Fly Tying Newbie, How best to start? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Fly Tying Newbie, How best to start?

11-05-2001, 09:18 PM
I have a good excuse now to get a fly tying kit since Brandon asked for one for christmas. I know little to nothing about tying and am excited by the prospects of making our own flies. I would appreciate any advice on how best to start for short money.

Buy a deluxe kit from Cabella's with tools, cheap non-rotary vise, video and a bunch of stuff I may not use? Buy only a vise, book, specific tools and materials and go to a fly tying clave? What do you guys recommend for this fly tying newbie?

I think Brandons first fly will be a deep eel since he has done so well with the ones Juro gave us. It also seems to be a relatively simple pattern. I guess I
should start looking into the pattern archives and figure out what materials I
need and where to get them for deep eel, anchovy, and herring patterns to start.

Thanks, Greg.

Fred Evans
11-05-2001, 10:36 PM
First and last ... there is no such thing as a 'good cheap fly tying vice.' Second suggestion is a good book (you'll end up with several, but if the pictures arn't in 'colour' it's your fist clue to 'pass') on tieing flys. Then buy a/the fly you want to tie so you have a 'pattern' on what the darn thing is suposed to look like when your done.

Third, you'll still buy some patterns as their too much of a pain in the a... to do yourself.

Welcome to the raid on you wallet.

11-06-2001, 05:39 AM
Greg, There is several ways to go, in my opinion join a flyfishing club in your area, Like United Flytyers, Little Rhody Flyroders. Decide what flies you would like to tie. Look on some of the flyfishing boards that are on the internet, and follow their instructions. Several have step by step pictures, and explain each step. Find someone in your area that is willing to take you under their wing, and show you how. You might pick up some material, and tools free, or cheap this way, for instant if you lived close to me I would probably have some extra tools, and material to get you started. I have some material that I have had for over 50 years, and is still usable. Of all sports I don't think there is a better group, as far as getting the new guy on the block started. Hen I started back in the late 40's and early 50's there wasn't the number of flytyers that there are today, also regardless what they say You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks. Anything I can help with just hollar.

John Desjardins
11-06-2001, 08:37 AM
Art has some very wise words of advise. I wish I had followed them when I started tying. If nothing else it could have stopped some of the bad habbits I taught myself.

On the kit issue I would not buy one. I still have feathers left from one I was given 25+ years ago. Most of these are unsuitable for any fly, but I just can't throw anything away ;) . It would be far cheaper to pick out a few patterns and get quality materials for them.

Dble Haul
11-06-2001, 09:18 AM
You've got some good advice here. I'll only add two things:

First, when you buy fly tying tools, get the best that you can afford. If you don't, there will come a point when your tying plateaus and doesn't seem to get any better because of the limitations of your tools, especially the vise.

Second, don't start tying a new pattern until you feel very comfortable tying a pattern that you've been working on previously. Many patterns incorporate the same skills, so if you become proficient with one pattern chances are that you're actually becoming proficient at many. Then your arsenal grows at a much faster rate.

Have fun. When you tie, the winter seems to go just a little bit faster.


11-06-2001, 09:52 AM
I have to disagree with the above posts. For very little money, (10 bucks) you can get a vise that holds the hook. Will it be rotary? No. Will you get fishable attractive Saltwater flies? Yes. Of course you will upgrade. That's fly fishing. But I built my first flies on a pair of vice grips. They caught fish. As I got better at tying, I made a major jump to the Renzetti Traveler. Yeah its a huge difference, but not one that I would have known a few years ago. As far as tools, I only own three bobbins and some surgical scissors. I use a darning needle stuck in a piece of wood for a bodkin. I use tweezers from the supermarket. I can't wait to own all the tools for fly tying, but that's all I really have right now and it seems to be working fine. Most importantly I think is to set aside a desk or somewhere to keep the materials as they pile up quickly. It's much nicer than when I used to keep them in a box and just bring it out when I need it.


11-06-2001, 10:11 AM
It's about time Greg! }> ;-)

I've been wondering when you were going to take the dive. Brandon finally pushed you over the edge. ;-) John Morin who went from 0 to 12329889892329 flies in a single winter!

Look for a link to a 'getting started in SW flytying' page soon. I've already put one together but I need to get it up there, maybe during lunch. Disclaimer: it's just my own perspective and therefore just one slice of the knowledge that others can provide. Maybe I will just cut and paste it here instead...

11-06-2001, 11:43 AM
I would buy NOTHING until you've tried it first. Come to UFT or UFT-RI or find a beginner's fly tying class at a local club or shop. Use a variety of vices, tools, etc....

