Learning to Tie Flies:

Blog Forums Fly Tying Learning to Tie Flies:

This topic contains 18 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Alan Corbin Jan 14, 2016 at 6:30 pm.

Viewing 19 posts - 1 through 19 (of 19 total)
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    Clay Smith

    Ok looking to get started tying some flies.


    Zach Matthews
    The Itinerant Angler

    Charlie Craven (Charlie’s Fly Box) is one of the best fly tyers I have ever encountered.  I actually shared a room with him for a couple nights down in Mexico – he is a good dude.  His permit and bonefish boxes were insane; it was like looking into a museum-grade candy store.


    That’s his book on basic fly tying and it would be a good place to get started.  

    Incidentally here was his box:



    Randy Kadish
    Peter E.
    Peter E.

    I have a youtube channel you can check out. Although to be honest, warm water fly-tying is kind of a wild west. There are some great patterns that are what I think of as building patterns.

    Things like the wooly booger, gurgler, stealth bombers, and clouser minnows. I would say that from there you can go almost anywhere. This would likely be a good place to start


    Good luck and you can pm me if you have any questions.I would be happy to help


    Curtis Fry

    There’s a beginner’s guide on my website here: http://www.flyfishfood.com/p/fly-tying-class.html

    Might help direct you with videos, books etc. I tried to make the information fairly easy to follow and step-based.


    Also look into your local FFF chapter (if there is one) or consider attending one of the regional events.


    Clay Smith

    Thanks so much for the book info exactly what I was looking for.


    Your videos are what I have been watching that got me really interested in it.

    Gerard S
    Gerard S


    I started fly tying last year for a trip to Los Roques as saltwater flies weren’t easy to find locally. To be honest, the books disappoint me.
    Videos are what did it. Youtube and the likes. I learn more from video (and still do) than from any of the photos in books. Beauty is you can watch, rewind, watch again, fast forward etc.

    For my trip (in 13 days time..not that I’m counting) to Belize I’ve learn crab & bitters


    Clay Smith


    Thanks for the guidance and I agree the videos are likely to be more valuable.

    Mike Tolbert
    Mike Tolbert

    For someone that is considering the idea of tying some flies myself, would you guys recommend going with a starter kit or piece it out?

    Where do you guys buy your supplies?

    I’m thinking I would only need a whip finish tool, a vise, a bobbin, some hooks, beads, wire, and thread to to get started. I’m sure I could find some scissors laying around the house.

    I’m thinking I could start off tying midges and then branch out from there if I get hooked.




    When I started tying flies I would pick a pattern, and buy the necessary materials for that particular fly. After doing it this way for a while, eventually you end up with pretty much everything you need to tie most flies.

    As far as tools, I started out with a vise, bobbin, hair stacker, hackle pliers, small scissors. I might be wrong about this, but I would probably shy away from a starter kit.

    Initially, I bought my supplies from a local fly shop (which also offered beginning tying classes). Since I’ve moved to an area that doesn’t have a local fly shop, I actually haven’t had the need to buy any tying supplies yet. If you have to purchase online, Feather~Craft (and I’m sure others) looks pretty good.

    Good luck and have fun!

    Mike Tolbert
    Mike Tolbert

    Thanks for the feedback Teresa! I sort of felt like going the starter kit route would be the wrong direction. It would probably just end up giving me too many options and the tools would probably be cheap. I’m going to start out on the cheap side for sure, but I figured there has to be some cheaper tools that folks on here would recommend over others. I’m not in a huge rush, plus I haven’t successfully convinced the wife the value yet. 🙂

    Anyway, I totally agree with your approach. I was thinking I would start out with a few simple flies, like y2k and San Juans for the Amicalola river (nearest river to me), and then some midges for the Toccoa river which is the next closest (big) river to me.


    Zach Matthews
    The Itinerant Angler

    Clay and Mike we should have a tying session at my house. I’ll show you guys what you need to know.

    Mike Tolbert
    Mike Tolbert

    Sounds good to me! I’ve been fishing the white river this week. Caught 3 rainbows. 🙂

    Clay Smith
    Clay Smith

    So 18 months late but I’m down for this…

    Clay Smith
    Clay Smith

    I think I’m getting fly tying gear for christmas so I’m looking to put together my materials list to learn to tie a few different types of flies. Woolly Buggers/Clouser Minnows/Stealth Bombers.

    Is my list too ambitious
    Are there any materials obviously missing from my list (other than craft foam/head cement)?

    4.95 Nickle Ballz Eyes Red (LARGE 3/16″) ($4.95 each)
    1.95 Danville Chenille Size Medium Black ($1.95 each)
    1.95 Danville Chenille Size Medium Dark Olive ($1.95 each)
    3.95 Round “Lead Free” Wire (.020 Med-Fine) ($3.95 each)

    2.5 Brass Beads Gold 5/32″($2.50 each)
    2.5 Brass Beads Gold 3/16″($2.50 each)
    2.7 Round Rubber Legs Chartreuse ($2.70 each)
    2.7 Round Rubber Legs White($2.70 each)

    2.95 Extra Select Craft Fur White($2.95 each)
    2.95 Extra Select Craft Fur Chartreuse ($2.95 each)
    2.95 Extra Select Craft Fur Adams-Dun-Gray ($2.95 each)

    3.95 Flashabou Pearl ($3.95 each)
    3.95 Krystal Flash Silver ($3.95 each)
    3.95 Krystal Flash Gold ($3.95 each)

    4.5 NEW! Daiichi 2461 #2/0 ($4.50 each)
    4.5 NEW! Daiichi 2461 #1/0 ($4.50 each)
    6.35 Gamakatsu B10S #10 ($6.35 each)
    6.95 Gamakatsu B10S #6 ($6.95 each)
    6.95 DAI-RIKI #700 #10 ($6.95 each)
    6.95 DAI-RIKI #700 #6 ($6.95 each)

    1.95 Uni 3/0 Red ($1.95 each)
    1.95 Uni 3/0 Fl Chartreuse ($1.95 each)
    1.95 Uni 3/0 Black ($1.95 each)
    1.95 Uni 3/0 White ($1.95 each)

    2.5 Marabou White ($2.50 each)
    2.95 Olive X-Select Marabou($2.95 each)
    2.95 Black X-Select Marabou($2.95 each)

    5.95 China 6-7 Saddle Hackle Black
    5.95 China 6-7 Saddle Hackle Olive

    Clay Smith
    Clay Smith

    my first fly of what I hope are many I will tie


    Clay Smith
    Clay Smith

    So my learning to tie list includes clouser minnows and crease flys.

    I’m looking at the epoxy vs UV discussion and looking at what I plan to do I’m curious if there is any reason to consider epoxy?

    Assuming UV is what I should go with my 2nd question is what brand would you choose?


    Alan Corbin

    If I am tying a dozen or more flies at once I prefer to use epoxy. I get them all to the point where the epoxy is applied and coat them and put them on a drier to keep the epoxy even. Rod finish takes a lot longer to cure also(4-6 hours) and I usually will finish a rod and the flies at the same time. I will use rod finish epoxy usually because it stays clear and is more flexible than 5 minute. I f I know they are going to get destroyed in one season I use 5 minute, as i don’t care if it yellows because they are junk by the time the saltwater and UV rays deteriorates them.
    UV is good for a few flies at a time. It is more brittle than epoxy also but doesn’t yellow.
    As for UV acrylic I use CCG thin and hydro. The most important aspect for UV is the curing light, higher wattage is better and wavelength varies between lights as well. I got mine from the fly fishing show in Marlborough MA a few years ago. It is the same as the CCG one but was only $20

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