Re: Beginner Fly Tying
I'll give some advise from what I've learned since I started tying about 4 years ago. Try to avoid most of the tying kits that are out there. I'm sure that there are some good ones, but my experience and the experience of some friends has been mostly bad. The best things to come out of the kits were the beginner books and the videos. I got a very nice Jack Dennis tying book and video with my kit. The tools were good enough to get the job done, but definitely had problems. The real problem was with the materials. I wouldn't consider anything I got with my kit useable today, except maybe a chunk of muskrat fur. The feathers were less than useless for pretty much anything, even wet flies.
My suggestion would be to go somewhere like LRO and enlist some help. Get a decent $100 or so vice. Get a good set of basic tools. Then pick out a very basic set of materials for tying a small selection of the most useful flies (Adams, yellow palmer, hare's ear, pheasant tail). Get good dry fly necks. I was more frustrated by poor dry fly hackle than anything with my kit. If you're on a budget, silver Whiting half necks are good. Essential Trout Flies by Dave Hughes is a great book for figuring out a "fly tying philosophy." This book will give you a good basic set of flies to catch trout any where, but there are any number of other good beginner books. Find a decent video or take a class as that will help fill in some holes that are difficult to learn from a book. Finally, start with an easy fly that will catch fish. I definitely recommend starting with a yellow palmer. It's basically a wooly worm dry fly. I have caught fish everywhere I've ever used it and it's only three materials plus thread. You learn how to tie on a tail, dub a body and wrap a hackle all on an easy fly. I'm addicted to fly tying now. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have,
"I ain't rich, But Lord I'm free" - Amarillo By Morning, George Strait