Don't buy a kit -- you get all sorts of stuff you're not likely to ever use.

Fly-tying will open up all sorts of avenues, and IMHO add to your enjoyment & pleasure (not to mention the hours you can while away when NOT fishing -- but tying instead).

Lastly, unless you are tying saltwater exclusively, or keeping to only a few patterns in fresh (and to a limited extent in salt as well) -- it's likely to be more expensive than buying flies. That said, the only thing in fly fishing that is more satisfying than getting a fish to eat a fly is to have tied the fly yourself.


11-06-2001, 11:47 AM
I agree with Nick on the vise. Sure I'd like a Regal, Renzetti, or Daynaking but I've got one of those deals from India. I've probably tied over 400 flies on it. I'm ready to upgrade my $19 vice now but it's served me well. Don't skimp on the bobbins though, the ceramic insert ones rule, I'll take the griffin over the renzetti but both are good. I recommend using quality hooks but when your learning a box of mustad for 8 bucks looks pretty good.
If you want to get together, Baymen outfitters in Duxbury has free tying every Thursday night. I only make it there now and then but it would be a great place to start. Let me know if you want to hit it sometime, you won't need to bring anything.

11-06-2001, 12:21 PM
Thanks guys, Some good advice as I was hoping for. It seemed like the kits are a quick way to get alot of what you need But alot of stuff you may never use. For $50 bucks it is a quick jump start to get most of what you might need to get started. But I can see that some have improvised on their tools and still been able to tie what they need. But I can also appreciate the benefits of higher quality tools, not that I would notice the difference right now.

I got a gift certificate at Cabellas for my birthday, that is tempting me to get a kit and some materials before I having any experience at all. I might be able to get
one of those new anvil rotary vises for xmas.
as there almost half the cost of the Saltwater traveler I had my eyes on.

I'll have to find out more about the united fly tyers and other groups around and find out when the next meeting is. Not afraid of a bit of a drive either to get together with some of you to learn how to tie flies.

Thanks, for your help.


11-06-2001, 04:25 PM
Greg - I would reccomend a Thompson "Pro" or "A" vise - relatively cheap but the only one you'll really need (You may "really need" to upgrade later but you probably know that already)

Tools - it may seem like a lot of for a little brass but it pays off.

materials - buy just enough to do one particular fly - a Rays bucktail or Clouser - something simple and easy. Then move on to another pattern, all too soon your cellar will look like a taxadermy shop...

Mostly, enjoy what you're doing and remember it ain't for everybody.
Good luck and keep us posted.

11-06-2001, 06:03 PM
I'm with Sprocket on going with a Thompson as a good starter vise. If you get hooked on tying you can always use the Thompson as a camp vise when you upgrade. For those of you in the central Mass area, the New England Fly Tyers club offers a low cost, ($40 includes materials and membership) ten week course starting in February. Anyone interested should feel free to e-mail for details.

11-06-2001, 06:48 PM
SWFF starter kit: Northeast Saltwater Flies (ONLY)
Readers Digest version... does not apply to trout flies, steelhead flies, salmon flies, etc.

Vise, scissors, bobbin, thread, hooks, bodkin, materials, eyes, glues
Buy ASAP: whip finisher, drying motor, hair stacker
Bonus items: Extra bobbins, pantone markers, tube fly tool

============= item list IMHO ==============

Vise: Rotary or non-rotary? I like rotary for a number of reasons. Anvil is a good choice. ($99)

Scissors: IMHO Buy a pair of the Fiskars squeeze scissors with the precision tips.
That's all you will need for SWFF flies. ($5-10)

Bodkin: Should have one, cheap item under $5-10 for a real good one lasts forever.

Bobbin: You should have at least two - one for the primary thread and another for finishing thread. For instance, white Danville's monocord for tying the body of the fly and a medium / fine monofilament for finishing the head of the fly. The majority of SWFF flies can be tied with white thru the body, and a clear thread allows any color at the head or wing (back) to show thru without coloring it. It also let's you finish with a drop of glue.

Bobbin's are critical and last forever, buy good ones. Maybe not the ruby Renzetti's, but make sure you get good ones. BTW - I LOVE the ruby Renzettis!

Thread: Essential - white strong (like Danville's monocord), plus monofilament clear thread. About a buck each. Other popular threads are flat waxed nylon and kevlar, also a pricey braided thread with someones name annointed to it. The flat waxed is good for building up bodies, like floss, but it doesn't bite into the material to my liking like monocord does. Kevlar is stiff and doesn't bind when wrapped. You want the thread to bind like fly line when it's not wrapped on the reel right, this holds the material on the hook. The pricey stuff works but has no advantage over the $1 Danville's monocord. Monofilament thread is nothing but really fine spinning line. I find extra fine too fraile for SWFF, and the heavy too stiff like kevlar. Buy a nice med/fine spool, $1.

