A Beginner's Guide to Fly Tying

June 8, 2018

Fly tying is the fisherman’s art form. The endless varieties of materials and patterns to create make this hobby one of the most unique in the fishing world. Whether you want to make simple patterns for a local panfish pond, or large technical patterns for an Alaskan adventure, everyone has to start somewhere. Though fly tying can seem very overwhelming at first, once you learn a few important tips and tricks not listed in the instructions, the once-overwhelming task will become an extremely fun and rewarding hobby!

In the fly tying market there are thousands of various tools, materials and supplies from a wide list of manufacturers. This can be very overwhelming for the beginner. To get everything you will need to make a variety of supplies, I would recommend the Wapsi Deluxe Fly Tying Starter Kit. This kit provides you with not only the necessary tools and materials to tie a variety of flies, but also a detailed instructional DVD that will aid you in creating your first masterpieces. Setting up the kit is fairly simple with the aid of the provided instructions. A solid table or workbench is an adequate location to tie flies. A desk lamp or fly tying lamp, such as the ProLite Dual LED Bench Light, will make seeing the intricacies of your flies much easier. Keeping the kit organized and within reach will ensure that you will be able to quickly and efficiently find what you need to tie a specific fly.

When expanding your fly selection with new patterns, the best way to learn is through the help of other more experienced tyers. Getting together with a few friends for a weekly or monthly fly tying night can be very rewarding. Not only do you fill your fly box, but you share techniques, materials, and fishing stories, all while enjoying the company. When it comes to learning new patterns or tying methods, there are few, if any, approaches more valuable and effective than tying with fishing buddies. Utilizing others’ resources has helped fly tyers of all skill levels build their skills to make quality flies, therefor catching more fish!

The most important advice that I can give about tying flies is do not get discouraged. At the beginning, your flies may not look the way you want them, but they WILL catch fish. The fish usually do not care if the feather you tied on is crooked or the thread has ragged ends. The thrill of catching a fish on a fly that you made is one of the best in the sport of fishing. Keeping patterns simple at first in order to master the process/technique, and utilizing all instructional resources will ensure that you will build your skills as a fly tyer for the future, and become a more successful angler.

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