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Simple fly tying tips

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  • Simple fly tying tips

    I am over at the coast for the weekend, and the weather and tides keep us in the house enough that I find time to tie some flies. I forgot my Waste-Troll and need to keep it mostly neat. I used a produce bag under the vise base. Works pretty well..... So I was thinking it might make a nice thread to see what simple tricks or advise other tiers might have to share.
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  • #2
    Tie the same fly over and over until you get it perfected. On the flies that turn out like crap (**** happens), cut the materials off the hooks with a razor or utility knife and start over.

    Tie nymphs & streamers, buy dries.

    Comment


    • Clarkman
      Clarkman commented
      Editing a comment
      correction: tie streamers. fish streamers.

    • KillerDave
      KillerDave commented
      Editing a comment
      Here's my favorite streamer tier: http://www.ukflies.com/

    • dragginfly
      dragginfly commented
      Editing a comment
      Great advice- if I tie a lessor fly, and put it in my box with better ones, I will choose to fish the better. After a while, the not-as-good copies end up filling the box. So taking care of that at the source makes the fly box full of good choices.
      Last edited by dragginfly; 01-22-2019, 09:21 PM.

  • #3
    Learn how to use a dubbing loop. Such a versatile technique.

    Comment


    • Canuck from KS
      Canuck from KS commented
      Editing a comment
      I actually prefer split thread technique, easier to control bulk (course this would depend on the type of thread you use).

  • #4
    Sharpies and Freezer Bags will save you money and provide many more colors (than the fly shop "thin skins") as well...

    Comment


    • #5
      Learn to whip finish with fingers instead of tool.

      (I also use a plastic shopping or produce bag, scotch-taped to my tying surface, for waste control. Good way to reuse them, or maybe because I'm cheap.)

      - JR

      Comment


      • #6
        1. Tie the flies you use the most. Buy the others.
        2. Don't clutter your fly box with flies that aren't productive for you.
        aka Scott Richmond

        Comment


        • dragginfly
          dragginfly commented
          Editing a comment
          Amen- though most of the flies I have purchased have been as samples when on a trip- both to support the fly shops out there, and to follow local advice. I will buy materials to tie the suggested flies as well. River fishing my boxes do not contain the variety of my lake boxes.

      • #7
        Originally posted by J.R. View Post
        Learn to whip finish with fingers instead of tool.

        (I also use a plastic shopping or produce bag, scotch-taped to my tying surface, for waste control. Good way to reuse them, or maybe because I'm cheap.)

        - JR
        Or if the whip just plain intimidates you, use a hollowed out pen tip, slide over hook eye and tie a few half hitches. I learned the whip a LONG time ago, but still use this technique when hackle hairs are crowding eye. FYI...

        S.C.I.

        Comment


        • #8
          Loon UV fly finish is da shiz

          Tie simple patterns that catch fish, especially starting out

          Learn to work with deer/elk hair, and get the right stuff for the job.....all hair is not created equal....nothing like cutting tightly spun hair with a razor blade....Oh so satisfying....and a nice comparadun or elk hair Caddis with proper proportions and proper looking wing is too

          For dries, start with simple cripple patterns

          If you want to tie parachutes get a parachute tying tool

          Less is more....for the most part tie sparse and work on proper proportions.

          Comment


          • #9
            Watch other tiers tie. It is early, but I see the expo will be back in Albany. I have been inspired by some of these folks. They say 200 tiers.
            https://nwexpo.com/wp/

            Comment


            • FinLuver
              FinLuver commented
              Editing a comment
              I'll be tyin' middle sessions both days...the steelhead fly that I posted in the "vise" thread...purple, blue, yellow... (see my avatar).

          • #10
            I'm ready to start tying my own flies (starting with nymphs) and was wondering if anyone had any opinions of classes? I'm in Portland so it looks like NW Flyfishing and The Portland Fly Shop have classes. Both are three days, 2 hours each and ~$100. I tend to be a more visual learner so am leaning this way to get going, then relying on Youtube after that. Opinions, I know everyone has 'em.

            Comment


            • pigs
              pigs commented
              Editing a comment
              I'd start with the class, then I'd look for a local FF club that actively ties and hook up with them......then videos, sbs', etc.

              Tying is just like fly fishing in that there's a steep learning curve at first, and you never stop learning.....it becomes almost as important as fishing, to me anyway.

            • mcswny
              mcswny commented
              Editing a comment
              Awesome! I think I'll go ahead and take the class

          • #11
            Don't put your scissors down. Lay out your materials before you start. Be careful drinking that beer while you have those scissors in your hand.
            Support the Deschutes River Alliance: Cooler, cleaner H2O for the lower Deschutes River

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          • #12
            For hair wings, especially Elk Hair caddis and the like, spin your bobbin counterclockwise to bind the thread fibers together. secure the hair with ~5 tight wraps (as tight as you can without breaking the thread) and then while maintaining tension, make another 5 wraps or so underneath the tag ends of the hair. Trim ends to taste, whip finish underneath the tag ends, and voila! Has never fallen apart on me and flares the wing to perfectly match fluttering caddis or stones.
            https://flyfishingwithdrdan.wordpress.com/

            Comment


            • #13
              Originally posted by PhilR View Post
              Be careful drinking that beer while you have those scissors in your hand.
              Yep. Fly proportions a bit harder to judge while wearing an eye patch.

              Comment


              • #14
                When working with marabou, keep a small container of water at your station and moisten the marabou with wet fingers before tying in, instead of putting the feathers in your mouth (you don't know where they've been): PTEWY!

                Never let out a big sigh at your tying station expressing either content or frustration. You'll turn your prepared feathers into flying ghosts.

                Get one of Mitch's Dubbing Whirlers. Wonderfully versatile tool!

                Bill
                http://caddisman.deviantart.com/gallery/

                Comment


                • #15
                  I feel that a good vice makes a difference. Try some out to see how they feel (how easy is it to work with materials close to the bend, the accessories need to be functional, angle and height adjustments need to be comfortable, and it needs to hold the hook well without scarring it). Good tools are good tools. If the vise is a source of frustration for the beginner the tyer (tier?) might quit.

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