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Any fly fishermen here???
My oldest son (14) is really getting into fly fishing and has resorted to tying his own flys down in my shop. Problem is he is using “caveman” type technology (my carpentry tools), and I’d like to get him a fly tying “kit/package” of some sort that comes with a vice and all the NEEDED assortment of tools, not just a bunch of filler to make it seem like your getting a lot.
Can anyone recommend a good starter set for him? I’d hate to think I bought junk, and ruined his experience even more.
Looked at Bass Pro this afternoon, and quite honestly, the vices they have on display are not worth buying. Could be that everyone that goes there plays with the stuff, but they were all was worn out and extremely loose, not to mention with everything fully tightened, the vices still moved around and not tighten all the way. Just looking to spend our money wisely, so I figured I’d learn from someone who has been down this road. That’s why I’m asking.
the only thing I do from time to time is toss some poppers for Bluegills ... I dont tie and my casting abilities could be better ... cant help ..
Just to give an idea of where to start: vise ($30 version is fine), curved and straight scissors, bobbin (I prefer the shorter necked ones), whip finisher, a fly tying starter book with illustrations.
Used to tie hundreds of flies and build flyrods from blanks. Used to flyfish every weekend up on the Logan river when I was single and going to college.
Forgot hackle pliers as part of the list. A starter kit is probably the best way to go. With youtube today, many tutorials out there.
Best fly I have ever used in mountain streams is a "grizzly" Adams.
I used to tie my own and made streamers out of squirrel tail hair. Blue gills, crappie, herring, bass, white perch and pickerel were my main target. Don't fly fish anymore since I got rid of my small boat and canoe. I agree there is lots on information and videos on the internet.
A good vise and quality scissors are imperative in my opinion. I started with streamers first, then nymphs, and finally drys. I use everthing for materials, chicken feathers, dog hair, caribou hair, you name it. I bought a good pattern book too. Don't throw away your first attempts. A lot of time, a ratty looking fly catches fish better than a beautiful one. Your son is young, he will learn very quickly and you will never buy another fly within a month or so. My nephew learned from my brother and now makes all our flies. He blew by us like we were standing still.
I fly fish but I never got into tying flies.
I’m with Woods...Love fly fishing! Flying tying, not so much...
Got back into fly fishing a couple years ago with some friends from the Michigan Longbow Association. Took my grandfather's bamboo Montague Redwing (at least 80 years old) back to its home on the Au Sable in MI. Used some of his old flies. I got a nice setup from Cabela's as I don't want to risk damage to my grandfather's rods ( I have two that were custom made for him).
This year I have gotten into Japanese style of flyfishing...tenkara. I have a mini Teton that weighs less than 6 oz and have gone minimalist with my gear. Love it as I can carry my tenkara rod and gear in a small package in my car and have stopped and fished at many places as I drive. Being retired, I don't make plans (especially since the word "premediated" doesn't go well around a courtroom!), so ad hoc fly fishing has been a lot of fun. With the tenkara, I can easily fish from the bank...or take shoes off and wade in the shallows. My neighbor has a nice pond, but fears hooking his Koi, so I have been fishing with hookless flies. Who really gives a damn if one catches fish...it is the act that makes it what it is.
Headed to Jackson, WY in a few weeks and camping at the Gros Ventre campground...which conveniently has the Gros Ventre River flowing. Will be able to fish at least an hour before anyone else gets up. My daughter Carrie's BIL has just opened a fly fishing operation, so I should get some action on the Snake River and other places in the area.
Planning on getting back into fly tying this winter, but need to gear up.
There seems to be a synergistic connection between traditional archery and fly fishing. Just my humble opinion.
I knew I asked the correct group. I appreciate the replies. Nice to see you mention the MLA Jack, as I’m one of the Past Presidents. Couldn’t think of a better family organization to belong to. I also bought 3 Tenkara rods last fall, just haven’t had the time to get the boys and I out with them yet.
I have no doubt he will have a new hobby in no time. He is currently tying stuff up to catch bluegill, bass and crappie. Pretty impressed how he has taken to it. Saw me doing it in Yellowstone last year as he was using spinners and wanted to try fly fishing this year.
