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Alright, I'm giving this tying thing a try!

Joined:
2009/9/9 14:52
From Bel Air, MD
Posts: 703
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Just like everyone told me (or warned me) I would do, I have taken the plunge into tying my own flies. I have only tied a few pheasant tails, and I can see how you can get sucked right in...it's challenging and fun, which is a great combination.

I bought a beginner set to make sure I would enjoy it and be able to do it, and I am beginning to build my christmas list around fly tying. Here's my question for you guys. To determine what to buy, did you decide on a pattern (or patterns) you wanted to tie, then buy the materials for that pattern, and accumulate from there? Or did you make a list of patterns and buy a bunch of stuff for all of them?

I think I am going to take a pattern by pattern approach.

Any other general advice you can offer to a new tier will be appreciated.

Steve

Posted on: 2009/11/13 15:38


Re: Alright, I'm giving this tying thing a try!

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2006/10/26 11:34
From Gunpowder River, MD
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Might not hurt to stick with one pattern until you get it right..Don't use glue, and with a razor blade remove proto fly from hook shank and repeat, this way you'll save on hooks..Might take a lot of ties before you're satisfied..

Posted on: 2009/11/13 15:57


Re: Alright, I'm giving this tying thing a try!

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2009/9/9 14:52
From Bel Air, MD
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Quote:

sundrunk wrote:
Might not hurt to stick with one pattern until you get it right..Don't use glue, and with a razor blade remove proto fly from hook shank and repeat, this way you'll save on hooks..Might take a lot of ties before you're satisfied..


Funny you say that. I stopped by the fly shop yesterday and bought some beads and hooks, and the guy there said "You'll tie a thousand before you get good at it."

Posted on: 2009/11/13 16:47


Re: Alright, I'm giving this tying thing a try!

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2006/10/26 11:34
From Gunpowder River, MD
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A couple of weeks ago I came across an older box of my ties; from when i first started tying, I threw them out..Couldn't even stand to look at them...I find I'm my toughest critic...

Posted on: 2009/11/13 16:54


Re: Alright, I'm giving this tying thing a try!

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2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
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Don't concentrate on certain materials in particular. Look at types of materials, and concentrate on the properties of the material, rather than the name.

You tie a hare's ear with a certain type of dubbing. Grab a few more colors and tie different patterns along the same basic design. Do the same with feathers, furs, hairs, and synthetics. Once you learn the properties of various materials and why they are used in certain situations, the confusing and overwhelming aspects of tying disappear.

You'll learn to interchange materials and make use of what you have. That's when it becomes truly rewarding IMO.

The absolutely most confounding thing about many tiers, imo, is that they are always hung up on pattern specifics.

Posted on: 2009/11/13 17:08


Re: Alright, I'm giving this tying thing a try!

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2006/10/26 11:34
From Gunpowder River, MD
Posts: 1704
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Quote:

jayL wrote:
Don't concentrate on certain materials in particular. Look at types of materials, and concentrate on the properties of the material, rather than the name.

You tie a hare's ear with a certain type of dubbing. Grab a few more colors and tie different patterns along the same basic design. Do the same with feathers, furs, hairs, and synthetics. Once you learn the properties of various materials and why they are used in certain situations, the confusing and overwhelming aspects of tying disappear.

You'll learn to interchange materials and make use of what you have. That's when it becomes truly rewarding IMO.

The absolutely most confounding thing about many tiers, imo, is that they are always hung up on pattern specifics.


Like the time I cut up my foam sleeping bag pad in order to tie up some cicadas..

Posted on: 2009/11/13 17:23


Re: Alright, I'm giving this tying thing a try!

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2009/10/12 18:48
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I would recommend a tying class if you can find one in your area. The local TU chapter or fly shop may offer one. IMO the good instructors focus on technique rather than specific patterns. When you learn the techniques, you can tie plenty of patterns using traditional or substitute materials.

Posted on: 2009/11/13 18:02


Re: Alright, I'm giving this tying thing a try!

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2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
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If you can't find a local class then just check out YouTube. There's instructional videos there for just about anything you need to know on tying.

Start simple and work your way up. You can tie just a few basic patterns and cover most of your bases. Basic nymphs like HE, and PT, Wooly buggers, and typical catskill dries will be a good start. Just get good at those and move on.

And don't forget your SJW's too... easiest tie in the world!


Good Luck and don't forget to keep asking questions on here.

Posted on: 2009/11/13 20:46
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Re: Alright, I'm giving this tying thing a try!