Hooks: Start with Mustads, use TMC or Daichi when you are confident with a pattern and want to tie them on better hooks.

I prefer TMC 811s, 911s for long shank (SWFF). The 811s is my go-to hook - light but super-strong wire is easier to cast, quick penetration, good curve holds fish lips, QC excellent, never broke one or straightened one and I fish them hard as you already know. I ALWAYS remove the barb. I also use other hooks but I can't remember the numbers off hand. I don't like thick wire hooks like the 800s, and lose more fish with the perfect bend style hooks as well (remember I remove all barbs). If you are a barbless angler your best off with the 811s and it's design counterparts in other manufacturers product lines.

Materials: hoo boy...

As a starter set I would buy:

Bucktails: olive, white, plus yellow or chartreuse (choose carefully, $4-5 ea)
Bunny strips: white ($3)
Ultrahair: polar bear white, chartruese, olive, seafoam ($3 ea)
Saddle Hackles: white med/lg ($3-4)
Fly fur: white and olive ($2 ea)
sparkleflash: gold, silver ($3-4 ea)
flashabou: peacock, pearl, chart, etc ($3-4 ea)
hooks: 1/0 stainless straight eye std lngth fly hooks ($10)
Angel hair: rainbow, baitfish ($4 ea)
Stick on eyes, juvie size: $1
white or chart foam sheet: craft store, $1
pearl crystal chenille: $3

Eyes: If you are going to tie clousers, deep eels, crab patterns, bonefish flies, etc. I prefer non-toxic 'real eyes' with the recessed sockets. Med real eyes (comes with stick on eyes) $4 / package

Cement: one zap-a-gap at the hobby store ($3), 5 min 3 part epoxy ($10), clear non-toxic head cement from the flyshop ($3)

Whip finisher: I gotta have one, and it's gotta be MATARELLI. Don't be fooled by the little springy thingies. Other tyers use fingers to whip, which I did for years but now I prefer not to because it's a pain to draw down the strand on the last whip with a bodkin (built in on the tool) ($5-10?)

I'd be glad to give you a quick lesson either way, you can decide how you want to do it. I'll bet Matarelli wins.

Drying motor: if you do epoxy flies, this is a must. Get a cheap motor ($2 on the post from the Doogues) and you're all set. ($2 plus some wood and screws and a foam cylinder)

That will let you tie:

surf candies
deceivers / juvies
deep eels
crease flies

and you'll have a material base for many other patterns requiring an olive flatwing hackle here or a deer head there, which you will work your way up to.

I didn't total that up but I would suggest getting one big set and sharing the time, materials and joy with the future president of the Flyfishing Forum, the venerable Brandon D. :)

11-06-2001, 10:35 PM
Wow that sure fills me in on lots of the questions I have been thinking of. I see some tools are worth the few extra bucks due to superior performance, ease of use etc. Those are things that might take years typically to find out about on your own. Thanks, I'm developing my list with your help.

I may have to join JimW in Duxbury on a future thursday, I don't think I'll be able to wait till feburary to start tying. I could have a small deep eel/anchovy arsenal built by then! :)

Really appreciate the vise info. I don't think I'm talented/patient enough to use my vise grips, especially if we are talking $40-60 compared to the near $180 I almost spent for a Salt Water traveler. Plus both Brandon and I contributing to getting a fly-tying station set-up. So I can go for the Thompson or Anvil, Between my son's new found obsession and my old one, will probably be tying flies on it for years to come.

Curious where the various fly tying groups meet. It seems so far, everyone is a about the same distance away. I may have to try a couple! If that's the case perhaps joining up with groups near where I fish will increase my knowledge of the local fisherman and the flies patterns they use.

I'll ask Art where the Little Rhody Flyroders meet. Who to contact perhaps for more details?

I thought I saw a post for United Flytyers meeting now that I think of it?

I'll also check with DennisS on the New England Fly Tyers club in central Mass area find out where they meet.

Juro-- Thanks for the great detailed list you
covered alot of what I need to get me started tying Salt Water flys.

Thank you all for the good suggestions and sharing some of your experience(s) for me to learn from. I'm anxious to get started as I already have a spot picked out for the setting up the fly tying station.


