Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Seeking_silver, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. Alright I am just getting started here with learning to tie. Two Questions.....

    How hard is it to learn how to use dubbing?? suggestions on websites that will help me...any personal tips??

    Second...How do you spin hair? I have yet to have lessons and am just teaching myself, and the book I am using for trout flys (Phil Rowley) doesn't explain it much. Any help would be appreciated!

  2. Well, if you are truly going for self taught, I'd suggest buying the benchside tyers reference (think that's the name of it). I'm still thinking of buying it myself. Has about every techique you can think of well laid out. I know I spent a bit of time reading over it in awe. Great book, and is as described in it's title.

    Not sure of any sites off top of my head that have all those techniques on it. But sure someone will know one or two.
  3. Fly Tying Made Clear and Simple by Skip Morris is great for the basic techniques. Great step by step illustrations.

    Another idea is visit your local shop. Tell them you want to buy some dubbing or deer body hair because your want to learn to tie a hairwing or muddler, but you aren't sure about the technique. I'll bet that for the price of the material, they will show you right there.

  4. I am in the same boat as you, only I have about a month’s head start. Here is a web site that I found useful: http://www.flyanglersonline.com/flytying/beginners/
    , the site sort of take you through a tutorial, starting with the function of the basic tools to simple flies and on to some more complex ones.

    Don’t get discouraged, it is a cool hobby. I still have trouble with split hair wings ala Wulff style. I took one evening and just tied on wings, cut them off and tried again. When I finally got a set to look OK, I would finish the fly, but then the next attempt at a new set of wings would not look right again. I guess it will take a bit more practice on those. Most of the other techniques came fairly quickly, so you should be able to make some serviceable flies pretty soon.

    On dubbing, I found what most people say is true, put half of the dubbing that you have selected to use back in the bag and you will only have twice what you will need. In other words, it takes a lot less material than you think it should. Using dubbing wax has helped me also. I also found that moistening my fingers often helps me to get the dubbing to wrap around the thread easier.

    Keep working at it, you will get the hang of it soon.
  5. I am self taught as well, I've been tying for about 6 years or so, and I still refer to the Tyers reference. It is an invaluable resource, but with a steep price tag... Ummm, that said, just be prepared to experiment, a lot of the things I do are a little different than i have seen in various books and such. In time you will probably start to develop your own style. I actually started tying before i started flyfishing...weird I know. I figured one day that if I was tying all these flies, i might as well use them. Morris' book (mentioned above) is also a good one.
    About spun hair...I haven't really had much need for it, but i have done some and my advice is to pack tightly...then pack some more.
    Good luck!!!
  6. Another great author to read is Dave Hughs...
  7. Hey Ho, SS,

    As already stated, books are a marvelous resource for the self-taught tyer, although I wouldn't recommend the Fly Tier's Benchside Reference if you're a beginning tyer - unless you have very deep pockets. It's fairly expensive and can be a little overwhelming if you're new at the vise.

    Two (inexpensive) books that'll help you 'walk before you run' that I'd suggest are;

    American Fly Tying Manual - Dave Hughes
    Beginners Guide to Flytying - Mann & Griffiths

    As you've found out, the Internet can yield an amazing amount of information for the beginning tyer.

    Chances are, your local fly shop offers some kind of class for new tyers - or better yet, they'll host free clinics. Clinics are a great way to learn some of the fundamentals.

    Do you belong to a fly fishing club? Most members who tie will be more than willing to pass along their knowledge or tricks of the trade.

    Some Instructional Videos and DVD's are terrific for learning - especially 'specific' techniques. For example; Chris Helms' Video on spinning deer hair is one of the best, IMO.

    Above all, have fun - and practice, practice, practice.

  8. I am also completly self taught, the two things that have helped advance in tying is:

    The Fly Tier's Benchside Reference
    ISBN: 1571881263

    And a set of Poul Jorgensen Videos:

    Poul Jorgensen on Fly Tying, Vol. I
    Poul Jorgensen on Fly Tying, Vol. II

    I have been tying for three-four years and I always go back to the reference for some insight on somthing. Another book that is great is (if your tying trout flies) is MicroPatterns, has some great dubbing tips and other off the wall stuff that we all want to learn sooner or later.
  9. The Library is your friend

    The variety of material out there on tying is amazing, and the quality of much of it is really high. Three additional things I would mention are:

    0.) I don't know where you live, but here in King County, the public library carries virtually all of the books and some of the videos mentioned. A lot of books are good ... but you only need to read them a couple of times and you've garnered the bulk of their value ... and that's what a library's for, yes?

    1.) Dick Stewart's Universal Fly Tying Guide -- it's I think $12.95 at Orvis, or ~$6 used online at Amazon -- the best cheap book I've come across, it covers the most important 40% of both Dave Hughes' big fly book and the Benchside reference. Personally, I think you're better off with this book, the library, and a nice cape than with either Benchside or Hughes' book ... which isn't to knock either book because I've read both of them cover to cover several times.

    2.) Find a good shop local to you, with somebody you can trust for feedback. Show them all your ties, and have them help you select any materials you buy, showing what they have that they like and what they don't like. If they won't do this ... or claim that everything they have is good ... try somebody else or find a different shop.

    3.) Never trust a fly tier to count.

    4.) Production Fly Tying by A.K. Best ... this is a slim volume and from not as noteworthy with respect to the extent of material covered ... but it's surprising what you can learn a lot from it in terms of organizing your space and how to become a better tier, faster.


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