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Best Flies for Beginners: The Top 7

Best Flies for Beginners: The Top 7

Our Favorite Flies to Get You Started The Venerable Hare's Ear We recently did a list of 4 simple "getting started flies" and we were surprise by the number of positive responses from people who were just getting started tying. We realize a lot of our patterns here are very technical, so we've spent a lot of time recently getting back to basics. We've re-done several tutorials and have now completed our series of the 7 basic patterns every fly tyer should learn. These patterns will showcase different techniques, materials and tools to help round out your tying skills in order to move on to more complicated patterns and also help you build your own creative patterns or variations. Not only that, we've also compiled a few curated fly tying kits on our website that correspond to these patterns. So if you're really just starting out, we've got the materials, tools and vises to go along with these tutorials. You literally have no excuse to le

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Beginner Fly Tying: Easy Caddis Pupa

Beginner Fly Tying: Easy Caddis Pupa

Two materials for an effective pattern I have dabbled a lot in tying caddis pupae, and I have tied everything from super complicated to very simple.  This pattern was born on one of those mad dashes of tying the night before a trip and realizing that I didn't have many sub-surface caddis patterns in my box.  I whipped up some of the most basic patterns I could think of, and that involved a tungsten bead, a bit of dubbing, and a thread body.  They worked fine the next day, but I wanted to add an element to maybe make them more realistic.  I changed the body from thread to thin cut latex because the latex can add really good segmentation, and the results have been excellent.  All in all, this is a pattern that has just enough realism to go along with it's simplicity, and the fish like to vacuum them up. Check out the recipes under the video. Recipes: Green Hook: Daiichi 1120 #14-18 (+) Bead: Tungsten 2.8mm (+) Thread: Danville 70 - Black  (+) Body: Kile

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Beginner Fly Tying: X Caddis

Beginner Fly Tying: X Caddis

A simple and effective dry fly. Chances are that you have heard of the Elk Hair Caddis, because it's one of the most popular and effective dry flies on the planet.  The X Caddis is a very close relative of the Elk Hair Caddis, and it is probably just as effective.  Craig Matthews delevloped the pattern to represent an emerging caddis, but it can work as everything from an attractor to a mayfly.  Just change the colors and sizes to match your local insects. Check out the alternate recipes under the video. Recipes: Tan Hook: Daiichi 1180 #14 to 16  (+) Thread: Danville 70 - Black  (+) Shuck: Sparkle emerger yarn - Tan  (+) Body: Nature's Spirit fine natural dubbing - Callibaetis  (+) Wing: Nature's Spirit select cow elk hair - Natural  (+) Black Hook: Daiichi 1180 #14 to 16  (+) Thread: Danville 70 - Black  (+) Shuck: Sparkle emerger yarn - Black  (+) Body: Nature's Spirit fine natural dubbing - Black  (+) Wing: Nature's Spirit select co

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Beginner Fly Tying: Easy Pheasant Tail

Beginner Fly Tying: Easy Pheasant Tail

Simplify one of the most effective patterns in the world The pheasant tail is arguably the most popular nymph pattern in the world.  This being said, if you look in 5 different fly boxes, you will probably see 5 different variations of the bug.  Why? Because they ALL work.  This is basically a standard pheasant tail without a wingcase and legs...  It is another really basic, two material fly, that seems to work anywhere fish eat nymphs.   See the additional recipes under the video. Recipes: Original Hook: Daiichi 1180 #14-18 (+) Bead: 2.4mm tungsten - Gold  (+) Thread: Danville 70 - Black  (+) Tail/Body: Pheasant tail fibers - Natural  (+) Ribbing: UTC wire sm - Gold  (+) Thorax: Peacock herl - Natural  (+) Frenchie Variation Hook: Daiichi 1180 #14-18  (+) Bead: 2.4mm tungsten - Gold  (+) Thread: Danville 70 - Black  (+) Tail/Body: Pheasant tail fibers - Natural  (+) Ribbing: UTC wire sm - Copper  (+) Thorax: Peacock herl - Hot pink  (+) Black/Pu

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Beginner Fly Tying: Easy Hare's Ear

Beginner Fly Tying: Easy Hare's Ear

The Messier the Better The Hare's ear has been around for a log long time because it just plain catches fish.  I think that fish mostly eat it as a clinger mayfly nymph or a caddis pupa due to it's messy appearance and unique movement under the water.  I typically have some type of variation of a hare's ear in a size 8 all the way to about an 18, and yes, each of them has it's appropriate application.  This fly is originally designed to be tied almost completely our of the fur from a Hare's face, but due to all of the new materials that we have access to, the "hare's ear" is more of a concept than a fly tied from a certain part of a rabbit.  As you will see here, there are many different ways that you can make variations to this pattern...  have at it. Make sure to look at the alternate recipes under the video. Recipes: Natura l Hook: Daiichi 1180 #14-18 (+) Bead; 2.4mm Tungsten - Gold  (+) Thread: Danville 70 - Black  (+) Ta

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Beginner Fly Tying: Zebra Midge

Beginner Fly Tying: Zebra Midge

Simple and Effective The zebra midge is probably responsible for more fish caught in my first few years of fly fishing than any other pattern.  The great things about a zebra midge are that it is among the easiest flies to tie, and it can easily be modified to be tied in a wide range or colors and variations.  I think black is the most common color but I fish a lot of brown, olive, and red too.   Here's the video, but make sure to check out some of our alternate recipes below. Recipe: Black Hook: Daiichi 1120 #18 (+) Thread: Danville 70 - black   (+) Bead: Tungsten 2.4mm - gold   (+) Wire: UTC wire small - gold   (+) Dubbing: Ice dub - UV black (+) Olive Hook: Daiichi 1120 #18  (+) Thread: Danville 70 - olive  (+) Bead: Tungsten 2.4mm - copper  (+) Wire: UTC wire small - copper  (+) Dubbing: Ice dub - olive brown  (+) Brown Hook: Daiichi 1120 #18  (+) Thread: Danville 70 - brown  (+) Bead: Tungsten 2.4mm - copper  (+) Wire: UTC wire small -

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Cheech's Low Fat Minnow

Cheech's Low Fat Minnow

Them Minners work reaaaaaal good... Bluegill Low Fat Minnow The Low Fat Minnow isn't really much of a secret anymore, and it's been fished for everything from Tarpon to Trout.  It has gone through many different versions over the past two years, and I've dialed it in to maximize effectiveness and simplicity in tying.  Here is the original "write-up" about the Low Fat:  I love fishing for bass. Always have, always will. Largemouth bass are my favorite fish to chase by far, and up until about 5 years ago, I did it with a fly rod only. "Fly or die," was my mantra until I found my self living near, and having access to a private pond with an excellent population of healthy bucketmouth. This pond was covered by weeds most of the months out of the year, and I tried in vain to create the ultimate weedless fly, but I eventually came to the conclusion that I needed to get serious about gear fishing if I wanted to catch these fish. Long story s

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