11-07-2001, 05:23 AM
Greg, I am posting it here incase others are interested in flytying. The next meeting for Rohdy Flyrodders is November 20 at Riverside Sportsmen's Club in East Providence,RI. It is just off Rt 114 about 2 miles down from the Massachusetts state line. Maybe Captain Ray will also post on it, as he is on the Board of Directors. I forgot the name of the flytying group that meet in Foxboro. This is also an excellent group of flytyers. I think Tom Dunlop belongs to it. Also you might check with your local flyshop, most have flytying classes during the winter.

11-07-2001, 07:21 AM
I wasn't advocating the vise grips, just telling you that they work ;-). The anvil for 60 bucks will be great for years to come, and is where I would start if I were doing it again. Just trying to make a point about not needing the Dynaking rotary super tying machine just when your starting out. I can't wait to see the creations next year, as well as Brandon's.

11-07-2001, 08:13 AM
Correction on the Anvil... $99 suggested retail.

11-07-2001, 08:14 AM
Vise? Who needs a vise? I tie mine streamside using my hands. Just kidding ;) , though I have managed to do that successfully a couple of times - granted it was only a san juan worm.

I've got a Danfise through Cabela's for $75 and have been happy with it and for years I used the AA vise - $10.

Tod D
11-07-2001, 08:22 AM
As usual, Juro has covered all of the bases (and then some)!

I'd 2nd Jim's comments re Baymen in Duxbury on Thursday nights. I made most Thurs last season & was there last Thursday for the season kick off w/ Dave Bitters (shop owner). He's got a great little shop & the Thursday crowd was a good one last year.

Good mix of tyers and last year Dave had some terrific guest tyers - my favorite being Joe Cordiero, who ties Kenney Abrames' flies and was featured in the summer Fly Tyer issue. Awesome tyer and a real class act!

Of course, for the ff'er who has everything (except maybe common sense..,) there's this:

11-07-2001, 11:37 AM
Too many very good pieces of information here. Let me add my $.02 (amazing on-line tutorial !) (et cetera - hunt around, you'll find tons more)
local shops for materials
but NOT before you either view something like the fly anglers online website and let it begin the process of educating you OR visit UFT, First Light Anglers, CaptDave@Duxbury, wherever. Keep asking and you'll keep getting answers.

Equipment is tender ground to tread. There's no sense in making good money chase badly spent money, IMO, so if you're gonna get your feet wet, read backwards to any comment about quality equipment for the "right" price and get some; don't waste a first time expenditure on more or less than you want, not need, and know you'll be comfy using for the long term. Recently, I managed to make the Anvil Mfg. Co. coffers a little heavier by buying their Apex vise, 99.99 - great piece of equipment for the $$$ (so adding to the inventory of stuff we all OWN yet truly don't NEED ;D )

This, from an aspiring Gearhead ;D

11-07-2001, 12:53 PM
Juro, thanks for the shopping list -- I was going to ask you about basic SW tying materials myself. I already have some of the tools and materials, but definitely need to upgrade. I have some experience tying bucktail jigs and teasers, but nothing elaborate like the flies you guys use. Some of the SW patterns are amazing and I'm looking forward to learning to tie them.

I can think of one benefit to getting an actual "kit" rather than a bunch of tools and materials: When I was about nine years old I had been eyeing this fly tying kit every time I went to the tackle shop. I ended up getting the kit as a Christmas gift and I can still remember the feeling I had when I unwrapped the package and saw the box for that kit. Most of the stuff in the kit was "junk", but it it seemed like the best thing in the world at the time. In fact, I think I still have some of the materials! Granted, it's a completely intangible benefit, but it's one that will last me a lifetime.

11-09-2001, 08:29 AM
Well you all have giving me much to think about as I consider my options armed with new knowledge you have shared with me. I have been looking at those great tutorials (Thanks Dfix) and answering some of my own questions by reading and studing.
I have decided to buy specific tools and materials for myself. A tool kit with vice and materials for Juro's real eels and some rhody chovies for Brandon. I can always upgrade and add on later. After Quentin's comments about his first fly tying kit I would really like to impart the same feelings of satisfaction for Brandon. He asked for the kit for Christmas so he could make deep eels like Juro's at the Boneclave, it would probably mean a great deal to him to get the kit in a box with his own vise and materials. Thanks for that comment Quentin!
Looking more at my fly station situation I can't do the permanent set-up
as much as I would like to. I'm going to have to do the Box thing for material
storage. I was thinking of a large tackle box or something like that for materials storage and organization.
My list is coming together quite nicely now. Practically speaking on the
vice the $10 AA is all I need probably for awhile, But learning from experienced
guys like you, I may be yearning for the capabilities of a rotary vice sooner than later, especially hanging around Juro! Since the Anvil around $100 not $60 (darn), the Danvise at $75 is my current choice. But as I assemble the list and price things out I may end up with the $10 vise after all. Too much other stuff I need and too little funds.

