Help getting started tying.

I’m new to the forum and have been beating the water off and on for the last couple years with my fly rod. :D I’m going to try my hand at tying some flys and would like some advise on what kind of vise to buy. What is a good middle of the line rotary vise and about what should I plan on paying for it. Were can I fine some information on tying online. Any good web pages for patterns? Does anyone have any experience tying that is handicapped? I’m right handed and have a bad left hand with about 25% use of it. It’s hard for me to handle small item and I think tying will be a challenge for me. If you know of any special tools that might help I would like to hear from you. I live in Burlington WA. and would like to fine a class in the area on tying.

Thanks Rick
When I started 6 years ago, I just bought a beginner kit and a book. Then it was just practice and trying out new patterns. There is a ton of good info out there on the net, but generally, you will get a lot more out of those sites once you know the basics. My advice would be finding your local fly shop and signing up for a tying class. That would be the most painless way to jump in.

I found out the local shop closed some time ago :( so I'm trying to fine a shop close enough to Burlington to drive to. Looks like it will be up in Bellingham.


The dumb kid
i dont know which is closer, bellingham or lk steves. we have some good fly tying classes down here in Lk stevens though. if you want a nice rotary, expect to pay 200-500. my vise i paied 80 for, and its a rotary, and it works, but i digress.
Welcome Trapper - do a search in the main forum for beginner tying, vise etc - this has been thoroughly discussed a few times with lots of good feeback.

I'm addicted to it and tie flies I will probably never use (i.e marlin flies) - it's a form of relaxation to me - but that costs $ so be wary!

I like a true rotary - and with your left hand I think you will get more enjoyment versus a regular non-rotary vise. I am happy with my Renzetti treveler pedestal base $165.

Some of the vises come with additional features to assist in tying - depends again on the flies you plan to tie.

Pick your fish to target and then your flies then your materials - Burlington= Skagit right?

You could easily fish the Skagit all year with only 1 fly in various sizes - a purple egg sucking leech. But what fun is that? and it can become tediuous tying the same fly over and over.

Flies to look for that are really forgiving to tie: To find recipes hit the library or do a search.

egg sucking leech (need standard and cross cut rabbit) - purple, black with pink and/or chartrues heads.
wooly buggers - black, purple, red
flash fly
flesh fly
zonker\matuka style flies with rabit strip.


mike doughty

Honorary Member
I am from burlington and can tell you that bellingham is a lot closer then lake stevens. skagit anglers in mt. vernon was a nice little place, but closed last year so bellingham would probably be your best bet.
what's the name and location of a bellingham fly shop???
I use to frequent The Guide but, it too closed. WAy too bad, I love going to small Fly shops. You find some of the nicest people in them.

Jeremy Husby

Is there a Vahalla for fishermen?
I would have your tools modified with big handles, I have done this myself so that they are easier to hold. Most, like half hitch tool and bodkins can just be inserted into a nice peice of wood with a hole drilled into it. But others take some imagination, this would allow you to use your left hand as your tool hand.
I would also suggest to try to find tools like a dubbing block so that the dubbing is ready before you set out to tie the fly.

I live in Arlington and teach out of my house or down in the park (if it's not windy), I have never had any hadicaped students but would like to. My father is paralized and I have been working with him for years to make life easier. PM me if your ever coming down this way. . .


"chemically dependent?"
Welcome Trapper :beer1: I just started tying a couple years ago, and to get started I took a class at a local fly shop to learn some tricks. Then I got a kit and some books as gifts for Christmas right after and just started experimenting since. I would say that the class definitely helped, and having a kit with a bunch of materials to mess with definitely helps also.
Thanks, Big R. I never heard of them. I tend to go to B.C. now since, It's a pain in the a** to take the ferry to "America" and even more to drive all the way around from the North End. However when I do I try to support the smaller Flyshops in the area.
I'll definately check them out. thanks again.