first couple ties...

started tying about 2 weeks ago. thought i would share for critiques and advice. first time tying so obviously they're but i can already notice a little improvement from my first ones. also, i know alot of these are kind of weird but alot of these are pretty much just my interpretation of the original making do with the supplies that i have. wishing everyone a good week as well! lol 20130810_195022.jpg 20130809_202357.jpg 20130809_191559.jpg 20130809_191544.jpg


Those ties looks great for just doing it 2 weeks! Keep it fun when your first starting, play with materials and techniques, don't be held back by "rules" and formulas. Tie up stuff and use it and see what works.
Your worst critic is you, just have fun and let the creative juices flow. As you tie and read about tying, watch vids and other folks, you will start to refine what you know and branch out.
Scope out YouTube and all the amazing resources here under the tying forums!
Great work thus far!
BTW save the first ties and keep going back to them to see how time and experience changes your skills.
Welcome to another crazy addictive aspect to the game!


Active Member
Very nice! You started out with a couple that are challenging but pulled it off. Gene is right, might as well start tossing your store-bought flies and planning a permanent location in your house for all the stuff you are going to accumulate over the next few years. Also recommend getting familiar with your local Joann's. The people who work there always love it and are very nice when the fly tiers come in.
thanks GAT! and dave, thank you! i definitely know what you're talking about getting a tying place set up. i have all of my tying stuff in a little caddy that i carry around and its unbelievable how in just two weeks it's overflowing with


Also recommend getting familiar with your local Joann's. The people who work there always love it and are very nice when the fly tiers come in.
Yup, at first they thought it odd a guy kept showing up in the fabric/craft store but now they have a pretty good idea what I'm looking for and why.
Great results Seth for less than 2 weeks! I started with the usual Wooley Buggers, Brassies, etc but starting with the Adams with upright wings and a beadhead nymph, well done. I second the comments, videos of tyers like Davie McPhail, Charlie Craven and others. Join a local fly-tying club if you can, but stay at it each day. Maybe a goal of 30-60 minutes a day whatever you can eke out. But don't give in to frustration, take a break when you need to. Before you know it your tying skills will multiply.
Nice job for tying only two weeks ago. However, I noticed on the dry flies the hackle is to big, the tips should be at or barely beyond the gape of the hook and the wings should be set closer to the eye of the hook. It looks like for those small flies your using awfully big thread. I'd get some 8/0 UNI or 70 denier Ultra Thread if I'm tying under a #10. Other then that your good. I'd reccomend mastering those ties on larger hooks and then moving to smaller sizes, instead of starting off on those tiny hooks.

Great flies! I live up off 200th in Graham, fish down on the P a lot. I have a crazy schedule for my work, but we should hook up and do some tying and I also see you like beer! Hit me up on a conversation sometime and I might be able to give a few quick pointers. All it may do is make the fly prettier, but the ones you posted WILL catch fish. But what was said earlier, keep a couple of these aside, with the addiction you now have, you will see a big difference in quality quickly.



Active Member

These are pretty nice for having only tied a few weeks. Russ Kendall is right about your proportions, the placement of the dry fly wings, and the size of thread you are using. The best thread to use for most tying, which includes large flies like #2 Woolley Buggers and #4 streamers and bucktails, is 70 denier thread such as the UNI 8/0, Danville Flymaster 6/0, etc. You are better off starting with this size thread because it helps you learn good thread technique.

He also gave great advice regarding the hook size to start out tying on. Larger hooks, say #12, are much easier to learn tying technique on that the small ones you used for the dries.

It is also better to stick with standard patterns for the simple reason that there are many examples that are very easy to find so you can compare your flies to them in order to see how your flies compare. Another reason for sticking with standard patterns when starting is it makes it easy to duplicate the fly later.

The last thing I will offer is this: I highly recommend you (and any other beginning fly tier) tie at least 6 of the exact same fly and size before moving on to a different fly. The reason for this is it allows you to see where you made mistakes, which you can work on changing immediately with the next one you tie. Plus, you will be using the same materials and techniques on each of the 6 flies. Thus, your technique will develop more quickly. And as an added bonus, when you go fishing, your fly boxes will always have enough of the fly the fish are taking so you won't have to worry about losing a few of them (which of course none of use ever do) when fishing.

I'm very aware that when folks like Russ Kendall or I say that proportions are off, wings are placed in the wrong place, etc. with beginning tiers that it can be interpreted as us trying to just find something to criticize and being nit-picky. However, we do this to help folks become better tiers and to help you avoid developing bad habits that will be much harder to change the more you tie without working on changing them and developing good tying technique and habits.

Teenage Entomologist

Gotta love the pteronarcys.
I'm 14, and I've been fly tying for a year, and those flies look a lot better than when I first started tying. In my opinion, you will get better in a short amount of time, if you keep tying every day. This is how far I've come in one year. One of my early flies, to my most recent. A sucky Adams, a Mercers Beaded Biot Poxyback Golden Stonefly Nymph, and my own mouse pattern, it's called " El Roedor".


Latest posts