I do have a few more follow up questions..

For a fly drying motor would my rotiseri motor be OK? Slow rotation is good?

Source for Fiskars scissors? Although I have some scissors, The handle looks like it's much better for extended use. The scissors I have start to bother your fingers after cutting for awhile.

Art | Ray - I was planning on attending on November 20th. What time do the Little Rhody Flyroders usually meet? Is there any membership fee? How much if so? Is
this primarily a flytying event? Do you need to bring flytying stuff? Hope to see you there.

Thanks again, Greg.

11-09-2001, 08:40 AM
Greg -

I recommend buying a $25 modular rolling shelf system by Iris Mfg. sold at Costco. It comes in white with clear shelves and the wife can roll it into the closet when guests arrive, plus you can choose where to tie and it fits nicely in the extended cab of a truck. There are two big shelves on the bottom and four or five shallow shelves on top. Actually you can configure them any way you like.

Scissors are easily found at any fabric store and are much cheaper than the ones at the flyshop, yet deliver a lot more value and purpose.

LL Bean outlet was selling top quality vises at 50% off retail a while back but they are all gone. A good vise is a good investment, but if you don't get the one you need you will buy another (and another and another).

At $2 why not buy the appropriate motor? They are small, quiet, use little energy and you can slap together a nice wooden stand that fits on the desk.


The kits don't contain ultrahair so if he is interested in deep eels let me know and I will donate the right colors to the cause for Brandon.

11-09-2001, 09:03 AM
Juro-- Thanks for the info on a good storage unit. I can spring for the motor no problem, just wasn't sure if the rotiseri motor was just as good or not. I may end up making a little kit for Brandon as there is alot of stuff he doesn't need for Saltwater flies.

Just having alittle kit together to make those deep eels would be just what he wanted.


11-09-2001, 09:29 AM
Rotisserie motors work fine, they're just too damn loud to use outside the cellar. Someone came up with this earlier, diff. thread - - tons of neat crap including really appropriate motors for short $ - also if you're in the Needham area, You-Do-It Electronics on the Newton side of 128 off Needham Street; I think they also have a thingie.

I also say yes to places like the fabric dept at WallyWorld for scissors and bright polyester or nylon thread. You'd be amazed at what you can find in craft stores. I'm sure glad there are lots of us who scour and scrounge to find stuff wherever.

To the point of a kit for Christmas. Do it. There's no more exciting feeling than to open and be overwhelmed by that one "thing" we quietly got jittery over, not saying we "hoped" out loud, and yet would overshadow anything else under the tree. At the same time, make up a separate "care package" of other tying related materials and wrap it by itself. Be sure to have the video camera perched on a tripod so the whole experience can be captured.

(Anecdotal) For me, that one "thing" one year was a pair of snowshoes. I still have them and will never part with them, over forty years since. I still use them ;D

((Edit)(Philosophical)) Another thought that just blitzed through the darkening void :D - include a book. This goes back to anecdotal as above, but I always looked forward to receiving a book or books for Christmas, as well as anything else I was fortunate to receive. Believe me, I was always grateful for ANYTHING I received, and I realize it more today, as I type this, than I did then. It's never forgotten, which is what I guess I'm rambling about, so don't miss the chance to do it.

11-09-2001, 10:05 AM
Off topic...There's a Wally World around here???


11-09-2001, 11:14 AM
Good suggestions from everyone. I would only add that it can be very helpful to develop a relationshionship with a good shop. If they have the time, they can really be helpful. You have to buy the stuff any way, so why not support the folks that can help you out. I think that taking a class can also be good. If the club or clave isn't meeting befor you want to start, I think that learning the basics first hand from some one with experience can be worth it. You will learn to be efficient from the get go, and that is an important skill that you don't hear often.
Use the shop as a resource.

11-09-2001, 11:47 AM
Nick (11-09-2001 11:05 a.m.):
Off topic...There's a Wally World around here???


Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk :D (just keep saving the rubbish, you elitist !!! ;D )

11-09-2001, 07:28 PM
Greg, The Rhody Flyrodders meeting starts at 7:00PM, but some get there earlier than that. If you are goig south on rt114(wampanog trail) after the WPRO radio station take the next turnaround, go back north until you see the sign Riverside Sportsman Club, take that right the club hose is about 200 yards down the road. Guests are free, but if you want to join, its cheap $15. Hope to see you there.

