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My 11 year old son wants to learn how to tie flies.What do we need to get started that wont cost an arm and a leg.I love fishing myself but i dont know anything about fly fishing.Somebody please help. :confused:
 

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I was going to suggest going to your local shop and getting a kit, but that isn't right. The kits are junk, and will just cause your son to get frustrated.

If you have a friend who ties flies have him "teach" your son to tie flies. (Most fly tiers LOVE to teach kids to tie.) Your friend may have an old vise and some tools that your son can borrow while he is figuring out if he really wants to tie. This is how I got started.

Then take your son to the local fly shop and have him buy materials for one fly he likes to use. Let him make up a bunch of those flies. The have him add flies and materials as he needs them. Building a material stash to tie a lot of different patterns can be VERY expensive. But if you start out slow and just get a material every now and then it doesn't seem so bad and after a while he'll be able to make a good selection of flies.

If you don't have any friends who tie, see if the local shop has a fly tying class. This has a higher up front cost than a kit, but your son will get started in the right direction. Then have the shop help you put together a basic kit with just enough materials to tie one kind of fly and go from there.
 

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Gaelforce
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Check into seeing if there is a local flyclub. That will definatlly get him going in the right direction, our club teaches kids all the time at no cost and will give honest advise about material and tools.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Hey Geoff...

The kits are junk, and will just cause your son to get frustrated.
I just love these blanket statments. While I agree that most kits might not be the greatest I don't think they all are junk. I put 20 together for a middle school fly fishing/tying class and I believe they serve it's purpose very well. I also believe having a junky fly tying kit is better then having no fly tying kit.

I started with a pair of hemostats stuck between the sections of the kitchen table and it doesn't seem to have effected me. Well maybe it has. :whoa:

Michelle I've sent you a private message.
 

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I started with a pair of hemostats stuck between the sections of the kitchen table and it doesn't seem to have effected me.
Oh come on MJC, I've seen those tarty and floozy looking flies you turn out. The only fish dumb enough to eat one of those would be a big ol' B-run. ;)
 

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Junkyard Spey
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The only fish dumb enough to eat one of those would be a big ol' B-run.
I can tell you for sure I haven't met any of those dumb fish lately.
 

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Too early

in the year to find one wandering around, but it won't be too long.
 

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Michelle.

I have a Thompson "A" vise in good condition that your son can have for free. I was a 11 year old once. :)

Click on my name logo and select "Send a private message to dloop" with your address and I'll send it to you.
 

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Michelle,

The very kind offer from DLoop is something you ought to jump on. The Thompson Model A fly tying vise is a very good one and one the vises I recommend to folks who are starting to tie flies. In fact, I tied on one for many years although I quit using the one I had some 25 years ago, which I gave away to a young man of 10 who lived down the street from me to help him get started tying-just like DLoop offered to help your son.

Instead of a tying kit, the best way to go is buy a good vise. The Thompson Model A and the Grifffin 1A and 2A are three good vises selling for less than $100.00. In fact, Griffin sells a fly tying tool kit that includes either their Model 1A or 2A vise, good scissors, a bodkin (needle in a handle), and bobbin (used to hold the thread spool) for well under $100.00. These are great values.

After you get a good vise (avoid the cheap imports from India or China they are false economy), good scissors (good ones can be had from Griffin or Gudebrod for under $10.00), a bobbin to hold the tying thread (S&M is one of my favorite bobbins-I own 24 of them-and they sell for about $7.00, but there are others on the market for $10.00-$14.00 that are also very good), and a bodkin (nothing more than a large needle with a handle and they sell for $2.50-$5.00) are the tools you need.

As far as materials, buy some hooks (Mustad are decent quality and not very expensive) to tie 2 or 3 simple flies that will work in your area in only one or two sizes. Get only the materials needed to tie those 2 or 3 simple flies. Other materials and hooks will be added as needed as he goes done the road of fly tying.

Our sponsors like MJC could easily put together a kit with the materials, hooks, and tools for a very reasonable cost. They could even provide a good fly tying instruction book or DVD to help his get a good start.

Simply flies like the woolly bugger, woolly worm, grey hackle, brown hackle, hare's ear nymph are what he should start with. Although some of these are no longer the "in" patterns to use, they are all very good fish catchers and your son will learn the basics of good tying technique from them. And the best part, he can change the colors to suit whatever his fancy is at the time.

If you have a fly shop in your area, look into getting him enrolled in a fly tying class, it will be money well spent because he will learn good technique from the beginning and make tying flies much easier. Likewise, if you know someone who is a good tyer, ask him if he would teach your son for the same reason.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Hey DLoop...

If you send that young man a vise I will send him the rest of the tools he needs and some materials to get him started on some Renegades, Brown Hackles, and Wooly Worms. I also will send an instruction book.

I also remember being a little kid and having a blast with the fly tying kit my Dad had. It was junk but we had a blast with it. I wished I had that little crappy pressed metal vise to put up with the rest of the fly fishing memorabilia from my childhood. There are a million dollars worth of memories in "that junk".
 

