January 21, 2004
Fly fishing is more of an art than it is a sport, and one of the most rewarding experiences is catching fish on a fly you've created yourself. Fly tying is an art as well - one that takes patience and skill, although anyone can learn how to tie a fly with the right amount of practice and dedication. Fly tying is also a great way to create the right type of fly pattern for the right situation.
White River Fly Shops has developed a beginner's fly tying kit that includes everything you need to immediately start tying flies, such as:
With the instructional video "Handcrafting Effective Flies" featuring Mike Huffman and Lefty Kreh, you can learn how to tie common and effective flies, or start tying your own inventions. Here's a list of flies featured in the video:
I've been fishing since childhood, but only recently started fly fishing. I've never tried tying flies, but was excited to learn how. When I first opened the kit, I decided to start tying a few flies on my own. First, I had to find a place for the vise. The kitchen table worked fine, but I plan to build a workbench where I can keep everything in one location and avoid having to move everything during meals.
The vise itself features a clamp base that easily attaches to the edge of a table or workbench. 360 degree rotation of the vise body allows complete access to the hook and tying area. The adjustable jaw accommodates a wide range of hook sizes.
Needless to say my first few attempts weren't pretty. In fact, I'm embarassed to show them to my fishing buddies. That's when I decided to watch the instructional video. What a difference this made in my understanding of fly tying. With a run time of 1 hour, 30 minutes, the video covers everything from the proper use of tools, to the correct proportion and placement of material.
The Bottom LinePros:
With everything you need to get started tying flies, you can't go wrong with this kit. Even for inexperienced fly tyers such as myself, it's rewarding to see your creation go from a standard hook to a simple or complex fly pattern.
While you won't be seeing my flies at your local bait and tackle shop any time soon, I am pleased with the results. I'm beginning to find that it's a fun and relaxing way to spend the afternoon when I'm not fishing, and I'm sure you will too.
Now it's time for me to try my creations on the nearby McKenzie River in Oregon.