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I'm new to fly tying, and i was wondering if there were any tips or secrets or shortcuts to fly tying and or it's materials that can help me out or just be good to know along the way.

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I've been tying for about 4 years, as you know I have a reject drawer; some things just don't turn out like you plan them. What I find is some easy patterns are very productive and cheap to tie, particularly the chernobyl ant and the gartside gurgler as both use craft foam that you can buy in the craft store for a buck and get enough for a bunch of flies and they work fine on the mustad 3366 a very economical hook that also does well for clousers and I have used even used them for poppers. I like a sz 10 hook for them.  Easy also is the wooly bugger adaptable to many colors too. It's worth some time on youtube watching other tiers its a lot easier once you see how its done.

mark,been working on some new ideas and i have a whole reject table.foam feathers beads boxes every where.i was in a flurry of prototype flies jigs and mini spoons .it was 12 degrees this morning.i am going nuts.it was in the 80s last year at this time.i was catching gills on poppers.i saw geese standing on ice in a pond that was open water a week ago

Hey Chris,  If it is at all possible, I recommend a fly tying class at your local fly shop.  you will learn some patterns, how to use the tools, and materials.  While I use a lot of dollar store materials in tying my bugs I also use the fly shop stuff when it's called for.  A size 16 dry fly hook is not the same as a size 6 bait hook, knowing the difference is well worth the money for the class.  The feathers from a feather boa may look like the strung hackle from the fly shop but it probably won't behave the same when tying into a fly. 

start simple.if you can,t find some one to teach the internet and books are your friend.wooly worms foam spiders and foam beetles and ants.all are good for bluegills.a decent vise,GOOD scissors and the most important 2 things,your imagination and gorilla super glue

  Keep it simple to start with, simple materials and simple patterns. A simple foam spider and a simple wet fly will catch a lot of fish (if you are fishing warm water). Trout seem to be a little more picky, but there are a lot of flies that do a good job of both (warm and cold water). If you can find a tier that lives close to you, that can go a long way in getting you started. You don't need a high $ vise, just one that holds the hook in place while you tie. Go on "youtube" and search 'fly tying' I picked up many good patterns and a lot of good techniques watching "youtube" videos..........Good Luck........Don in SC

Chris, My tying teacher was a FOOL!!!!!! I was self taught,before the age of the internet!!!!! THE OSAGE is not exactly a FLY TYING MECCA!!!! Then I discovered these GUYS on PBS!!!!!! THEY taught me a lot!!!!!!! Hands on with other TYERS is best, but if you don't have that option......

http://www.kwsu.org/Offers/FlyTying.aspx

Greg is dead on. A master can practically sits next to you, pound the living world of hurt and info into your brain, yet, based on your own personalities and dexterity, you become your own master based on your experience of tying. You notice how a single fly can vary in so many way, based on the tyer? It's because each tyer cannot duplicate the same fly, no matter how hard they all try to mimic. It's just odd human behaviors.

As Mike said it, buy cheap materials to practice, but at the same time, look for quality materials to use at a discounted price. When you find good quality materials at a  cheap price, be ready to spend like the world is ending. You don't need to spend on materials that are created specifically for fly tying by the companies out there, since there are plenty of substitutes.

LEO, I will usually do at least one THEIR WAY, but then I have to try it MY WAY!!!!!

my best advice is go to youtube abd watch,but nothing takes the place of hands on tying. check out

essential fly tying techniques on youtube.

   fly tying is all about learning the techniques,and the only way to learn is to tie flies,youtube can be a big help on materials and their uses, shooter

A great piece of advice,Shooter! I have my tying table next to my computer. I look on YouTube for a fly I want to tie, then first watch the video all the way through. I then set up the hook I am going to use in my vice, and start the video over pausing it after each step, and duplicating it as best I can then on to the next step and so forth till the fly is complete. Seeing them tied on a video gave me the confidence to try new flies.

Another piece of advice along the line of what Mike Chell said was that you do not have to spend a lot of money to tie flies that will catch fish.When I first started tying someone on here said a fly doesn't have to be perfect to catch fish. Few bugs in nature are perfect. Those kind words also gave me the confidence to try tying. I saw on you tube where a guy was using sewing thread instead of regular tying thread. I posted earlier about buying some thread online and it arriving with no visable tag end, which is frustrating to say the least. Yesterday I went to a fabric store and bought 3 -125 yard spools of  thread for less than two bucks a spool. The thread comes in different weights, (strengths). They also sell other tying materials like beads and feathers. Again, the main thing is that you have fun tying. Catching your first gill on a fly you tied is very rewarding .

there was and old fellow i knew that fly fished and tied his own flies,he had been seen cutting   hair off  the cats and dogs of his neighbors ,he probably saved a lot of money.

 

Chris,If you want you flies to be durable, learn to "break your thread".  By learning how much tension your thread will handle, your flies will not come apart easily, and your thread will stay in place when you do accidentally break it(and you will) allowing you to start at that point instead of starting over.  I have flies that I have fished all season and caught plenty of fish on before eventually loosing them from breaking them off.  Good luck and welcome to the addictive world of fly tying!

 

 

 

 

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