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Materials list for beginners?

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I've been tying flys for many years now, and like many others I have

found that most of my tying materials are totally useless for tying

Salmon flys! I have Radencich and Alcott's books,and have spent many

hours on this forum going thru the older posts.


One problem for beginners is what materials to buy and what not to buy.

To buy all thats available a person might have to auction off a body

part or two just to pay for it! And if the other half finds out how much

you spent you might lose a few important body parts!


If you search "materials" on this board you get 24 pages,most of which

don't deal with materials. So I had the though that someone could make

a beginners list. A list with the bare minimum of what a person has to

have. There are posts here that offer hints of what you might need but

you really have to look. A person will run into alot of interesting and

helpfull posts while searching, so going over old posts is a good idea

for everyone. I thought it might be good to make a "You will need

these materials list" Hopefully this list should cover most of the

beginner type flys that people should start on. Anyway I thoght this

might be a good topic for a sticky post.






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the list alone could be 24 pages, and you WOULD have to sell a kidney or something.....if someone were to ask me, i tell them to pick a fly, buy the material for that particular fly, tie it....then pick another fly, so on and so on......

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Dave Carne has done this several times on the site. I found one of them and have pasted it here. Just to be clear; this is entirely to Dave's credit, not mine.


I actually managed to find the relevant bit - obviously it's tailored to classics (creative materials being of course whatever yoiu crave to strap on a hook).


The list is long and obviously depends on what you want to tie, take it in steps and get the basic materials for some simple flies FIRST and DO use substitutes (like speckled turkey in place of bustard for instance) whilst you're learning:


All sorts of flosses (Uni Rayon is cheap and as good as any), hackles and seal fur (you can use seal or SLF in place of all other dubbings like mohair, wool and pigs wool if you want). Basic colours you'll need are: Hot Orange, Light Yellow, Golden Yellow, Light Powder Blue, Dark Blue, Red, Claret, Black, Green, Fiery Brown (fur only) and Golden Olive, plus in hackles Grizzle, Coch-y-Bonddu and Badger.


Tinsels: Oval Gold and Silver in Very Fine, Medium and Broad, Flat Gold and Silver in Fine, Medium and Broad, Medium and Broad in Satin Embossed (you can dispense either with the flat or the embossed and use one or the other exclusively), then Lace Twist (a rope made of oval - you can make this yourself or just use wide oval instead).


Herl: FINE black ostrich and peacock, plus red and black wool


Fancy Feathers: Golden Pheasant Tippets, Crests, a Golden Pheasant Skin (cheap and the best way to get the red and yellow body feathers you'll need), a Kingfisher Skin, Indian Crow Sub (any old brilliant red-orange hen hackle tip will do), Blue and Yellow Macaw Tail (can be bought cheap in 1" sections). Finally Jungle Cock.


Fancy Tails: Golden Pheasant Centre Tail, Amherst the same


Turkey Tail (goose can be used too but is harder to work with): White Dyed: Orange, Yellow, Blue, Red, Green and Claret.


Natural Turkey Tail: Dark Mottled, Light Speckled, Grey Speckled, White Tipped, Cinammon


In addition: Peacock Speckled Wing feathers, Guinea Fowl Hackles and Wing or Tail feathers (buy a skin, http://cgi.ebay.com/1-X-WHOLE-GUINEA-FOWL-...6QQcmdZViewItem at less than $5 this is by far the cheapest anywhere) also light blue dyed guinea hackles as a sub. for Jay.


Duck feathers: Bronze Mallard, Barred Wood Duck, Teal for hackles, Teal (or better pintail or widgeon) for shoulders.


Hooks: I'd suggest you start at about 3/0 as the materials are easier to get and cheaper and it teaches tying discipline (which will mean you do learn quicker and better in the long run) to work at this size (in actuality original salmon flies were rarely bigger than this), get blind eyed and add 'gut' - 2 or 3 strands of twisted nylon makes a good substitute (warmed up in the oven under tension to 'set' the twist) - however you can get old gut casts cheapo off ebay - all you have to do is soak them, loop them over a hook and twist them and dry them (I use an old hnad drill) under tension (though you will need to soak the section you're tying on in your mouth to soften it otherwise it will crack when you put it on).


The above list covers about 3/4 of all Salmon flies.


Materials: Contact John McLain, feathersmc.com (a fantastic site all round and John is a diamond) before anyone else - kensawada.com and flytyingdk.com and people like Creekside are useful too


As the boy Inman mentioned, try to get to watch an expert - it's amazing how much you pick up even in a few minutes. Michael Radencich's book 'Tying The Classic Salmon Fly' is absolutely essential reading and is easilly the best book on the subject (you can get it pretty cheap if you hunt around on the net).


Useful sites:


www.jpdessaigne.com/Lesmouchessaumon/Mouchessaumon_sommaire.htm (there's some good tutorials on here)

ronnlucassr.com (again great tutorials from that fine gent Mr Ronn Lucas)




www.bas4sure.com (stacks of Marvin Nolte flies on here)


The pinned features on the forum also have loads of useful stuff too and you can get pretty much any question/query/problem answered by one of us lot.


Er that's it - DON'T be too daunted by the above, if you're a regular trout lure, wet or streamer dresser you'll have a fair amount of the above materials already and I'm sure you can scrounge a fair amount off us lot. You WILL need to practice A LOT, don't launch straight into something like a Jock Scott coz you'll simply give up, though I DO always recommend you tie specific patterns rather than inventing them when you first start.






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...Er like I said :D


Depends on what you're tying - bare minmum is a VERY VERY vague statement - if you only want to tie one or two simple flies you could narrow it down to half a dozen materials (and wht do you currently have?) - if you want to be able to tie most then you'll need A LOT (like crates and crates full - like many of us have) - and it's not so much the paying for them as the finding of them - any regular tyer will tell you that getting a regular supply of decent turkey is nie-on impossible - we ALL spend much of our time hunting down decent stuff - though as ever I would hasten to add that Don McLain (feathersmc.com) is Capo di tutti Capo of materials suppliers.


Welcome aboard - you'll find out more on here about tying techniques for these flies than anyhere.

Drop me an PM with your address and I'll send you some info (you'll need to be able to accept up to 8mB).




PS I notice the above is the early crude list - there is a refined one I'll send you - this list is missing Bustard and Florican - which can be subed if necessary - see John's site re-florican and use speckled turkey to sub bustard (though it's fairly easy to get in the States through John - because of his fabulous non-profit work with the breedng programme - I'd urge you to sub it whilst you're starting as the feather is too precious to waste).

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I should have mentioned that I already have Dave's post printed out.

One reason I was looking for a list is that I'm making a order pretty soon

and don't want to forget anything.





Thanks for the input guys!


I sent a Pm with my address.(Dave)


Thanks again

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I remember Dave's post :D I asked the same questions you did. You will get lots of help. Have fun with it!

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What are your tying experiences? Meaning, what have you been tying before now. IF you have been tying steelhead flies, you are 1 step closer. But if you are like me and just started out with no experience at all, go to ronns site. Yea know what. there should be something that the first time you click on the on the clasic and artistic salmon forum, that brings you right to ronns tut. page, and johns material page :)

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