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`million dollars worth of memories'

wow,,you've touched me MJC,,i might have to drive up there,bring my dads `ford fenders' troll em' around somewhere and,,well,do you have worms,,angleworms, :tsk_tsk: ,hahaha,,i remember my dad ordered a `kit' out of one of my comic books,an add on the back page offered what?=hundred piece fishing tackle lets say,i can't remember exactly,for 50cents i believe,or 50 piece for fifty cents?,,,anyway,must have come from deepest darkest place on earth,we forgot about it after a couple months,well sure enough,a package came,had three rods,reels,lines,rubber frogs,bobbers,etc.etc.hahaha,and who knows what else,,crazy!,dad ordered the stuff just to call their bluff,guess what?,every kid in the neighborhood cought fish on something out of that `low end' tackle ,including one memorable steelhead trip where,the tackle versus the fish were fairly even:hihi: ,yes,it was junk but,you have to start a fire somehow,,,i think the lesson is=get out with the family and have some fun,memories DO last a lifetime,spending money isn't what it's all about,if your son wants to tie just gather what you can and let him tie,i DO remember a guy named mmmWullf i believe,he didn't need a vise and he did alright ;) ,so,,,,,kids like MJC,,,,,and me,,well,,think about it :eek:
 

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MJC said:
I just love these blanket statments. While I agree that most kits might not be the greatest I don't think they all are junk. I put 20 together for a middle school fly fishing/tying class and I believe they serve it's purpose very well. I also believe having a junky fly tying kit is better then having no fly tying kit.
I was refering to the cheap boxed kits that a lot of shops sell. Including places like Walmart. They usually contain a cheap vise from China or India. The ones flytyer recommends avoiding.

The last sentence in my post does say to have the shop put together a basic kit just like you do for your customers.

Don't forget to get some instruction. Preferably from someone who knows how to tie. If a teacher isn't avaialabe, "The Orvis Fly Tying Guide" is a pretty good introduction, and contains a good set of patterns. (Starts with instructions to tie a wooly worm and moves onto harder flies.)
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Hey Hammer...

i might have to drive up there,bring my dads `ford fenders' troll em' around somewhere and,,well,do you have worms,,angleworms, ,hahaha,,
Your "Ford Fenders" (they call them "jac-a-loyds" around here) will work just fine up on the lake. I've got some really cool old sets from the 50's. However if I was going to troll for trout I would use a 6' med action spin rod, with a single action fly reel loaded with 150' 18# braided copper wire, 15'-10# mono and an F7 perch scale "Flatfish". I still have some of these Flatfish with teeth marks all over them. :whoa:

As to the angleworms, we have them, but you'll have to do the digging :)

Speaking of fishing worms, when I was in my early twenties (a while back) I went into Dan Bailey's shop in Livingston, MT. to see that "wall of fame". As I was looking around I noted a refrigerator in the middle of the shop with a "worms for sale" sign on the door. At that time, I fished however I could catch fish including using worms, but here I was standing in one one of the greatest fly shops in the country and they were selling worms. :eek:
Dan Bailey came over and shook my hand and as we were talking I ask him why a famous fly shop would sell bait. He looked me right in the eye and said something to the effect of "those worms are for the kids, so they can learn how much fun it is to catch fish". I've never forgotten that.

Old Poppy is almost into his second childhood so don't be surprised if you see him out and about with a couple of those young-uns that always seem to be around here. They will be learning about the joy of catching fish. Hammer get that shovel.
 

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originally

that's why i `started' fishing again,to spend time with `the kids',and we did,instead of being a workaholic,i MADE time,in fact,much like my dad,we'd take every kid we could,all girls too :chuckle: ,and would go down and set em' up with bobbers /worms ,wife and had a blast interacting with these kids,i thought it was pretty cool to see an old spinning real `dad' bought me when i was 12 or so,in action on the Rogue again,in the hands of my child=wow!,now that sure took me home,,,guess i wanted `some of that',,innocence :confused: ,,,sometimes i wish i'd kept it that simple ;)
 

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.............Poppy and Hammer, don't really know you guys other than from here on the speypages, but I'd be willing to fish with you anywhere, anytime, anyplace. You've hit the nail on the head, you've caught the essence of fishing...at least for me....spending time on the water, feeling the tug of the current, the anticipation of the next cast, the laughter among friends...that's what it is all about for me.
 

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...........MJYP, there may have been 100's, or even 1000's of those little bugs, they never moved as long as the cabin temperature didn't get above 45 degrees. As for the girls at the ''GROCERY STORE''.....I was glad there was a place we could stock up with the necessities....
 

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baldmountain said:
I was refering to the cheap boxed kits that a lot of shops sell. Including places like Walmart. They usually contain a cheap vise from China or India. The ones flytyer recommends avoiding.

The last sentence in my post does say to have the shop put together a basic kit just like you do for your customers.

Don't forget to get some instruction. Preferably from someone who knows how to tie. If a teacher isn't avaialabe, "The Orvis Fly Tying Guide" is a pretty good introduction, and contains a good set of patterns. (Starts with instructions to tie a wooly worm and moves onto harder flies.)
Good thoughts all! Couldn't agree more a basic kit of GOOD fly materials/equipment needent break the bank ... but if you start with "cheap stuff" you'll alway know it, it will effect your thinking 'at the bench,' AND you will end up replacing 'it' with 'materials/equipment' you really wanted to begin with.

Time spent with a good tier in the beginning will pay huge dividends .. nothing 'frustrates' a yougster faster than fly's that look like 'crap.' They know! Learn to tie a few basic easy patterns, bit of fishing success and young fellow is off for a life time of credit card expendures. :roll:


Joan, bless her heart? :hihi: 'loggs' all expentitures into Quicken .. and sub-cat's ... (End of July) "Fred, do you have ANY idea how much money you've spent ALREADY THIS YEAR on fishing (gas is not included) 'gear?' " "No, says I ..." Fully knowing what's comming next. "Only $1,900?? Wow, I'm behind my normal spending curve. COOL! Saw this really great fly tieing book at Joe Howell's Blue Harron and it's only $100 bucks .. but best I've ever seen!! :eek: "

Off to the phone ....
 
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