11-14-2001, 09:43 PM
I finally placed my order for $280 dollars worth of supplies to get set-up for Saltwater tying based on your recommendations. It was nice to be able to buy things with confidence even though I haven't tied a single fly yet. Based on everything I've learned so far I think it was money well spent. I could have limited it to $200 easily by not buying the Danvise and some experimental materials,
But that wouldn't be any fun! I didn't get everything on Juro's materials list either, But enough to make plenty variations of eels, anchovies, silversides and herring patterns, my original goal.

I am already looking at what tools I'll need to add for tying classic trout patterns as I plan on joining Dennis and perhaps Sprocket tying trout patterns in February. I expect I may have to add a hair stacker, hackle pliers, dubbing tool, Thompson style whip finisher and more materials. I can see where the open your wallet part comes in now

I just missed Jack Gartside on the 12th at NEFT meeting. I think you guys might enjoy alittle Jack Gartside Lesson for flytyers,
Don't drink water while you tie! Maybe he's a pogie oil fan too. :-)

Art- Thanks for the meeting and times info. Hope to see you on the 20th,
looking forward to meeting you.

Juro- Thanks for the generous offer on materials for Brandon. Not sure if I have the Ultrahair you are mentioned. I found some Superhair synthetic that sounds like it is the same stuff. Perhaps we can get together after my stuff comes in and you can take a look. I also would like to shop for some more materials with you at the Fly Fishing shows this winter if you can. Maybe then I can learn the difference between good and bad Bucktails for instance.


Fred Evans
11-14-2001, 09:50 PM
Only $280 bucks. You have far more restraint than I. At least as far as the "JoanMeister" says. Tip of the iceburg my young friend, but money never more well spent.

At the minimum (as Joan would suggest) it (flytying, etc.) will keep you off the streets and away from 'women of questionable reput. Once you get going, you'll not have money for anything else.

11-14-2001, 10:12 PM
fred- I'm sure your'e right about the tip of the iceberg. Alan Greenspan's great success in slowing economy (slight understatement in the tech sector) has had a real effect on my funds for fishing right now. I can see how easy one could get carried away though. My son went through a fly catalog and marked every classic pattern and put quantities for each. I'd spend 4 times that and be tying seemingly full time all winter to get all those made buy spring time. But perhaps there will be two of us tying them instead :-).


11-15-2001, 11:39 AM
congradulations Greg!
Feel free to contact me directly with any questions or if you just want to BS about stuff.

11-15-2001, 12:42 PM
Damn it! I'm too late.

Greg you didn't need no stinkin vice. All you needed was a pack of 3" FinS eels for $3.95, a box of Mustads #2's $4.95 and a bottle of Superglue $2.95. :-(

Well since you made the plunge pick up an Able vise and a complete set of Dr. Slick tools and all the Angel Hair you can. Just make sure to email me before you put it in the Classifieds. }>

Great point about buying the boy his own kit. It reminds of the movie "A Christmas Story" and the kid who wanted a Red Ryder BB gun.

Seriously now if you need any thing Greg feel free to fire me off an email. I can show you how to build an epoxy drier and probably have more tying materials than I will use in a couple of lifetimes. Good luck.

Dble Haul
11-15-2001, 12:55 PM
Greg- Good choice with the Danvise. I've had mine for as long as I can remember, and it still works as well as the day I got it. It's very durable, too. Mine has even been accidentally stepped on (don't ask!). Have fun with the creative process, and look forward to the satisfaction of fooling a fish with a fly that you tied yourself. :-)


Fred Evans
11-15-2001, 11:26 PM
[quote]GregD (11-14-2001 11:12 p.m.):
fred- I'm sure your'e right about the tip of the iceberg. Alan Greenspan's great success in slowing economy (slight understatement in the tech sector) has had a real effect on my funds for fishing right now. I can see how easy one could get carried away though. My son went through a fly catalog and marked every classic pattern and put quantities for each. I'd spend 4 times that and be tying seemingly full time all winter to get all those made buy spring time. But perhaps there will be two of us tying them instead :-).

Greg (also one of my sons names) this is the best money you will ever spend. Trust me on this.