Once set up, I’m pretty confident I will be fully stocked with flies. Heck, when I got involved in making wood arrows, he was right there producing his own, along with his younger brother. I figure as long as I keep them busy, it keeps them out of the Bar. HA!!
I used to have a few tiers that I knew who I kept stocked up with deer tails, feathers and other animal parts. They in turn kept me stocked up with flies, jigs, etc. I guess that's what you call a "symbiotic relationship".
Mike...waiting for the Tenkara USA Zoom...ordered it through their Indigogo and was supposed to ship mid-June. Problems with factory, so doubt if I will have it before I go to WY. Have been using a mini-Teton which is really small...13" or so and less than 2 0z. Fished the AuSable with Steve Ladecieur and the MLA group that he put together with it this May. I ended up buying a mini-chest pack to minimalise my gear. Same with bowhunting...hunt mostly on my property, so I go out with a knife, flashlight, small fanny pack and my Shrew with one arrow. Missed the GLLI last year as we were in WY then, but will be home this year and will be there...with bows and tenkara!
Fly-fishing and fly/bass bug tying since the late 50's.
My Son, 13 and I just tried it this weekend for the first time and had a blast! This was his first keeper. I'm watching this post as well as he is interested in tying flies himself.
I would, but the filets are really small.
I found that fly tying is an art and I am not an artist. When I could tie a fly in an hour or buy one for about a dollar, I decided to spend the hour doing something I enjoyed more.
Thanks Jack for the info on tenkara. When my shoulder gets better I may have to give this a shot for steelhead.
My rod of choice is a GLoomis Trilogy 10'6" 5-6wt or a for steelhead 2nd wld be a 10' 7wt St Croix for chuck and duck, an original Scott G series 9' 4wt for river trout and a Lamiglass 3wt for creeks.
For ocean silvers I troll a fly on the surface with a Sage 8wt I also use Single action set ups on the downrigger.
Never got into tying flies, even back in hi school I would pay a classmate 25 cents for Wooly buggers.
Yes Jack, Steve is one of the good guys in this world. Yesterday afternoon, my son wanted to go try out a new fly he tied using one of the pheasant tails that he shot last year in SD. Sent me this picture shortly after getting there.
I tie flies semi professionally though not as many now as a few years ago. Vices can be expensive and there are tons of models. I still use the old Thompson A vice. Nothing against rotaries, just I never really gave them an honest work out. When buying a vise, securing the hook is its #1 purpose, rotation is secondary. Which ever you pick, please go for hook security foremost.
Secondly are scizzors. You should be able to find a decent pair for $10-15. Look closely at the tips and make sure they line up and the mating surfaces are uniform. These should be for your fine work ie feathers, thread, tinsel etc, Get a second pair, for hairs and heavier material. No need to spend $150 on scizzors. The stuff you are cutting is not that rugged.
Lastly the third most import is your bobbin. It is important that the throat be smoothe and free of burrs. Again stay away from the cheapies but no need for the expensive one either. $10 should get you in the game with a decent quality bobbin.
Other stuff nice to have but not necessary, waste troll that attaches to vice bobbin threader feather guage hair stacker thread wax (use bow string wax, cheaper and better) clear nail polish or head cement
For starting out, 6/0 Black thread stay with larger hooks and simple flies size 10-14 buy hackle in "100 Packs" grizzly, brown, dun, ginger fur dubbing in grey, hares ear, yellow, olive (green), tan peacock tail feathers (check yardsales and craft stores- much cheaper than flyshops)silver/gold tinsel (silver one side gold the other) mallard and or wood duck flank feathers deer hair patch
That should be able to get him started tying most flies. Pay attention to proportion and think sparse. Most beginners make flies too bulky. A lot of good books and videos out there. Davie Mcphail is extremely talented and has excellent videos of a lot of fly styles +++++.
not sure what happened there lets try this: Other stuff nice to have but not necessary, waste troll that attaches to vice bobbin threader feather guage hair stacker thread wax (use bow string wax, cheaper and better) clear nail polish or head cement
For starting out, 6/0 Black thread;
stay with larger hooks and simple flies size 10-14;
buy hackle in "100 Packs" grizzly, brown, dun, ginger;
fur dubbing in grey, hares ear, yellow, olive (green), tan;
peacock tail feathers (check yardsales and craft stores- much cheaper than flyshops);
silver/gold tinsel (silver one side gold the other);
mallard and or wood duck flank feathers;
deer hair patch .
