Tying Lessons

Hey guys any ideas on where to get some good lessons on a regular basis without having to join a group of guys on specific nights? My schedule doesn't work well with the every thurs etc.. night. Missed the WFFC lessons that would have been perfect for me on Mercer Island maybe next year.

Anyone used a griffin MT Mongoose? I have one coming and wondered if I did ok

Bert Kinghorn

Formerly "nextcast"
Avid Angler in Lake Forest Park Shopping center has some great tiers showing their tricks most Saturdays between noon and 2:00PM until the end of March. They are free.

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
Lessons are gonna mean scheduling which sounds like something that won't work for you. Instead, try teaching yourself. Thankfully, fly tying isn't like doing rocket surgery so it's pretty easy to pick up.

Get a good beginning book with a series of increasingly difficult, step-by-step exercises. Start at the beginning and work your way through. If you run into a problem, ask someone online for help.

Try Randall Kaufmann's 'Tying Nymphs'. Get the spiral bound edition so it lies flat on your bench. Once you've worked your way through the book, then get the companion volume 'Tying Dry Flies' and do the same.

Rob Blomquist

Formerly Tight Loops
I totally disagree with teaching yourself. Fly tying is rough for most people to learn until they get some real lessons. And it actually is a form of rocket science, as you won't hook a rocket on your own fly until you get it figured out.

You want to get lessons, usually they come in 4 or 6 block groups, and many places do them twice a week.

I your area I would check out Creekside, Orvis, and Kaufmans to see if they were offering lessons. If that really bugs you, you could try to bribe one of us that knows how to tie to start you out.

Some of us are still taking lessons, as its easier to make a mess on a hook than to tie a good looking fly. The more I get into fly tying the more I see about how involved it is.

I respectfully totally disagree with you. There are plenty of resources to teach yourself how to tie flies. Many websites have step by step instructions and books now days are incredible. There are advanced techniques and tricks that can only be learned from taking classes but getting started is easy. Take it from a guy who learned how to whip finish by getting instructions online.


"10% of the anglers catch 90% of the fish." Happy fishing!


Workin in a sweet mullet
I think anyone can teach themselves. I got one 10 minute lesson from Dreamchaser 2 years ago and I think I can tie some kick-a$$ flies. I dont use a hair-packer, I dont use a hitch-finisher (or whatever its called) and I still think my flies will catch just as many fish as anyone else's. (they just havent yet...)


It does take a while and a couple hundred flies for each pattern before they look how you want them. I tied well over 100 marabou patterns before I tied one I wanted a fish to see.


Old Man

Just an Old Man
It is true that you can teach yourself to tie flies and they can look pretty ratty, but there is nothing out there that compares to catching fish on something you tied up. I know as some of my flies look like hell but the funny thing is they work.

I seem to be getting better though as they are starting to look half way good now.

20 years ago I taught myself to tie just like Fortuna suggests except Kaufman's dry fly book hadn't been published yet so I used another book. I even bought the Kaufman's materials kit so I would have everything I needed. It worked for me...thus I am living proof that you don't have to be a genius to teach yourself to tie serviceable flies. :)

Even so, I don't think anyone would argue that you can learn more efficiently from others even taking into account individual learning styles. :)

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
>Even so, I don't think anyone would argue that you can
>learn more efficiently from others even taking into
>account individual learning styles. :)

No question whatsoever. But given the writer expressed the desire to learn but not the flexibility to attend classes, there aren't many other options left.

I too taught myself to tie and it's certainly not for everyone. But a dedicated person will find a way to get whatever information he needs wherever he can find it.

Mike Etgen

Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here
New River Mike

As is so often the case, no one is right or wrong on this. Everyone has different learning styles, so for some people looking at a book or blueprint is adequate, while for others, seeing something done first hand is critical.

I'm a hands-on learner myself (show me how and let me try it a while and I'm good to go) so a few Saturday mornings at a free tying clinic in Kennewick last year were just my ticket. Once I had some basics, my real success has come from repetition, making mistakes and learning from them, and even from experimenting. Plus I'll tear down a fly if it doesn't turn out right, and then I'll stay with it until it's right.

That's just my experience. I don't think I'm a great tyer, but most of my flies turn out well enough to suit me and I do catch fish on them, and I've had a ball tinkering with designs and materials and coming up with variations on standards.

If you feel lessons will help you, then they will, and you shouldn't feel like you should have been able to learn it from a book or video.

By the way, the Old Man does tie some nice flies, as he's recently sent me some of the woven flies he's been doing. I know, however, that until I can watch someone tie them, all the online photos in the world just won't help me with that method. I've tried!

That's my two coins. However you get there, you'll have a great time once you get some confidence.

I've just seen pictures of the Griffin Mongoose, pretty awesome looking vise and should be fine. I've got Regals, Thompsons and a few others, the Griffin Patriot is one of my favorites and usual go to vise. Griffin products are first class, made in USA. A good book by Skip Morris, Randy Kaufmann or similar will be a great help in learning techniques. I'm sure you have an assortment of flies already to use for sample patterns, get some basic materials and go for it. If you have any fly tying buddies they can give you some add'l tips or lessons and help in selection of tying materials. It's definitely not Rocket Science, and a great feeling to catch the first few fish on your own flies. Good Luck!!!

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
Mike makes a good point about the value of repetition. There's nothing like tying a dozen of the same pattern to get it down. That's why participating in fly swaps is so beneficial.

Also glad to hear I'm not the only one who will cut the dressing off a poorly-tied fly and start over with just the hook. Guess that's one of the reasons I tie so slowly :-D
I would agree that you can definitely teach yourself how to tie some great flies. But it sure is nice if you have someone to learn a few of the quick basics and understand that somethings that look pretty bad to start with turn out just right.

If you are interested drop me an email. I would be happy to help out with the basics and then send you on your way to learn and develop. No matter how many classes, you take the only way to really improve the final flies is to tie over and over. and maybe have someone look over your shoulder from time to time.