Re: Fly tying advice

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Posted by Len Taliaferro on May 22, 1997 at 14:51:03:

In Reply to: Fly tying advice posted by Chris England on May 21, 1997 at 13:05:01:

: I've been fly fishing for trout for over 20 years. In the past I have relied on friends
: to tie flies for me. In fact, I used to tie a few, when i was 12 or 13
: on very crude equipment, but that's been almost 15 years ago. I still remember a good bit,
: but would like to get some info on good quality instruction, and worthy
: equipment. I'm trying to stay away from picking up a "starter" kit. My assumtion is
: that I may be getting stuff that I really don't need. (I can produce on just about any river
: in GA with ~ 8 flies of varying sizes.

: Any advice would be great...

Chris--GRW is absolutely right. You don't need to spend a lot of money to get started; especially if you know the patterns you want to
tie and the materials you'll need. I got started with an inexpensive Tackl-Tyers kit and it did contain a lot of stuff I never used, but it
did have a decent vise which was probably worth the price of the kit. I used it for a lot of years adding the materials I needed as I expanded
my collection. I think the most important tools are a good vise, a good bobbin and a good pair of scissors (fingernail scissors work great).
You can make a bodkin out of a needle and wooden dowel. Beyond those items, nearly everything else is strictly a matter of personal preference
and convenience. I recently bought an inexpensive portable vise with assorted tools from Cabela's for $29.95. I got it for streamside tying but
I've found myself using it at home since it's less trouble to get out and set up than my regular stuff. Unfortunately, I'm in a situation at home
where I don't have a bench that I can leave set up permanently, so I've got to unpack, set up, do my tying, then take down, repack and store everything.
In addition to the tools, you'll need thread (prewaxed, black to start), head cement (super glue is good and cheap), hooks to match your patterns, and
some non-toxic fine lead wire if you're going to tie nymphs. Getting started, I'd go with wool or chenniel in the appropriate colors of your patterns,
some good grizzly hackle that works both as hackle and wings for a bunch of different flies. You'll need some wing material to match your patterns and
probably some other feathers to use as tails or antennae. Finally, you ought to get one good book on fly tying. Most shops have several good ones at
assorted prices. Again, a high price doesn't necessarily mean the best value so check them all and see which appeals to you most. As GRW said, once you
get started you'll eventually accumulate enough stuff to tie virtually any known pattern and a few of you own creations. I can assure you that you'll
never forget the first time you catch a fish on a fly you've tied. And, you'll never forget the first time you catch a fish on a fly pattern you've
invented. Good Luck!

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