Complete begginer

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by msteudel, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. Davy

    Davy Active Member

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    Hmmm, Been out of it so long not real up to date on current products. Haven't tied a fly in many years.

    I learnt on a Thompson B, then an A, tied millions on a Regal and then an HMH . Six or so years ago I think Peak was putting out a pretty good vise at a reasonable price point, but bare bones Regals aren't terribly expensive either and speedy. Good fine point scissors. That's another story. Some European brands can be very spendy. I used to like the adjustable handled short throw Griff's. Thompson fine points fit my hand well but had the long throw(blades) which I didn't care for. You'll also need coarser scissors but still good ones for hair cutting. The Thompsons always did the trick for me there. I have a a set of Victors I used for my finer feathers and close work, but never in production/hobby fishing tying.

    I just remember back when I was teaching, scissors were one of the main items many thought they could skimp on when the exact opposite was the truth. And soon enough they figured it out

    I am sure there are a lot of new products. I don't even look at the catalogs any longer.
     
  2. kelvin

    kelvin Active Member

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    good choices

    Dr Slick makes a nice little starter tool set
    buck up some $ for a descent vice as you will want a good one after a short period of time
     
  3. Tarkin

    Tarkin Member

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    I started out tying on kit from Cabelas that cost about $19. Included a vise in a box, and the vital tools. I used it for years and ended up tying quite a few flies that caught quite a few fish. I now have a much better vise, but to be honest, the flies look pretty much the same.
    First flies were Olive Willy and prince nymphs.
     
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  4. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    I probably wouldn't go the kit route. I got into fly tying because I could no longer buy a fly that worked quite well for me. So I bought just enough materials and tools to tie that one fly.

    I would suggest, as others have, buy the basic tools and materials you need for the specific flies you mentioned that you want to tie.

    Personally, the Copper John is a bitch for me to tie... I normally buy those. You may want to start with patterns that do not require a lot of different materials and fancy techniques.

    I've never met anyone yet who started tying flies and then gave it up. Usually, once you start, you're doomed.

    With that in mind, I'd look into purchasing a true rotary vise. Sooner or later you're going to end up buying one anyway. The prices start fairly low and go sky high from there.

    To learn the basics, take at look at the SBS section of this forum. Hans posts film clips that are danged handy. I had to rely on tying books when I first started but these days, you can find a video somewhere on The Internet of just about any fly you want to tie. Videos are much superior to step by step photos you get in a book.

    Good luck and know that it will be frustrating at first but as with everything, the more frequently you tie, the easier it becomes. Eventually, some of the techniques will become second nature and you won't even think about what you're doing, you'll just do it.
     
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  5. kelvin

    kelvin Active Member

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    ok Gene I gotta know what was the fly?

    I gave up for 32 years but I'M BACK.........
     
  6. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    The pattern was one that somebody must have came up with because I've never seen anything like it in a pattern book. It's a nymph. I took the one I had remaining to the fly shop that Mike Gorman just opened in Corvallis. I asked if he sold such a thing. He said no but told me I could tie the pattern myself.

    That's how it all started. He looked at the and we searched through tying books. We couldn't find the exact pattern but found that a Bird's Stone Fly was very close. The only difference was the pattern I was looking for was grey in color with a clear plastic shellback.

    So Mike sold me the tying book (American Nymph Fly Tying Manual by Randall Kaufmann), a Thompson A vise, scissors, bobbin with grey thread, grey goose biots, peacock herl, muskrat fur for dubbing and grey saddle hackle. I'd use a clear plastic sandwich bag to cut out a strip for the shellback.

    The plan worked. I followed the instructions for tying a Bird's Stone Fly but used the grey colors instead of brown as the pattern was shown.

    Then, of course, I decided to try some of the other nymph patterns in the book...

    The rest is history. I became fly tying nut and eventually ended up writing a flytying column for a flyfishing magazine.

    ...all because I wanted to tie one specific nymph.

    I kept one of the first patterns I tied... A number of years later, I searched it out and took a photo.

    You'll notice the head is quite large... this is because the thread we used in the old days wasn't exactly size 12 :)

    127625284.jpg
     
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  7. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    Second... Hans' videos; as well as Davey McPhail's on YouTube. :)
     
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  8. Super Dave

    Super Dave New Member

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    I would buy your tools all separate, spending what your budget can afford. As above don't skimp on the vise, scissors and bobbin. My next suggestion is to start tying Chironomids. They are fairly easy to tie, and generally you will need hundreds in various sizes and colours. From there add tying materials as you need them. A good fly shop can help you with all of this.
     
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  9. Jason Copas

    Jason Copas Member

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    I went the kit route, and am just getting started. But the vise/tools have worked plenty well enough for me to learn on.

    I would recommend staring with large, simple pattern. I've wasted a lot of time and materials working on small trout patterns. What I have gotten right seems more luck than anything. So recently I bought size 8 4xl streamer hooks and chenille, marabou and hackle in 4 separate colors and started tying an assortment of woolley buggers. This has really helped me learn the techniques, working with stuff that is large enough that it's not a fight to control. I'm 16 buggers in and feel a lot more comfortable wrapping hackle, tying parts in etc. Not sure what I am going to move onto next, maybe muddlers. Whatever it is will be a large pattern.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk
     
  10. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    When starting out, I too went big...standard bucktail steelhead patterns. Over time, I found that reading, videos and expos were all very helpful in progressing. Don't be afraid to try your hand at learning Atlantic Salmon Classics either. For me they were useful in learning thread and floss control - also thinking about the "planning" when in comes to tying a fly. That thread control then relates to tying small-ish patterns. Main challenge I had when starting out, was proportions and crowding the hook eye. Fly tying is a progressive travel - ENJOY the journey. :)