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Thread: Back in with both feet.

  1. #1
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    Default Back in with both feet.

    I tied flies about 15 years ago down in Calif, and loved it. However, I lost my stuff during a move a couple of years ago. So, tonight I ordered a Peak Rotary Vise. I'm more than a little jazzed.

    I had a TON of materials for tying. lol Now that I'm starting fresh, can y'all give me a list of the stuff most used up here? Living in the Fairbanks area, the local streams and lakes will be my first priority, later in the summer I'd really like to make it down south for some of the big boys.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Stuff for dries and nymphs for FBX
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  3. #3
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Pick a fly.

    If you asked 5 experienced fly fishermen/women in your area to pick 5 flies, you might end up with a list of 25 flies. But, I bet these would be high on that list:

    1. Parachute Adams
    2. Griffith's Gnat
    3. Prince Nymph
    4. Wooly Bugger (WB)
    5. Copper John

    I started by learning to tie WBs and still find they're the most versatile pattern in AK. You can tie 'em big and small, dull or bright, weighted or not, coneheads, dumbells, with maribou tails or rabbit strips, articulated, with or without eyes, fat or skinny.

    If I was buying materials all over again, I'd buy smaller packs of better quality feathers, hackle and maribou especially.

    Great idea. Great timing too.

  4. #4
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default I think you're asking for a materials list...

    Peacock hearl/ swords
    Pheasant Tail
    dubbing assortment
    grizzly dry fly hackle
    dun dry fly hackle
    brown dry fly hackle
    grizzly hen hackle
    don't forget the copper and lead wire, mylar tinsel
    ginger zonker strips (the salmon/ginger ones work pretty well too)
    black, purple, olive, brown, tan, and pink chenille and micro chenille
    same colors of saddle hackle or schlapen
    same colors of strung marabou
    nickle plated cone-heads, dumbell eyes (bead chain and lead)
    white, black, brown and olive goose biots
    calf tail
    z-lon or antron yarn
    flashabou

    This is not an exhaustive list, but it'll get you started.

    Tight Lines

  5. #5
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    Default Materials/Supplies

    Rather than hit the fly shops for materials and/or supplies, try craft stores, its normally a lot cheaper. Sometimes you find something that even works better.

  6. #6
    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Default

    Some good advice already, for sure. There's no doubt that the amount of fly tying material available these days can be a bit overwhelming. To some extent it depends on your tying skill and the amount of money you want to spend at one time.

    The list Scott put together is a great start, as that will really cover almost all your bases for interior dries, nymphs, and streamers. You could probably get by with less than that, but not by much. Once you get hooked again you’ll find plenty to keep expanding our arsenal.

    I would start by thinking of some absolute have to have patterns, and start building your supplies around that. The list 6X put together is arguably one of the best 5-fly selections you're going to see. (Personally, I would probably go with the prince over the copper john and add the muddler minnow at the #5 slot, but that's just me. )

    So what do you need to get started...
    thread, black, 6/0 or 8/0 will cover it all. add more colors as you see fit.

    wooly buggers...
    saddle hackle, either strung or an inexpensive cape (brown and black will cover brown, black, olive, peacock wooly buggers)
    chenille, brown, black, olive for a start
    strung marabou, same colors
    add purple to all of the above for the standard egg-sucking leech

    dries (adams, griffiths gnat)
    peacock, strung, get the big package, it'll last you forever
    muskrat for dubbing, know any trappers?
    dry fly hackle - grizzly and brown will cover your bases for a long time. don't skimp on good dry fly hackle. if you get to where you plan on tying a lot, get a good saddle or cape (depending on if you tie a lot of different sizes or stick to one range). if you don't feel like dropping $50, $70, $100 on hackle, go with the "100 fly" packs of whiting hackle or something similar.
    scrounge up some moose hair (local taxidermist... taxidermists are great to know if you ty flies, neighbor, yourself) and add mosquitoes to your repertoire

    nymphs…
    you’ve already got peacock herls now, so-
    gold wire, fine/small (ribbing on prince nymph)
    copper wire, fine-medium (copper john, depending on the size)
    brown and white goose biots – prince nymphs are killer
    I like beads… tungsten is expensive, but has it’s place when weight really matters. Gold/brass will work as well. Beadhead wooly buggers are dynamite as well. Here’s a rough guide to what size beads work best with most hooks (depends some on manufacturer and hook style, of course).
    Bead (inches)--------Bead (mm)---------Hook size
    N/A ------------------------1.5-------------------20-22
    5/64------------------------2.0-------------------18-20
    3/32------------------------2.3-------------------16-18
    1/8-------------------------3.2-------------------12-14
    5/32------------------------4.0--------------------8-10
    3/16------------------------4.8--------------------4-6
    7/32------------------------5.5--------------------2-4