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2006/9/12 21:16
From Suburban Pittsburgh
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It's definately an addiction, welcome to the club! Like Jay said don't get too hung up on specific materials of the patterns. Once you establish a collection of materials, it's very rewarding to find a material that you have to use as a substitue.

Start with one pattern and perfect it, then move to another pattern, repeat, repeat, repeat. As you start to tie different patterns, get the materials that you need specific to that pattern. After a while, you'll have more material than you know what to do with!

If you can get plugged into a local tying class over the winter, by all means do that. The internet though is an incredible resource. I was self taught and used books. The videos available now will cut down on your learning curve. I use them to tie patterns new to me or to get better with different techniques.

Posted on: 2009/11/13 21:49
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Re: Alright, I'm giving this tying thing a try!
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Joined:
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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BASteve,
Welcome to fly tying - you're gonna love it. As for aquiring materials, I'd agree that you should select a few basic materials that are needed to tie a handful of flies, like the pheasant tail(PT) and similar basic stuff. Jay is correct that you don't need exact materials (most of the time) and can substitute similar materials for perfectly effective results. And Ryguyfi is right about Youtube.

I would respectfully disagree with the guy at the fly shop who said you need to tie thousands.....You'll get the hang long before that.

Posted on: 2009/11/13 21:57


Re: Alright, I'm giving this tying thing a try!

Joined:
2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 4357
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I had been fly fishing for a few years before I took a fly tying class. So I knew that I really only wanted to tie dry flies by then, and that eliminated buying stuff for nymphs and streamers.
But I did have to tie subsurface flies for the class, and it helped to prepare me for dry flies somewhat.

I would recommend some easy flies to begin with. Green weenies and honey bugs are about as simple as it gets.
You might move on from there to muskrat and hare's ears nymphs. Then maybe some streamers.
For dries, I'd begin with ants, beetles, and caddis -before trying mayflies

Posted on: 2009/11/13 21:59


Re: Alright, I'm giving this tying thing a try!

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2007/3/13 16:49
From Washington, PA
Posts: 450
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I recommend purchasing a ton of the best neck hackles you can find...then if you get bored...let me know when you put them on ebay....just kidding...

Taking a class or finding some of the guys from this list serv to sit down and hack on some flies can be worth ever dime...I remember starting on 10s and thinking I would never be able to tie anything smaller with my chubby fingers...now I am tying 18 and 20s depending on the pattern and liking the looks of them...

Just stay with it...great for getting lost in thought without thinking about work or home projects...

Welcome to the club...admitting you have the addiction is a good beginning...Hello...my name is Boss_steb and I am...I am a fly tying addict..

Boss

Posted on: 2009/11/13 22:58
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Re: Alright, I'm giving this tying thing a try!

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2008/1/21 13:28
From South Central PA
Posts: 843
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Quote:
and with a razor blade remove proto fly from hook shank and repeat, this way you'll save on hooks..Might take a lot of ties before you're satisfied..


Great advise from sundrunk, a 5-pack of single edge razor blades are dirt cheap, with plenty of other uses around the house.

Along those lines, this article is worth a look for a new tier. It discusses developing a critical eye for purchasing fies, but applies to your own ties as well. At the menu, select: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly:

http://www.flyfishersparadise.com/art ... ing_Articles&archive=true

There are a great many other good tying articles in there, though unfortunately, navigation at the 'improved" site is hit or miss with a number of articles no longer having all of their images included.

Posted on: 2009/11/14 9:08


Re: Alright, I'm giving this tying thing a try!

Joined:
2006/10/26 11:34
From Gunpowder River, MD
Posts: 1704
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BelAir,

You can't go wrong with any of these suggestions above...I would just remind you that it's supposed to be something you enjoy, so don't rush any of it..

Try a few experiments with thread tension..Another words try to determine how much tension you can apply to your tying thread before it breaks..I thought 08/0 was so light when I started tying, now I prefer 12/0 or 14/0..Beware of thread bulk...

Posted on: 2009/11/14 9:10


Re: Alright, I'm giving this tying thing a try!

Joined:
2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19931
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Quote:

sundrunk wrote:
.Beware of thread bulk...


This is the key.

9 times out of 10, you can spot a beginner's fly for this reason. They use too much thread and they crowd the eye.

9 out of 10 flies in my reject pile are there for just that reason. It's an easy mistake to make.

Posted on: 2009/11/16 11:30



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