Interested in Fly Tying? Tips to Get Started!

There is nothing quite like landing your first trout on a pattern you tied. It's a special feeling that really bring the entire sport full circle and makes you feel more connected to the entire process. My first trout caught on a 'home tie' was a very (and I mean very) poorly tied Juju Baetis.

We know that getting started can be intimidating, we've been there! Millions of patterns and materials, expensive equipment and a whole new skill set like nothing you've ever done (most likely).

Here are our top tips to getting started without breaking the bank or getting overwhelmed:

1) Take a Free Local Tying Class

That may be challenging at the moment, but typically local fly shops and breweries will host free fly tying nights. They'll bring the equipment you need and teach you the basic techniques to get started. Figure out if it is something you'll enjoy or not at no cost!

2) Books & Learning

There are hundreds of fly tying books and online resources available. A quick google search will pull up 10 different videos for the same pattern. But if you want to learn to tie in a manner that helps you build upon different techniques and skill sets, dive in to a book.

I made this mistake... Started by just googling patterns I wanted to fish, not understanding the foundations of tying. It was two steps back and one step forward for a long time.

I finally purchased Charlie Craven's Basic Fly Tying and was blown away! How much time I had wasted by just trying to imitate videos when I could've developed a strong foundation of understanding from the start.

From there you can get more specifics books based on the types of flies you will be fishing.

Pat Dorsey's Tying & Fishing Tailwater Flies is one of our favorites as we're based in Colorado and fish tailwater constantly. There are tons of different books catered to dry flies, streamers, tailwater patterns, saltwater and much more.

As an added bonus, there's usually some great fishing tips in each one of these books from some of the top guides in the world.

3) Equipment- Budget Style

$50 Starter Kit

There are a a handful of items you'll need to get started including:

1) Tying Vise (this is what holds your hook while you tie)

2) Tying Tools (Thread Bobbin, Whip Finisher, Scissors, Threader, Hackle Pliers)

3) Tying Materials (hooks, beads, thread, wire, feathers, etc.)

4) LED Light

If you're still feeling the hobby out, go buy a cheap starter set for around $50. I used my starter vise until it finally broke from traveling every week. Skip the sets that include tying materials as these are cheap materials that will just cause frustration.