Critique my starter buy list

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Ryan Higgins, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. generic

    generic Justified

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    Not to be a "kill-joy", but if you are not or have not taken any classes on fly tying, I'd stick with wet flies/wooly worms/buggers.

    I'm self taught and got very frustrated early on, trying to tie just a simple dry fly. Wet flies are generally easier to tie, but most importantly, they will build your confidence.

    Now, make space for the $7000 of fly tying material you are going to accumulate (whether you need it or not), over the next several years! :p
     
  2. Ryan Higgins

    Ryan Higgins Active Member

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    I plan on starting with the wets and trying some dries. I have quite a bit of experience manipulating thread building rods, and not to toot my own horn, but I think I have a creative knack when it comes to this stuff. I cant wait to dive in a make some of the worst looking dries ever on my way to a presentable piece. If all else fails a class is not out of the question.
     
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  3. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    Post up some of your current ties so we can view the creative knack. I know some people who've tied longer than me and they're still doing crap. I know some that have been tying for less than 3 years and mine will never approach where they are at right now.
     
  4. Ryan Higgins

    Ryan Higgins Active Member

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    Havent tied any flies yet. I have done some jigs and plenty of rods. I think I have enough material at home to try a wooly bugger, maybe I'll attempt one tonight for your amusement:p
     
  5. jersey

    jersey livin' the dream

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    What color rabbit strips? -for bass, Black. Seems most are eager to help spend your money, so here goes; guitar wire too 16AWG for weed guards. GSP, curved scissors, straight edge razors, dryer sheets for "static cling", a steamer for deer hair bugs, silly legs in multiple colors, doll eyes, etc, etc, etc..

    When you do find a good "deal" on patience don't announce it, you'll generate a bidding war! Post some pics!
     
  6. Ryan Higgins

    Ryan Higgins Active Member

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    Tried my hand at a bugger. I dont have any hackle here yet so I used marabou. Laugh away! I also tried a marabou soft hackle a boogered that one up good. I started too close to the eye so my hackle got messy, my chenille was buried under the marabou, and the hot pink bou I have is trash as hackle. Too short and thin. It works for jigs though.
     

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  7. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    The first tied fly is usually not a pretty one. You might also want to add a fly tying dvd or book to your list for some tips.
     
  8. Ryan Higgins

    Ryan Higgins Active Member

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    I have 3-4 books laying around and the pc with youtube next to the bench. My hackle gets here Tuesday, then I'll make another attempt.
     
  9. Ryan Higgins

    Ryan Higgins Active Member

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    OK I added a few items like biots and some more dubbing, wire, foam, legs, hooks, beads, and heads. I placed an order with PFF and Caddis. I run to the Moses Lake area through Ephrata quite a bit in the summer. I plan on picking Darcs brain and getting supplies for carp and bass flies from him. I'll swing in if I end up hitting Rocky Ford this winter. Already put $300 in materials down...
     
  10. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    Top jig on the left. Try not to trim the ends of marabou if possible.
    Try to leave the tips of your marabou feathers with their natural taper.
    If you ever need to shorten marabou, tear it with your fingers rather then trimming it.
    SF
     
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  11. Ryan Higgins

    Ryan Higgins Active Member

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    Thanks for the tip. It was quite bushy so I trimmed it down. Should have used less to start with.
     
  12. Rick LaRiviere

    Rick LaRiviere Active Member

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    "I might have to make a second order at another shop like Caddis to get the bunny and smaller thread. I'll take the others into consideration." I buy a good amount of materials from Caddis. But I keep a shopping list going on my tying desk, and I'll only place the order when I have enough on there to get the free shipping. Also, if you sign up for different mailing lists, you'll get email offers for discounted pricing and free shipping.

    I've been tying for a little under 50 years now, and through that time, I've learned a few lessons. One word of advice I'd like to pass on to you is try not to buy your feathers (necks & saddles, and more expensive plumes like ostrich, lady Amherst tail, etc.) sight-unseen. It's good to take them out of their packages and examine them to make certain that feather length and orientation and fiber lengths are suitable for the tying you intend to do. Your flies will look and present better when feathers are consistently colored, are not cupped or curled, and the hackle fibers are of suitable length for the flies you intend to tie. It's also advisable to buy some of your furs/hairs the same way. You might look at two packages of kingfisher blue arctic fox or Finn raccoon fur, and they'll be quite different in shade, and sometimes the coloration won't be consistent. There might be a band of black on the hair fibers, or not. Sometimes you might want those black tips, or black band, but other times not. So buying the piece of fur that gives you the look you want, instead of a look you're stuck with.
    Simply ordering materials like these is a crap-shoot at best. Materials are expensive enough, and to throw money out for some of the more expensive stuff without it having been seen or handled can result in wasteful spending (and additional spending to get the correct material or "something better".) To avoid this type of thing, it's good to do what you've been doing... buy local. Support your local fly shop, but don't get married to it. Buy what you need from them, not necessarily just what they have in stock. Try to attend fly fishing shows and events where material merchants are present, and spend your time digging through what's there. But make sure you have your shopping list in hand, and try your best to stick with it. Hope this helps.

    Rick

    PS - Wanted to mention that it's also a good idea to get to know your local taxidermist(s) as they can often become a good source of pieces of hide (fur) and feathers. Bring them in a few flies you tied with their stuff once in a while, and they'll continue to supply you with what they get. I have taxidermist friends who call me to let me know that there's an animal coming in, and they offer me the scraps. Free materials. Works for me!
     
  13. Ryan Higgins

    Ryan Higgins Active Member

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    Thanks for the tip on a taxidermist, my girlfriend mentioned that last night and I was wondering if they would have anything.

    As for local, the nearest shop is an hour away from me. Kind of tough to justify running out there for one or two things. I ask for a certain quality or preference when buying the material (not that I know what my preferences should even be yet!) and hope the shop I ordered from is good enough to follow them.
     
  14. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Don't over looked Hooked for the basics or emergencies either. Their assortment is small but they've saved my bacon a time or two. And, I love shopping the gear section to see what things could be used for flies - take apart the skirts (?) for the rubber legs in cool colors, some awesome squiggly shaped hooked for San Juan worms, tiny corkies for fly bodies, etc. Craft stores are another great treasure trove for materials - doll eyes, wire, beads, even feathers some time, stretchy clear bead stuff for bodies, etc. I find it really fun to see what I can come up with.
     
  15. Ryan Higgins

    Ryan Higgins Active Member

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    I actually picked up a Boa from Hobby Lobby to tie up some jigs. It doesnt have a ton of very usable material, but enough I was able to get some jigs done. I've bought a few items from Hooked on, I find a lot of their material is sub par. I'm also not a big fan of them in general, too much of an elitist attitude from some of the staff.

    Thanks for the tips!