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Trout fly tying materials - must haves

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16 replies to this topic

#1 flyty1


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Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:49 AM

I have been thinking about putting together a small "bare essentials"tying kit. The intent of this kit would be to have the most used / essential / versatile materials and tools for a specific species of fish. The list of materials could also serve as a list for a beginner's kit - to get the most out of their initial investment. For my purposes, I would target trout flies. Of course, I would choose a compact vise and vital tools. I am thinking of a very abbreviated list of materials that would be able to serve in many fly patterns. Stuff like pheasent tail, peacock herl, compact superfine dubbing assortment, small copper and lead wire, small size gold/silver tinsel, grizzly hen and rooster capes, natural brown hen back, brown rooster cape, white and pink parachute post material, stretch nylon in black, red, and green, short fiber deer hair, dry fly and wet fly hooks in sizes 12 through 16 with black and gold beads to match, black and white 6/0 thread with a couple of sharpies to change thread color, some sally hanson's, a good set of magnifyier glasses, and possibly a color assortment of squirrel tail or bucktail.

I am thinking with these materials, I should be able to cover most fishing flies. Are there other materials you would "not leave home without"?

#2 Piker20


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Posted 18 May 2017 - 10:38 AM

I'd argue some of the material you listed is too much for a bare essentials. If I was shipwrecked and had to catch fish to survive I would love to find a crate with a pheasant tail, copper wire (possibly in fine and medium) hooks in range of sizes, black thread 8/0, grizzly hackle, peacock eye,  Maybe a deer hair patch but probably not. I reckon I could catch anything I needed to on that. Dry or wet.

Matthew 25: 35-36 "Out of every 100 men, 10 shouldnt even be there, 80 are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior and he will bring the others back. "No man ever steps in the same river twice"   Heraclitus, 5 B.C

Based Scottish Highlands. UK

MUSTAD The wise anglers choice.

#3 Kimo


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Posted 18 May 2017 - 10:44 AM

I would work backwards.

 Pick the essential flies and then bring those materials. So top three for me.

Streamer - Wooly Bugger
Nymph - Pheasant Tail
Emerger - RS2
Dry - Parachute Adams.


#4 SilverCreek


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Posted 18 May 2017 - 01:30 PM

No marabou or chenille on your list for a wooly bugger = the most popular streamer. No deer hair for comparadun/sparkledun or EHC/X-caddis = some of the most popular dries.


I'm with Kimo. Get a list of flies and then work back to the materials. Otherwise you get some big holes in your material list.


Here are a few lists of "deadly dozen flies"













"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy


#5 mikechell


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Posted 18 May 2017 - 05:15 PM

I agree with those who say the list is too large.  But even with that, you missed one material I always take with me.  A couple of sheets of 2mm foam.  It's easy to work with, easily creating top water presentations without flotant.

Barbed hooks rule!
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#6 Poopdeck


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Posted 18 May 2017 - 06:14 PM

Good luck. No such thing as bare essentials tying kit for trout since pound for pound there are so many different flies for trout. I leave all my tying stuff at home every time I leave the house but I agree with tying kits by fly not by fish species.

#7 flyty1


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Posted 18 May 2017 - 08:10 PM

I guess I may not have explained what I am after here. I know it is easy to pick out a dozen patters and grab the appropriate materials; in fact many of the current beginner fly tying kits are geared this way.

I am asking to think backwards and compile a list of materials that are either the appropriate one for popular patteren or, can be used as a substitute.
Yes, I left out chenille and maribou for wooly buggers - but, I could dub a body and use the "fluff" from the base of a hackle for the tail.

#8 whatfly


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Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:10 PM

Having gone through a similar process, my "bare minimum" travelling kit has been pared down so far that it only requires a 10 gallon Rubbermaid container to carry around...just the essentials mind you.  When I'm travelling heavy, I tend to favor a 18 gallon Roughneck instead.  Somehow I still always manage to leave something at home, thus requiring unfortunate visits to local fly shops when on the road.

#9 Dave G.

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 11:37 AM

I hate visiting fly shops when away from home unless planned that way. It tends to cut down on my ice cream cone money.. I refuse to start charging things in a fly shop and I only bring so much cash.

John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"

#10 jd1983


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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:40 PM

For a bare essential materials kit for trout, I would tend towards Piker's list. Give me 1x or 2x hooks from 10 - 20, pheasant tails, peacock eyes, copper wire, appropriate sized brass beads, red thread, and throw in a partridge skin. That covers what I'd need to tie flies to catch trout just about anywhere.

#11 utyer


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Posted 19 May 2017 - 04:48 PM



:FishChow.jpg]For stocked trout, you need only one fly:  Its tied on a standard shank size 14 hook, with brown thread, and varigated chenille. The materials, will fit in a small Tick Tac dispenser, and you can tie this one in hand. 


Even my hatch matching kit is pretty small, it fits in a 4 by 4 by 1" container:  It has everything I find to by essential for matching most any common trout food.  I can provide information on the full set of materials, just send me a PM.

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#12 Lightline



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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:21 PM

Hooks, thread, a grizz hackle, and a box of CDC.  With that, I can tie duns and emergers to match nearly any hatch.  Really effective flies that I use much of the time anyway.  Beetles and ants too.  

#13 gunpowderleader


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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:41 PM

A hares mask in my opinion is more useful that a dubbing kit. A dozen plus separate colors and various textures to work with. Works great with dries as well as nymphs and wets.

#14 DrLogik


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Posted 20 May 2017 - 02:58 PM

Here is my short list:


Pearsall's Orange 6b silk thread

Genuine Chadwick's 477 yarn

Urine stained/burned female fox fur

Genuine "Tups" wool

Pharmacist Formula head cement


Of course I'm kidding.  



On  the serious side, your list is pretty darn good.  I wouldn't change much except add a Starling skin and a bag of grouse feathers.  I think you'd have all the angles covered.

#15 zip


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Posted 20 May 2017 - 03:31 PM

The only trout waters I hit are at home in the Smokies.I always have:
-Pale yellow thread
-size 18-28 dry fly and scud hooks
-1/4 neck pale morning
-1/4 neck grizzly
-1/4 neck Dunn
-beaver dubbing in Dunn and pale morning dunn
-Peacock herl

I know I can catch any trout (brook,bow or brown) anytime of the year with any of these materials.
"They say you forget your troubles on a trout stream, but that's not quite it. What happens is that you begin to see where your troubles fit into the grand scheme of things, and suddenly they're just not such a big deal anymore."
John Gierach
Sgt.Steve Bell USMC/Ret
Once a Marine,Always a Marine-Semper Fidelis