(Been there, done that, and I'll never see money better spent. Life is short, your kids are worth every penny. Interesting how they (I'm kissing 60, they're all in their early 30's) how they bring up past experiences that you have to dig to remember. Point being is they've never forgotten. Life is good, you've done yur job as "Dad" well. Kids know, you don't; but they know you were there for them whether you knew it or not. Any you usually don't. fe)

11-16-2001, 05:19 AM
Fred -

Great words about things that get remembered over time. If you ever get to meet Greg's son he is a "firecracker" as JimW aptly described him. Every minute while at camp he wants to fish, fish, fish! Doesn't care about any easy way out, he wants to know what there is to know about fishing like what that guy's over there is doing or while turning over a rock to see what's wiggling beneath it.

I think that not only is Greg giving something remembered this year, he's getting a potent shot of enthusiasm in his arm as well. To your point, it's a beautiful thing and thankfully it goes both ways. :)

11-16-2001, 08:56 AM
Fred, believe me when I tell you that your son could easily tye all those patterns during the winter with plenty of time to spare.

11-19-2001, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by striblue
Fred, believe me when I tell you that your son could easily tye all those patterns during the winter with plenty of time to spare.

The kid needs to sleep, John ;) :rolleyes: (unlike many of us who don't know the meaning of "good sense", "burning the candle at both ends"; your choice of admonition here :D )

Don't forget that (fly pattern and methods) book, Greg. The beauty of doing that is you can SAY you bought it for him, but you both get to use it and benefit from it. :D :) :cool: I looked at two kits, very briefly, at KTP yesterday in re: the Christmas present idea; thought of you guys.

11-20-2001, 01:10 PM
All the prior posts offer great advice on tools & materials. One more ingredient is required to become proficient at the "Art of Fly Tying", it's your creativity and attitude.
1- Ask; a lot, to many, and never stop., Leraning is one of the most fun parts of tying
2- Feel feel to innovate, modify, create, experiment. All the patterns you will encounter were "created". None fell from the heavens onto a tying table..
3- Never throw away ANY fly that you have tied, many will attest to the "ugly" factor, feel free to create "pretty" ones as well and kill them with the "cute" factor
4- Trade; patterns, materials, hooks etc. I always buy in bulk and trade away with several buddies
5- Be proud of every one of your flies and ask for constructive critiques from others whose skills and attitudes you value
6- Use your local library to get books, once you find one you really need, then you can buy it. (look for The Fly Tiers's Benchside Reference - Ted Leeson & Jim Schollmeyer)
7- Go to the area aquarium and ask them to show you some of the bait fish we try to imitate, nothing like a live one to get you thinking
8- Find a hunting buddy to get a perpetual supply of deer, Elk, Bear, rabbit, squirrel, bird feathers etc. Buying a box of shells can guarantee a lifetime supplier
9- Share your discoveries, we are ALL still learning from one another
10- Celebrate your success. Have a wee dram of Holy Peat water and feel good about your efforts.

11-21-2001, 12:41 AM
It's a government conspiracy to keep us up late at night when we should be in bed. They want you to buy up rare pelts of animals (whether it be from our feathered friends or land dwelling animals) and construct sometimes simple and sometimes intricate flies. They spread out all these books and literature to give us more ideas to tie up more flies. Thus making us buy more and more supplies to feed this addiction. Oh yeah, they start you simple. A cheap vise/kit and then they start sending you fly tying catalogs. They show you Renzetti's and the like. You start out tying only a couple streamers then they have you getting a second mortgage on your house to buy top of the line vises and supplies. (Man, I almost fainted after I had my first jungle cock cape home and realized I'd paid $130 for it).

So I plead with you. Just WALK AWAY FROM THE TYING BENCH!!!!! :D :p

But seriously (actually, I was kinda serious ;) ) I'd go with the suggestion to buy up what you need, not a kit. I was actually given two different kits years ago and ended up selling them at garage sales and bought up my own things. But I do warn you. You'll start by buying up just what you need. Then you start noticing other patterns. You pickup books and see more patterns you want to tie. Then your creative juices start flowing and you design your own flies. Next thing you know you have over 2K in materials and a significant other shaking their head at you when you suggest buying up another cape of this or a bundle of that.

Good luck, I'd highly suggest finding a mentor to help you, whether it be personal or at a club. Do it the easy way and help the learning curve by having someone to help. I had to learn on my own along time ago. I'm self taught and have my flaws. But I love the flies I tie and work well for me

You're doomed, but ain't it great?!?!?!

11-21-2001, 12:48 PM
Dave, how does your wife like the tying vice and hat?

11-21-2001, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by striblue
Dave, how does your wife like the tying vice and hat?

As a matter of fact, Hardcore, she had the hat on JUST last evening as she sat and tied her first BUFFY !!! :eek: (she wasn't bad, either :D )

11-21-2001, 06:17 PM
Ok ...OK... Dave... where did she find it?

