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IEatimagoJune 18th, 2007, 6:55 pm
Spring Mills, PA

Posts: 97
any recomendations of books or maybe classes around or near state college PA?
JADJune 19th, 2007, 6:06 am
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362

Living around State College is like looking for gold and being in Fort Knox .I think FFp would be a good start--- good group of guys lots of help their, when you see the guy that looks like Willy Nelson (Bob)go no farther. As far as books- Hatches 2 and LaFontaine Caddisflies Hard to beat IHOP.

A--- John ( Caddisman0

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cockís wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
JOHNWJune 19th, 2007, 5:48 pm
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
I'll second John's opinion on Fly Fishers for the classes. Once you have a little experience I would highly reccomend the Fly Tier's Benchside Reference by Leeson and Schollmeyer.
It is the BIBLE that lives on my tying desk.
Just my humble .02$
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
TroutnutJune 19th, 2007, 6:00 pm
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
Hatches II and Caddisflies are two of the best books on entomology that you'll find for anglers, but they're definnitely not "learn to tie" books. The Benchside Reference is ESSENTIAL once you get a bit more into it; it has almost every technique known to man, except for several of the ones in Gonzo's book, which is also very useful once you get a little more advanced.

For just starting out, I'm not sure what I'd recommend. Maybe 'Trout Flies' by Dave Hughes to learn some basic patterns, but that's still one little notch above the complete beginner, and it won't show you the basic skills, just step-by-step sequences for some easy patterns.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
WiflyfisherJune 19th, 2007, 6:12 pm

Posts: 663
Just to add my $.02 and not to date myself: -) There are also patterns you can tie that are fairly simple and will help you learn the basics while catching trout too! (Nothing like catching a trout on a fly you tied yourself!)

The type of patterns I am thinking of are like a March Brown Spider, which is a great little generic wet fly. This pattern is simple to tie and can help teach you the basics too. All you need for the March Brown Spider is grouse hackle, hare's ear dubbing with gold wire and a few strands of grouse hackle for a tail.

I would have to look back at some of my older books that use to give you step by step tying instructions.

Anyway, the point is to start simple and work your way up. A tying class would obviously be a great help too.
John S.
MartinlfJune 19th, 2007, 6:20 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Caddisman is absolutely right about Flyfisher's Paradise. They offer tying classes and I believe some general tying sessions in addition. Stop in, introduce yourself, and they'll help out. Tell 'em John Dunn and Louis Martin sent you.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Chris_3gJune 19th, 2007, 7:02 pm
Posts: 59I'm a novice fly-tier and have purchased a few books and have a website reference I used (and still use) a lot when I first started tying.

As Jason suggested, "Trout Flies" by Dave Hughes and "Fly-Fishing Pressured Water: Tying Tactics For Today's Trout" by Lloyd Gonzales are both excellent references (Jason - thanks for the suggestion on Lloyd's book). The former provides a number of practical recipes with step-by-step instructions and close to one hundred variations to match most any insect you might encounter on the water. The latter of the two provides some VERY realistic patterns - realistic enough to mistake for the finished products for the real thing. I'm not quite at the level I need to be to do the recipes justice, but even as a novice, I feel pretty confident about tying these flies in the near future.

One reference I swore by for a bit was "The Benchside Introduction to Fly Tying" by Leeson and Schollmeyer. I actually received both this book and "The Fly Tier's Benchside Reference" for Christmas, and both have served me well. "The Benchside Introduction to Fly Tying" is set up in a sort of "split-screen" fashion in that the recipes and some step-by-step instructions are on the top half of the book and detailed techniques are on the bottom half - most of the basic fly recipes and basic techniques are found in this book, and I feel that this one book will get you very far in your fly-tying "career." "The Fly Tier's Benchside Reference" is also an excellent reference, with every technique you could possibly imagine described VERY thoroughly, with excellent pictures. Something worth noting, however, is that "The Fly Tier's Benchside Reference" has NO fly recipes. I would certainly still purchase the book, but do not expect actual recipes.

Finally, a website I found very helpful was On the left hand side, click the "Fly Tying" link, and go from there. There is essentially a how-to on everything from materials to recipes - they have essentially set up an online course you can follow, starting with basic patterns and moving on to more advanced patterns. I've found it particularly helpful in case a picture didn't make sense in one of my other references. Anyway, sorry for the not-so-brief post, but hopefully this helps some. Good luck.


P.S. I know our TU chapter (Ithaca area) holds an annual fly-tying workshop in the winter, so that might be somewhere else you could look. Cornell also offers a fly-fishing class which includes fly-tying, so you might check with the college(s) in your area as well.
Shawnny3June 19th, 2007, 7:36 pm
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Everyone has given very good advice. I have only one additional question: Are you a PSU student or employee? If so, I know Penn State offers a number of courses in flyfishing and flytying, both for-credit classes and recreational extension classes. Something you might want to look into.

Also, there are a bunch of people on this board who I'm sure would love to go fishing with you and show you what they know.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
WiflyfisherJune 19th, 2007, 7:47 pm

Posts: 663
I am not sure this is available any more, but the book "Complete Book of Fly Tying" by Eric Leiser is excellent for beginners. I have purchased it for several beginners in the past and they loved it.
John S.
SofthackleJune 20th, 2007, 6:20 am
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Every single one of these books that have been suggested are great. I would suggest a very thorough, inexpensive, and well-illustrated book that is readily available and covers the subjects of fly tying very simply-everything from tools to recipes for a number of different flies. It's The Art Fly Tying by John van Vliet. It's available in hardcover for about $20. For anyone just learning it will definitely get one started. Later, other more advanced books can be added. I believe this book is available as a CD for about $25, and you can actually go through the tying process on your computer step by step.

Hope this helps,
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders:
JADJune 20th, 2007, 7:47 am
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
I just sent you a Pm with a link for fly tying 101 Video very basic. Google has a video link for just about everything.

This will get you started.


They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cockís wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
TroutnutJune 20th, 2007, 9:05 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2737
I just remembered that many fly tying kits come with little instruction books on how to tie the included flies. They usually cover the very, very basics. That's how I got started. Once you get comfortable with the basic techniques like whip finishing and pinch wraps, you can move up to Hughes' "Trout Flies". A little more practice and you'll be ready to take full advantage of the Benchside Reference and Gonzo's book.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
IEatimagoJune 29th, 2007, 6:39 pm
Spring Mills, PA

Posts: 97
thanks for all the info, this is a good start.

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