WOW Not a good day
Other stuff nice to have but not necessary, waste troll that attaches to vice
thread wax (use bow string wax, cheaper and better)
clear nail polish or head cement
I fly fish very little, do not tie flies, too small and detailed work for my hands. The Tenkara is of interest to me also.
My Tenkara out of case.
My Tenkara out of case.
A couple of pics of my Tenkara minimalist setup. The first photo has a quarter for perspective. I've gotten to the point in my life that I just don't want to haul around a lot of "stuff" when I am doing something for the pure pleasure and enjoyment. I have used my Tenkara gear much more this past year than my more traditional gear.
I learned a lot about fishing from my grandfather. Caught my first fish with him on the AuSable. I can remember being about 5 or 6 and I was fishing with him with bait and he would cast the line in for me. The current would pull on the line and I'd tell him that I thought I had a fish. He'd tell me to set the hook and reel it in. Of course, no fish...and he would get me set up again. I learned what patience is from him...one of the greatest gifts one could ever receive.
When I had my grandfather's Redwing on the AuSable, I had one of those "oops...wish I could go back and redo" moments. Using his rod (figure he got it in the late 20's or early 30's), I had his fly folder and in it was one of my early attempts at fly tying that I had done with him at the cabin on the river. Lost that fly and I wish I still had it for the memories. Still...it was lost where it was born. And that, friends, is a good thing.
My wife certainly thinks I have issues.... Been chasing all sorts of species with the fly rods for 30 years, and in numerous different countries. Have been tying my own flies for just as long. Nothing like fooling a bonefish in Hawaii on a crab pattern I whipped up at my desk in mid winter in N Mi. Many great replies, and I echo most of them. A solid starter kit with a good vise is key to making it a life long passion. A guy can only fight a crappy vise with loose jaws for so long... Purchase a few good pattern books focused on what species are readily available to him to target. Once he has decided on the target fish species, have him pick out 4 or 5 flies from the book and then purchase the proper materials, hooks,thread, etc to tie those patterns. Proper amount of material per fly is crucial and it only happens through practice. A good vise, great scissors, bobbin threader, multiple bobbins with different thread colors, zap glue, etc. Once he dives in fully, purchase some drawer style storage bins from wally world for material storage. I tie at an old roll top desk, used to pull it down so my cats wouldn't mess with stuff. The north american fly fishing forum is a great website that covers everything fly fishing related. Would love to help him if he has any questions, just PM me.
Ah....the old South Bend Oreno-Matic fly reel! Weighs a ton.....but I used my dad's when I was starting out...still have it!
Speaking of of weighing a ton, I have a Fin Nor #2 reel that I still use on a 9 weight rod, that I originally set up for Bonefish and other salt water fish like Snook. I use it for Atlantic Salmon also. It is so heavy but I really like the incredible smoothness of the drag and the fact that I have had it for so long, I'm just accustomed to the weight.
I've been tying my own fresh and salt water flies for 30 years with a Renzetti Traveler vise. It's doubled in price since I bought mine, but it's still very reasonable at around $150. Your son will never need another vise. And once he's used a rotary, he'll never want to use a stationary vise. 3 of my fishing buddies started out with cheaper stationary vises. Now, they all have a Renzetti Traveler. I recommend both the C-clamp and pedestal type bases. I've used both depending on the type table I'm tying on.
Renzetti also makes perhaps the best line of scissors, bobbins, and hair stackers available, as well. Dr. Slick is another quality line of fly tying tools. If you buy right, you'll only buy once with most of this stuff.
Tying materials depends largely on what type of fly fishing your son will be doing. My snook, tarpon, and redfish box is completely different than my trout box. I recommend going to a local fly-fishing shop for materials, not Cabelas or Bass Pro. You'll usually get better quality materials and advise at a dedicated fly shop.
I hope this helps, and good luck.