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Scott M

Re-starting Fly Tying

8 posts in this topic

So I know there is at least one post on this board about fly tying kits, but I'm not asking about kits. My grandfather's last gift to me and to anyone for that matter was a set of fly tying equipment and materials that he picked out just for me, his 11 year old grandson that wanted to fish at every chance he could. A decade and a half later I want to get back into it. When I got it I tied probably like 50 flies and was starting to get decent at it, then got busy with other kid stuff like sports and girls, you all know the drill.

Anyways, my question is what would you recommend that I go out and get to begin restarting tying? I have a vise, two really nice scissors, one bobbin, a hackle plier, and a bobbin threader. What else do I need for equipment? What would you recommend for hackle, dubbing, fur, thread, body materials? I don't have much of that left after all these years but I do have the equipment. I plan on building a bench in a few years and I hope that by then I'll be back into it, especially during the winter months when I'd normally just be rotting my brain in front of a TV. I'm committed to getting going again...heck, I even brought back a couple flamingo feathers I found at the zoo and I kept my feathers from the turkey I shot this spring.

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Sounds like you have every thing you need. I got all my info off the web. I do a hand whip finish which is easy to learn when you watch the videos available. If you have high speed internet you can learn quite easily. There are several fly shops out there that offer classes also. Be prepared for getting hooked though. Once you get started it is hard to stop.

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the main tools I use are my scissors, whip finisher, and bobbins. If I'm tying nymphs, hackle pliers are nice for wrapping the wire on the bodies. A piece of velcro or a bodkin works well for teasing out the dubbing for a "buggy" look. The bodkin also works well for applying epoxy to small flies. One word of advice, don't skimp on the scissors. That is probably one of the most important tools to tying high quality flies.

As far as tying materials goes, it all depends on what you'll be targeting and the kind of flies you'll use. If your tying trout flies, invest in a quality dubbing like hareline, stock up on hare's ear as well, and some good quality partridge or grouse hackle, if you can find it, for most nymph patterns. You can buy all the gold or grade a capes you want, but for me, silver or "b's" will work just fine. cream, light or medium dun, and coachman brown are enough to get you started on most dry fly patterns.

I mainly tie warmwater patterns, so I tie a lot of mayfly nymphs like hare's ear nymphs, prince nymphs, pheasant tails, etc. I also tie a lot of streamers. For me, one of the most effective patterns, and easy to tie, are the clouser minnows. Bucktails work well, but I like to use synthetics like superhair. Add krystal flash and dumbells and you're ready to go. Black, Olive, White, Blue, and Orange are good colors.

good luck!

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Sign up for the fly tying class at Bob Mitchels and then buy what you need as you need it

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Yep, sounds like you've got most of the "essential" tools that you need for most situations. You may find other tools that may help aid you along the way...hair stacker, etc.

You didn't mention what kind of flies that you'll be tying. Deadhead gave you some great ideas for warm water flies. If you are tying trout flies, then you may want to add a set of mallard wing feathers, wood duck flank, pheasant tail, hares mask, goose biots, copper wire and some beads for beadhead nymphs to get started.

What you will find as you tie more and more is that you will never, never, never have everything that you need. There is always something that you run out of, or some feather or material that you don't currently have but know that you could use. I think that is one of the great things about fly tying. It means that both you as a fly tyer and your fly tying skills are evolving, and that's when you'll see those tying skills improve.

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Quote:

Sign up for the fly tying class at Bob Mitchels and then buy what you need as you need it


This is exactly right...

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Hey Scott, give me a call or shoot me an e-mail and I'll get you set up with everything you need. Hope all is well man!

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The Fly Angler in Fridley also offers fly tying classes regularly.

-Critter

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