11-21-2001, 07:11 PM
The Campaign Desk is situated in the Sitting Room.

On the desk, among the many actively used packages of material and tying tools, sat a silver base, it's attendant pier and vise rising up. Nothing to give any sign of 'difference', really, as the desk is always busy with tying and daily activities; how could a vise look different, one from another.

As she began to fuss with the strewn materials, moving and straightening, there appeared a stem - a green stem. "Oh, what's this?" "Oh, my God, it's a rose", she exclaimed, as she swirled the feathers from her hands and down onto the desk. "Is this for me?" "Oh, no, and a card too?", as she began to chuckle, a smile beaming from her face, glowing as she discovered the envelope. Upon opening the card, she became silent and reflective. "Thank you, Hon, O, I'm so excited !" her exclamation rising with her glee at realizing the feathers, the vise, the rose and card were all for her.

As she turned, looking at me while glancing at the card, I knew I had attained a new level of Mastery


11-28-2001, 08:49 PM
I just wanted to Thank You All! for your help on getting me started with Fly tying. I truly have been missing the other part of Fly fishing for too long. I hit the ground running with the help of many of you, especially Juro, Dad and Brandon.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of tying flies for the first time with Juro's providing expert assistance. My first fly took quite some time to tie due to casual instruction and learning how to use my new tools. Despite some minor asthetic flaws it was a dandy! I sure learned some neat tips and was amazed at the complete lack of waste of materials. Brandon couldn't wait to tie his first fly when we got home, he found it wasn't as easy as it looked.

I have tied up my first bunch of real eels, and included a photo of them. Never posted an image, Hopefully it won't be a postage stamp or a blob of colors :-). I appreceiate the offers for help or BS via e-mail, might take some of you up on that once I get more time to tie some new patterns or set-up an epoxy drier.

A couple of the fly's shown where mostly tied by Brandon with me holding materials due to the folding technique used. Will get him tying them without the folding to reduce the frustration factor soon. He sure has given me some of that enthusiasm to expand my fishing horizon's too tying. It is really fun and challenging to build some flies that the fish hopefully will find irrestible.

I told Juro of my experience using his Real eel to lead a school of sandeels around like dog's on a leash once. That would have to be one of the ultimate compliments of matching the bait, having it school up with your fly!

I have been too busy to look into the fly tying books much. Would appreciate some more book recomendations as I'm not sure how good the selection at our library is. The book of saltwater patterns from Umpaqua caught my eye. But I can appreciate having a good bench side reference with details about certain techniqes to utilize (Thanks PETE).
Last year at the Fly Fishing show I saw some Fly tying software that included step by step pictures of patterns and techniques, But you have to have a system close by for it to be much use.

Curious what you guys found to be the best books. I have been looking for good bait photos too for making my own patterns, Was hoping to find some on the WEB, found mostly illustrations. I still have lots to learn and look forward to finding some good books and trying new things.

-- Pete Thanks for adding to the great suggestions on starting Fly Tying. My trips to the aquariums will never be the same :-). I will contact a hunting buddy or two, great idea. Benchside reference sounds like a must have too, Thanks.

-- Dfix Congratulations on getting the wife into tying flies, She'll have plenty of good help getting going I'm sure. Haven't got to the books yet, But will before Christmas, Thanks.

> Steelheader69 wrote:
> You're doomed, but ain't it great?!?!?!
I see what you mean, Alot more fun than those chores, productivity in other areas will take a noticable drop. I can see many hours of enjoyment tying and the thrills of catching fish on flys I tied. Many flies being tied will soon equate
to be labeled goofing off by the wife I predict. Hopefully by then it will be springtime, time to get out and fish. :-)

Thanks guys, Greg.

11-28-2001, 11:11 PM
Greg, go to the nearest Christmas tree and behold, a fly tiers endless supply of tinsels and mylar. :)
The silver and gold strings make great tubing, pull out the white inner batting and fluff up for great spinner wings. Mylar bows in all colors for the taking. Even the tree's (fake) needles make a good extended body fly.
'Tis the season to tie mayflies. :)

05-19-2002, 01:51 PM

It sounds like you already bought your son a kit, but I was just rereading an old flyfishing magazine--April Fly Rod & Reel--and they reviewed Metz fly tying kits. They got good reviews for not being junk materials you will never use, but instead being top quality. They have three kits the II($99), the IV($169), and the VI($249) with each kit progressively offering more quantity and diversity of materials and support documents. They all come with a Metz vise with a lifetime guarantee as well as tools.