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My first two flys EVER! Critiques????

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Hi Everyone,


I am DAMN excited about tying my first two flys (flies ? Spelling)........


Anyhow here are the very first ones I have done and I would LOVE some critiques!


The pattern is a Zebra Midge from a manual the Healing Waters folks loaned me. I also looked at a couple of you tube videos as well.


I practiced attaching thread, half hitches, and whip finishes for hours and was confident enough to go on.


I ONLY have an assortment pack from Hook And Hackle and some smaller hooks I got from SkipJack so I tried to match the hooks as closely as I could before having a mentor let me know what works here in Colorado.


So here are the pics....be honest!!!! I can take it!!!!


This was my first fly!!!! Keeping it for my God Children... smile.png




This is it on my cutting mat.....




Here was my second attempt....this was done on a Scud/Emerger Hook Size 18 SE7 from Wapsi.....





Finally here is the room I cleared out to tie flys and building my rods....in the back of the room I have a cabinet that keeps my homemade rod wrapping Jig and supplies.





Look forward to all your criticisms and advice!


One thing I can say....PRACTICING is a great way to start out. I couldn't get down the whip finish from books but after watching some videos and cutting off TONS of thread (don't ask) I can do it fairly well now! Had the folks at Healing Waters told me to just jump in and tie I would have been VERY frustrated trying to finish these off. Practice, for me, made me feel very comfortable after doing all my thread wrapping....




Mike smile.png





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Looks great to me, you clearly are paying attention to detail and are a quicker learner.


If I may suggest a book Charlie Cravens Basic Fly Tying is a great book for those getting into tying, he starts with similar patterns such as the Zebra midge you have tied and with each fly adds techniques and different materials. He also has great diagrams showing proportions and the intro goes over all sorts of terminology, tools and materials.


Keep on tying and more importantly get out and catch fish with those bad boys!

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Thanks for the input folks!


I am trying to make sure that I try to keep the proportions correct. I still need to figure out what hook types/sizes we use here in the local waters but that will come in some time!


Appreciate your candor!!!

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Excellent work. The zebra midge is a great fly to practice on, and it's really effective as well. May I second Charlie Craven's Basic Fly Tying book too... It's the best book out there for a new tyer. HANDS DOWN

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Thanks everyone! It is hard for me to grasp the size and types of hooks for trout! The second (smaller one) I pictured is a size #18 and I simply cannot fathom a trout wanting to eat that! However, I know that the insects in the streams around here are quite small.


I really enjoyed tying these two flies...one reason is that it allowed me to tie a simple fly that has some elements that will apply to other flies such as: dubbing, wire wrapping, and of course whip finishing.


I did not put any head cement on the flies but a friend said that if I wanted to do so a fingernail polish called "Sally Hard as Nails" works well. My wife and I will probably get some today.


Project Healing Waters Denver is doing a fund raiser tonight just south of Denver for the Fly Fishing Film Tour and my wife and I are going to attend. It should be a bunch of fun and I get to meet some more of the members in the organization here. Everyone is incredibly nice and helpful in PHW!!!

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You have done a fine job with these. Good proportions, and good spacing on the ribbing. As to the sizes, BOTH will be taken by trout, but in different places. The midges are the largest order of aquatic insects. There are about 20,000 midge species in North America. They vary in size from the giant Crane-flies, down to as small as you want to tie.


The Chironomidae (the none biting midges,) will be larger for the most part, and found in still water. Smaller midges will be much more prevalent in moving waters. A size 16, is a good division between these two types, but that is not a hard and fast rule. Size 10, 12, and 12 chironimid patterns would work quite well in most of the lakes in the west. The size 18 to 24 would be all good for stream and rivers.


The midges are the first insects hatching every spring, and the last to hatch in the fall. In most places, there will be midge hatches all summer, but these will occur very late in the day. I often fish the hatching midges on my walk back to the starting point and the end of the day, and usually don't get back until after dark.


Tie them as small as you can, trout will indeed take them.

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