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Re: Fly Tying Classes/Learning the Basics?

Joined:
2008/6/13 0:26
From Pine Grove
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afishinado: I'll read through that post, I wonder why it didn't come up in my search? I also flipped through the two pages that came up in fly tying section.

Ya, as far as the kit I didn't plan on purchasing a materials kit, just a tool kit. The materials I plan on having my mom grab whatever random nifty materials come into the thrift store she works at and wherever else I can find them cheap for now including ebay auctions I have seen for small packs of materials for pennies on the dime.

Posted on: 2008/12/4 14:44
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Re: Fly Tying Classes/Learning the Basics?

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2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
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you gotta watch out for those materials kits on ebay and so forth. They will have a lot of the "left over" materials that places can't sell. Such as brighly colored feathers and oversized capes. there are some good materials, and being a newbie might be helpful for you, but don't expect the world from them.

Posted on: 2008/12/4 14:52
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Re: Fly Tying Classes/Learning the Basics?

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
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You've got to expect to buy some crappy materials at first, simply because you don't know what to look for; which is why cabelas is good (they have mostly quality/consistant stuff, but of course you pay more).


Fly shops have a mix of decent materials and top quaility stuff, so without knowing what to get, most beginners grab the first thing on the rack, without looking to the back.

At a fly shop, I usually spend a couple hours routing through the racks for the highest quality materials. I get funny looks, but once I explain why people then understand.

Posted on: 2008/12/5 8:21
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Re: Fly Tying Classes/Learning the Basics?

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From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
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with that being said... educate us on what you really look for in quality materials, ex. a good dry fly neck?

Posted on: 2008/12/5 15:03
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Re: Fly Tying Classes/Learning the Basics?

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
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Ry,
Good dry fly necks from a reliable company (Whiting, Metz) come prerated and usually are consistant with that rating. I peronally would buy "gold," or "grade 1" necks, or higher (but I feel that $120 is salty) This is preference, but I like saddle hackles for dries, even parachutes. Again $190 for a platinum saddle skin is ridiculous.

Store's personal hackle and from smaller supplers I would look for a well cured skin free from debri, with feathers where the barbs separate and stand tall.

My prior post was talking about things like dubbing, feathers, and other materials. Synthetics, again are fairly consistant in quality.

For instance, pheasant tails I look for the largest feather with the longest barbs. Turkey tails - the same thing.

Dubbing, I look for consistant color and blend, without those knotty lumps.

If you have something in particular ask away, and if I buy it I hope I can lend some insight on what I look for.

Posted on: 2008/12/5 15:21
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Re: Fly Tying Classes/Learning the Basics?

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2008/9/12 12:41
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For hackle capes I look for a good number of feathers across a wide size range; good barb count with uniform barb size; stiff barbs; not a lot of webbing; consistent coloration; relatively long, strong stems; the cape smells and looks clean; etc. The feathers must look durable.

The best bang for the buck in my opinion is the Whiting Pro grade. It’s certainly not the "best" cape out there but for $22 - $30 (depending on color) you get a really good cape. The Whiting Bronze series is definitely better but expect to pay $45 - $60 depending on color. Obviously the Silver and Gold are better but are they worth $75 - $100 per cape?

Posted on: 2008/12/5 15:21


Re: Fly Tying Classes/Learning the Basics?
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Joined:
2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
Posts: 2259
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A really good site for photos and tutorials of some good patterns is;
www.troutflies.com Check 'er out.

When you start, focus on a few patterns you really use. Everyone says that you should start tying nymphs, and these are easier and more affordable. But if you use a LOT of Adams or Royal Coachmans, I would learn these as well.

