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  1. #1
    Robert Draper Guest

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    I have had a few trips fly-fishing now and I would like to start tying my own flies. My question is, since I only want to tie a few patterns would I be better buying a vice, tools and specific materials rather than a beginners set?

    My fishing at the moment only requires Black Gnat, Black Spider, Grey Duster, Adams, PT Nymphs and GRHE Nymphs so I don't really want a lot of reservoir lure materials.

    Any thoughts, advice etc. (I have already located my local Fly-dressers guild but its miles away so I'll probably have to go it alone).

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    2

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    Hi Robert,
    this is a frequently asked question. Don't go anywhere near 'beginner kits' - they are on the whole, bad quality and full of bits you will never use. In ten years time you will still be wondering why they gave you 100metres of pink and yellow striped chenille.
    Buy a vice, and then buy the bits and pieces you need. This is the cheaper and better way to do it. You won't waste materials you have no use for.
    I have a spare vice somewhere which I can give you fairly cheaply.
    Drop me a line if you are interested.

    Regards

    Chris

  3. #3
    Robert Draper Guest

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    Thanks for the offer Chris, a vice landed on my desk this morning from someone at work with a note saying "use this, buy a better one, pass this on". I guess the vice is the bit you change first when you outgrow a beginners kit.

    I have decided to concentrate on the Black Gnats and Spiders for a start (I use these the most) and work up my repertoire from there. Of course this means I have an excuse to poke around in the fly materials bit of the tackle shop for hours on end now - luvverly!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    2

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    As you say a vice is a piece you will need to change at some point depending on the number of flies you plan to tie. If you only tie a dozen flies a fortnight any vice will suffice.
    If you are like me and tie commercially you need a vice which has all the bits and pieces and unfortunately costs an arm and a leg. However a good vice will last 50 years.

    Chris

  5. #5
    Ron Clay Guest

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    I have an old Veniard vice I bought ca 1962. My better vice, a Thompson "A", I purchased in 1972 and will outlive me 4 times over.

    At first stick to flies that are easy to tie like buzzers, black & peacocks, vivas etc. They are deadly fish catchers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    2

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    5% of flies catch 95% of fish. The rest catch fishermen.

  7. #7
    Ian Whittaker Guest

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    Chris, which ones are the 5% fishcatchers?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    2

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    The flies that I would class as the '5%' are the patterns which are suggestive rather than imitative and those which are drab in colour as opposed to bright. However, it is difficult to judge which flies are better because flies only appear better because more people fish certain patterns. If everyone was to fish with a red tagged mallard and claret this would become the best fly. Why? Because every one fishes it and it catches fish.
    If all flies were to be fished with the same I have no doubts of the results. Flies such as the Pheasant Tail Nymph and Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear will be the most productive. Pink sparkling lures will be the least succesful.

    The key to developing a fly is to suggest multiple food items (i.e PTN) rather than to imitate an exact species of fly.

    Hope this helps

    Chris

  9. #9
    Rasmus Keis Guest

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    Personally I think the point is, that 95% of the time hte fish will take any fly that somehow resembles food.
    A fish is an opportunistic eating machine, that has to invetigate the food by the mouth. If you compare a trout with a polar bear ask this question: would a polar bear confronted with a kangaroo not hunt and eat it? Of course it would - this is the same feature that also makes the trout opportunistic in its choice of food.
    So in most cases the best choice would be, that if the fish wont take a small dark fly, then go the other way around and present it with a big shiny one. This approach will be succesfull 95% of the time.
    The last 5% are the times, when the trout for some strange reason refuses to take anything we present it, but that is just what makes fishing exciting.

    The other aspect is of course the joy of fly tying, and the feeling of accomplisment we get, when we believe the fish has taken our fly because of our excellent skills at tying perfect imitations.

    happy tying, Rasmus, Denmark :-)

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