Best Instructions

Anything fly tying...
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Best Instructions

Post by Allan »

Early next year my T.U. chapter will once again be teaching a fly tying class. I am one of the instructors. I figured I'd go through my tying books so, if I was asked by one of the students, I'd be able to make a specific recommendation. Which of the 'basic instructional' fly tying books would you guys recommend?


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Re: Best Instructions

Post by narcodog »

Benchside Reference, would be one of my choices.

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Re: Best Instructions

Post by BrownBear »

I taught myself back in the early 60's using a variety of books, but Helen Shaw's "Fly Tying" is the one that really pulled it together for me. Still have a soft spot for it's clear photos and concise instructions, dated as some of them may be.

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Re: Best Instructions

Post by Eperous »

I tend to agree with Bob that the Benchside Reference is a very nice reference I keep on my bench fulltime, BUT I think it's a bit pricy and more of an encyclopedia than teaching guide... as the name implies, it's a reference... not sure its target audience is the beginner tyer...

That said, I agree more with BrownBear that Shaw's book, or something by Dick Talleur would be a better choice... these are probably cheaper... what I like about several of Talleur's books is they show pictures on how to tie various flies, all the steps... for a beginner tyer, I believe repetition is very important in learning various tying techniques... hence, my suggestion--- for what it's worth--- would be a "Talleur-like" tying book: cheaper, loads of photos on specific flies and techniques...

Also, you might consider a DVD... I wish these existed when I learned how to tie, back in the stone ages... :roll: :lol: :lol:


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Re: Best Instructions

Post by Bud »


Narco may have meant The Benchside Introduction to Fly Tying, by Ted Leeson and Jim Schollmeyer--their Fly Tier's Benchside Reference is pretty overwhelming for a beginner.

The Benchside Introduction to Fly Tying is spiralbound and split in half lengthwise, so that newbies can have in front of them at the same time both the step-by-step pages for tying a particular pattern and the pages that explain the techniques used to tie that pattern. It's probably the gold standard for introductory fly-tying books.

I was just sent a review copy of the Step-by-Step Beginner Fly Tying Manual and DVD, by Ryan Keyes (Tuscon; Non Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks, 2013). The author developed it to help with his work with Project Healing Waters. It's very basic in terms of technique, beginning with mounting the thread and going on through dubbing the thread and stacking hair, and the patterns it covers begin with the San Juan Worm and end with the Elk Hair Caddis. The DVD covers the tying of those patterns. The downside is that it's short (71 pages) and lists for$27.95. On the other hand, the Leeson and Schollmeyer lists for $45.00.

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Re: Best Instructions

Post by ewpeper »

Before replying, I looked at my bookshelves, which probably contain no less than four dozen books on tying, tying materials, or patterns that I've accumulated over 40+ years

My opinion is that a beginning tyer can't satisfactorily or easily learn much from a book. One-on-one lessons are best, small group lessons with your own vise and tools are next best. After a few lessons, the next best learning aid (again IMO) is probably step-by-step or video instruction on the internet. IMO, books only begin to have instructional value after the student has a grasp of the basics of thread tension control and material application.

Bottom line? I'd refer them to the internet before suggesting a book.

A mountain is a fact -- a trout is a moment of beauty known only to men who seek them.
Al McClane in his Introduction to The Practical Fly Fisherman . . . often erroneously attributed to Arnold Gingrich

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Re: Best Instructions

Post by Joe Fox »

Charlie Craven's Basic Fly Tying is a fantastic book for the beginner fly tier. It covers a full range of pattern types and has wonderful pictures for each step along the way. It retails for $39.95, but well worth it for the information it delivers.

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Re: Best Instructions

Post by Squaretail »

I would recommend any of the following as a good, basic instructional guide for a beginners class based on content and price point. I've taught a lot of people over the years and these books cover the basic techniques/fly styles, which you are teaching, and are very affordable on Amazon (which I'll give you starting price ranges on) for someone just starting out.

Orvis Guide to Beginning Fly Tying - Eric Leiser, $13.50
Fly Tying Made Clear and Simple - Skip Morris, $11
Orvis Fly Tying Guide - Tom Rosenbauer, $13
Concise Book of Fly Tying, Skip Morris, $4.60

They're all solid, easy to follow and will cover tying techniques for the basics like an Adams/Hendrickson, Elk Hair Caddis, Woolly Bugger, Hare's Ear, etc...

By the way, I learned from Helen Shaw's book and Art Flick's via my local library as a kid in the 70's so I have a soft spot there but these ones above I think are a bit more relevant today.
"A man may go fishing his entire life without realizing it is not necessarily the fish that he is after" - Thoreau

ted patlen
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Re: Best Instructions

Post by ted patlen »

there is also a book from great britain in which the basics are described in an simple easy to read manner and the photos are excellent but the feature i really like is that the author also shows pictures of the materials but very descriptive photos.

example shown from the card it came from....partridge is shown from the entire bird but also from what part of the bird and so on

the only thing is i do not remember the blasted name of the book only that is was published during the last 8 years or so.

so of the on line tyers are okay but some or not, i woudn't tell a newbie to look on line. nthing beats one on one or in a group setting with tyers of the same level...all the same questions ar answered.

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Re: Best Instructions

Post by catskilljohn »

ted patlen wrote: nothing beats one on one or in a group setting with tyers of the same level...all the same questions are answered.
Come on Ted, where have you tied where the tiers are on your level! Your in a class by yourself my man! :D

Ted's right, the fact that your going to be teaching them is the best learning they will get...if they need more, go for another lesson! CJ
"Gentlemen,remove your hats,this is it"
"This is where the trout was invented?"
"Oh he existed in a crude,primitive form in Waltons England"
"But this is where they painted spots on him and taught him to swim"

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