As far as materials, I would get sized hackles. That is, the Whiting 100's pack or Metz does something just like it. That way, you are buying just what you need to use. One day you will know and tye enough patterns to use up a whole cape, but it could be years and years. In the mean time, don't spend money on "scrap loss"

Some cheap and easy patterns for beginning fly tyers that really work:
The Usual (in all kinds of colors besides the traditional, i.e. rusty spinner is awesome, just changed the body to a dubbed rusty spinner color)
Ants (in all sizes)
Beetles (in all sizes and many colors)
Griffith's Gnats
Mickey Finns
Wooleybuggers
Pheasant Tails
Zug bugs
Well, the list goes on. And it's the simplest patterns that catch the most.

One tip for beginning fly tyer. Start your thread and pull on it until it breaks. Get a feel for how hard you can pull before it snaps. You should be tying just short of that pressure. Tight! Really tight! The tighter your flies, and the sparser you tie them the more fish you will catch with them and the longer they will last. The sparse thing is just as important. A fly can float with three winds of hackles, and if you tye a fly with three winds you'll catch twice as many fish as one with six. Light can pass through the sparser winds and that looks like motion. Your flies will look alive. The difference between a sparse hackle and thick one is like hair and helmet. Mayflies don't wear helmets.

I don't think a tool "set" is so bad, but buy a quality set. You want tools made of good metals so they'll hold an edge and stay tight. Scissors that dull quickly or come loose will drive you nuts. And tying is a hobby, you want to enjoy it. Quality tools and materials will add to the enjoyment of making flies and to their effectiveness as well. I would go to a shop and look at the tools, hold them in your hands and feel them. You'll know if they are worthwhile when you see them. That said, the best tying scissors I ever used were a pair of craft scissors for seamstresses. Much like these

If you are new to flyfishing, you may want to hold off on learning to tye. Learning to flyfish can be kind of frustrating and tying is another cliff to jump off. But that's a personal decision if you are up for going up two learning curves at the same time, more power to ya. I waited a couple years, but it's up to you. Good luck!

Posted on: 2008/12/7 12:20
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Re: Fly Tying Classes/Learning the Basics?

Joined:
2008/6/13 0:26
From Pine Grove
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Thanks for the advice, the tying information is overwhelming :)

I went down to the TCO shop here at PSU yesterday and purchased a bunch of stuff for the basic dry flies that the employee recommended(everyone I met there was awesome) while I am still here.

Then I'll be spending x-mas evening tying some flies and then I'll probably brave the freezing weather and stand on the side of a stream the day after and see if I get any luck :)

Posted on: 2008/12/7 12:36
_________________
The fishing was good; it was the catching that was bad.

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles.


Re: Fly Tying Classes/Learning the Basics?

Joined:
2006/9/11 11:41
From bucks cty
Posts: 997
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Quote:

gemiller wrote:
Thanks for the advice, the tying information is overwhelming :)

I went down to the TCO shop here at PSU yesterday and purchased a bunch of stuff for the basic dry flies that the employee recommended(everyone I met there was awesome) while I am still here.

Then I'll be spending x-mas evening tying some flies and then I'll probably brave the freezing weather and stand on the side of a stream the day after and see if I get any luck :)


I think it was you posting about a job near Lehighton. If you end up in that area go up to the Evening Hatch fly shop near White Haven and talk to the guys. They have a large selection of tying materials, especially Whitting necks. They have a couple tying benches in the shop and are happy to show you how to tie.

FFP in State College also has a bench in the shop.

Another thing that great for a learner is to go to the Fly Show in Somerset NJ in January. There are seminars, booths with famous tiers that can show you techniques, and booths of vendors selling materials. Lots of other items like rods, reels, books, etc. Also guides and outfitters.

Posted on: 2008/12/9 8:18


Re: Fly Tying Classes/Learning the Basics?

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2008/12/7 20:05
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I completely disagree on not buying a beginners kit. It all depends on whose the retailer, believe it or not there are some decent beginner kits. If you were to go into a fly shop and ask for the basics 9/10 they'd probably steer you into the right direction. Visiting sites like YouTube make it better for me, pictures don't cut it.

Fly tying really isn't that expensive, compared to buying flies I'd say its about even in the long haul.

