Be warned, fly tying can be a very expensive, addicting, and time consuming hobby. That being said, there is no greater feeling than catching a fish on a fly you tied yourself. You will join the ranks of thousand of other fly tiers, and be welcomed with open arms and advice (too much advice, maybe) into a world of hooks and feathers. Here are a couple things to get you started, and a starter kit to make it easy!
1. Tying Vise
The backbone of fly tying. A solid vice is imperative to keep everything aligned and in place while you’re working on your fly. You can spend a lot of money on your vice, but if you’re just getting into it might be a good idea to keep it basic. Here’s a good one for $20
2. Bobbin and thread
The glue that holds every fly together is the thread. A basic bobbin will do, and it’s probably a good idea to get thread that matches the color of the fly you want to tie. This bobbin from Dr. Slick will do for $12. Pick out some thread colors here.
Normal scissors will work, but you’re much better off with these smaller ones designed specifically for fly tying. You’ll need to get up close to the fly and clip off those little tag ends and feathers. These guys will get you there for 12 bucks.
4. Hooks and bead heads
Hooks are the one thing that every fly has in common! It’s probably a good idea to get hooks in different sizes so you can target different fish at different times of year. You’ll need big hooks for streamers in the fall and small hooks for little dry flies and nymphs. The beads are for the streamers and the nymphs, or “wet flies”, which need additional weight to fish well underneath the surface. Here’s a variety pack of hooks from size #2-#16. Buy for $15
5. Whip finish tool
We’ve been doing this for a while and STILL struggle with the whip finish. To finish a fly and tie off the thread, this little device comes in handy. Buy now for $10
6. Tying Materials – Hackle feathers, dubbing, and marabou
Tying materials is a dangerous thing to get into. Many professional fly tiers say that collecting materials is the most addictive part of the pastime. To get started, we recommend you get a few basic materials for a few starter flies.
YouTube has had a monumental impact in the world of fly tying. While most fly tiers used to rely on DVDs and VHS tapes to learn different patterns, you can now access step by step directions on how to tie any fly online. Here are a few basic patterns that will get you started:
Olive Woolly Bugger
Scientific Anglers makes a great starter kit for just $43 that will get you twistin’ up some product in no time! Buy it here