of them. Have fun.
  19. I would suggest "The Orvis Fly-Tying Guide" by Tom Rosenbauer. Make sure you get the one with colored pictures. I think it cost somewhere around the $30 mark. It has step-by-step color photos for all the general types of flies and goes step by step on all the different tying techniques. Also has a huge color reference index for hundreds of flies and their recipes. It is a great buy.

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