Hunting will help you. Shoot a pheasant, tie X amount of pheasant tails. Shoot a deer and you could substitute the Elk Hair on the Elk Hair Caddis for the Deer Hair Caddis. Same thing to me. Great fly anyway you look at it. You can buy dubbing backs and that'll start you off for what you'll use most for the flies you use, and thread isn't very expensive - along with the hooks, I think I bough 100 size 14 dry fly for around 6 bucks at a local fly shop.

Posted on: 2008/12/9 16:33


Re: Fly Tying Classes/Learning the Basics?

Joined:
2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
Posts: 5189
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give me an idea want you want to tie and I'll put together a great kit (less tools) for you..hooks, feathers, tinsel, thread,etc..all matched for fishing pa..

Nymphs and streamer/buctails would be the easiest to learn first. dry's are harder just because of the proportions to get it to float upright. plus learning hackle size and quality..

Posted on: 2008/12/10 7:27
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Re: Fly Tying Classes/Learning the Basics?

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2006/9/11 11:41
From bucks cty
Posts: 997
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Quote:

sandfly wrote:
give me an idea want you want to tie and I'll put together a great kit (less tools) for you..hooks, feathers, tinsel, thread,etc..all matched for fishing pa..

Nymphs and streamer/buctails would be the easiest to learn first. dry's are harder just because of the proportions to get it to float upright. plus learning hackle size and quality..


I bet old Sandfly would put a couple sample flies tied with the materials in the mix. Then you'd have a great package.

Posted on: 2008/12/10 8:53


Re: Fly Tying Classes/Learning the Basics?
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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I can't imagine being an FFer without tying one's own flies - although I understand that there are many hard core FFers who don't tie. To me, so much of the attraction of FFing comes from fly design and experimentation with, and study of, prey species and how best to match them. That being said, there's no reason one can't enjoy the sport without tying. I do believe that, for the serious, frequent FFer, tying will save significant $ in the long run. Good flies these days run about a $1-$3. I typically burn thru several flies in a day's fishing. Even very simple patterns like egg flies, San Juan Worms, Wooly Buggers, and Hare's Ear nymphs usually run over a dollar each. "Home tied" flies cost a fraction of this. I recommend to new fishermen that they at least try tying, they can easily learn to tie run-of-the-mill flies and this will limit the amount of hooks and materials they need to buy up-front. More complex or smaller flies can continue to be purchased if the new FFer is unable to tie them or simply lacks the time.

Posted on: 2008/12/10 9:34


Re: Fly Tying Classes/Learning the Basics?

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2008/9/12 12:41
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I have a couple friends who limit themselves and yes, limiting yourself does save you money in the long run. They tie san juan worms (red, pink, brown, white, black), green weenies, hare's ear nymph, pheasant tail nymph, black/white woolly buggers, white/black marabou streamers, sulfur dries and black ants/beetles. This probably accounts for 80% of the flies they use. Anything else they buy.

I tie everything myself and I haven't saved anything other than the aggrivation of having to go to the fly shop to pick up replacement flies for the ones I lost today - I simply tie them again.

Posted on: 2008/12/10 10:26


Re: Fly Tying Classes/Learning the Basics?

Joined:
2008/12/13 13:56
Posts: 9
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I am taking up fly fishing for the 2nd time after having lived in Tennessee since 1992 and not having a PA fishing license since then. I'm collecting flies that might be useful on the Yough but thusfar I've not entertained the thought of tying my own flies. I'm 58 years old, wear bifocals and just don't have real good up close vision. I'm kinda looking upon it much as I do reloading shotgun shells. If you do enough trap or skeet shooting you reach a certain point where it becomes financially advantageous to reload. With fly tying though, I am beginning to wonder. I visited Gander Mountain the other night and was astounded by the prices of the vises and materials such as feather, fur, hackles just to get started. So I guess the big question I have for you experienced fly tyers is: Does it save you any money with the volume of fishing that you do, or do you pretty much have to engage in fly tying commercially and sell your flies to break even or make money?

Posted on: 2008/12/16 8:35



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