    You can make do with brown saddle hackle for legs, or add some partridge to your list. Better yet, go shoot a ruffed grouse and you’re set. A sharpie would be all right as well.

    Get a pack of the standard pearl flashabou. Add a few strands to your wooly buggers. Use a few strands for the back of a copper john nymph. You can pick up some thin skin, or just cut up a mid-/heavy-weight plastic bag.

    Keep adding as you want to expand your fly selection.
    Calf tail (posts for parachutes, wings)
    Peacock swords (tail for zugbug)
    Pheasant tail (pheasant tail nymph)
    Rabbit/zonker strips (flesh flies, zonkers, sculpin… really a whole world of flies)
    More dubbing (natural and synthetic)
    Turkey feathers (wing cases, wings)
    And so forth…

    I really recommend avoiding the ready made kits. Some have decent material- I’ve yet to see one that has great materials. It might cost a little more, but you’ll be better off assembling your own selection of materials so that you can pick exactly the quality you want. 6X’s comment on buying less of better quality is right on… in the end you’ll get your money’s worth and more so.

    ebay is awesome for adding to your material stockpile, but it’s better for things like flash, dubbing, chenille, some feathers and hairs, but you usually won’t know how good the quality is. I’d be skeptical to invest a lot on hackle, for instance. But I’ve found some great deals there.

    As mentioned, craft stores often offer more or less the same material at a steal.

    If you hunt, that’s a bonus. If not… it’s Alaska, find someone who does and you’ll be able to add a lot of materials over the year. Get whatever you can… eventually you’ll find a use for it.

    Go through the tutorials on this site.
    http://www.charliesflyboxinc.com/flybox/index.cfm

    Have fun!
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys!!!
    I was thinking more along the lines of a supplies list (hitting the fly tying thing at Sportsmans Friday night with my son to see if I can get him hooked), but the list of flies is AWESOME too.

    Thanks again. Geeze, i'm gonna be busy! :-)

    steve

  8. #8
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Default

    I am kind of in the same boat, but am focused on salmon flies. I became tired of reading about the sizes of flys for various patterns and then not finding those in the stores.

    My old child hood kit vise reminded me of why I struggled to learn how to tie 30 years ago. It couldn't clamp any hook over 8, and even then it slipped open half the time.

    I found an Anvil Apex for $78 and really like this vise. (flyfishing discounters)

    Made the mistake of buying a cheap red/pink ceramic bobbin along with the vise. If I had wanted my thread cut that often I would use scissors. I will stick to the simple steel tube bobbin.

    After tying up just a hand full of mercer style sockeyes and super sparses I can already see an improvement in my skills. The hackles on the commet came out really well.

    I will have to make some olive WB in small sizes for pond trout this summer.

  9. #9
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    LOL. Funny on the bobbin AK Ray. My first one 20 years ago (I think) did the same.

    I ordered my vise from Flyfishing discounters too... should be here next week.
    Took my son to Sportsmans tonight - they were supposed to have a fly tying demonstration, but it wasn't happening. They did have a 10% off sale on everything though, so we picked up a few things and got the boy a Griffin vise that was on sale. :-) If i'm gonna pull my hair out, he might as well too. lol

  10. #10
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Ceramic Bobbins

    I'm not sure where you got your ceramic bobbin, but don't take that as the rule on bobbins. Steel is fine, and I use steel bobbins for larger diameter thread, but if you tie many flies, the steel will eventually groove and will cut your thread. Most often, in IMHO, ceramic bobbins are more reliable and last longer than steel. For 6/0 and smaller thread diameters, I now don't use anything but ceramic bobbins.

    Just my .02.

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