Driftless Trout Anglers

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Trouts  
#11 Posted : Saturday, November 30, 2019 1:22:55 PM(UTC)
Trouts
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Joined: 1/23/2011(UTC)
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Location: Minneapolis

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I feel like my earlier post stating how Mike is an honest guy at Mend needs more detail and isn't giving him or the shop the credit they deserve. Here is one of several times I've watched him go above and beyond what I would expect a "normal" person to do.

I was in Mend one day buying a few tying supplies and someone came in looking for a specific rod they had noticed in the shop a few months earlier for their son's birthday present. It turns out that he had just sold the last one the day before and the next order of this rod would be in early next week in 3 days. He then asked when is your son's birthday? The person said his birthday is tomorrow and you could see the concern on his face he wasn't going to get the rod in time. Mike without any hesitation asked if they had a minute that he would call around and see if one of the other nearby shops had it in stock. Turns out one of them did and he started giving them directions to River Falls and had Lunds hold the rod for them until they arrived.

I hope this gives a little more detail when I say Mike is an honest guy. I don't think most businesses these days would take time out of a busy day to call a rival competitor and send money their way. Even if it was the right thing to do.
“If the trout are lost, smash the state. More than any other fish, trout are dependent upon the ambience in which they are caught… At the first signs of deterioration, this otherwise vigorous fish just politely quits, as if to say, ‘If that’s how you want it…’”
thanks 2 users thanked Trouts for this useful post.
weiliwen on 12/1/2019(UTC), hougie on 12/26/2019(UTC)
Sides  
#12 Posted : Sunday, December 1, 2019 2:50:55 AM(UTC)
Sides
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The best way to learn is with a class in a fly shop. They will teach you on local patterns you will need. They will give you a good foundation. You can also learn a lot off of you tube. I have been tying for around 35 years and still take a class from time to time. There is always a new technique to learn.
Also go to fly shows, it is common to have a lot of demonstration tiers and few masters. Fly shops close to the shows will sometimes have classes with the masters. I have taken some of those classes over the years and you can learn a lot about how to use different materials in those classes. The one that I took that was the most interesting was with Shane Stalcup, before he passed away. He just traveled with a few materials and tied some wonderful flies.
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hougie on 12/26/2019(UTC)
madguy30  
#13 Posted : Sunday, December 1, 2019 6:14:37 PM(UTC)
madguy30
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I recommend keeping it simple and using as few of materials as possible.

Fish eat things that simply look like food and you can save money and time keeping flies to one or two materials outside of thread and beads.

Also don't get caught up in the thread hype. One or two sizes/spools is enough.
MN Driftless  
#14 Posted : Monday, December 2, 2019 4:50:02 PM(UTC)
MN Driftless
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Do not EVER buy a fly tying "kit" as most of the crap in there is stuff you'll never use.

Midwest tying for newbies - start with something that has a lot of room for error (creativity) like woolly buggers. Then go to smaller stuff like PT's or midges. Midges are small, but simple to tie. PT's have the basic design as just about every nymph you'll ever tie. Dries - start with a caddis and go from there.

Youtube is easily the best place to learn if you aren't going to take a formal class. I will say that when I started in the early 90's, having someone there to watch/help you tie was invaluable.
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hougie on 12/26/2019(UTC)
William Schlafer  
#15 Posted : Friday, December 6, 2019 2:40:03 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Fly Fish Food put together a little video review of the best budget fly tying vises.



I can put in a vote too for the Renzetti Traveler. Mine's held up great and can tie everything from small to large hooks. If you look around a bit, you can sometimes find one on sale. But even at full price you will not be disappointed.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
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hougie on 12/26/2019(UTC)
TChriste  
#16 Posted : Sunday, December 15, 2019 5:45:24 PM(UTC)
TChriste
Rank: Midge

Joined: 8/21/2012(UTC)
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Location: Hudson, WI

Originally Posted by: William Schlafer Go to Quoted Post
Fly tying is a bit like jumping off the high dive at the pool. Once you commit, there's no going back. Smile

Start with a basic vise and the basic tools: needle point scissors, bodkin, whip finish tool and a ceramic thread bobbin. Don't spend a lot on tools or materials until you decide how far and how much you want to do with it. Some people end up tying a few flies to satisfy an itch, and others (like me) become hopeless life-long addicts, always chasing perfection and a better fly pattern.

Resist the urge to go out and buy up a bunch of expensive materials (like I did) that you may end up never using. You will never save money tying your own flies. Trust me on that. Buy only the materials you need to tie the fly patterns you're interested in. Quality materials are the best, especially with hackle and other feathers. But don't buy bulk until you're truly sure you will consume them all. It can get expensive in a hurry!

UserPostedImage
(credit: Eddie Rivard Fly Fishing )

As mentioned, Pink Squirrels, Hippie Stompers and Woolly Buggers are excellent patterns to begin tying. Coincidentally they're also some of the most productive patterns you'll use in the Driftless Area. Never tie just one fly at a time, tie up a bunch in succession. Strive for consistency and develop your technique. Your first attempts may not look that great. But with practice, you'll soon be tying higher quality flies than you can buy in the stores.

YouTube is an excellent place to find instructional videos for fly tying. I highly recommend Tim Flaglers Tighlines channel and Kelly Galloups TheSlideInn channel. Flaglers videos in particular are loaded with great tips and techniques. Galloup tends to want to story tell and drone on a bit, but if you watch his videos carefully you can learn a lot. Learning how to place materials on the hook and control your hands are the biggest challenges. It gets easier over time and with practice.

If there isn't a good fly shop in your area that carries fly tying materials, there are a number of good online sources such as Feather-Craft , The Fly Shack , and J Stockard .

Finally, find a quiet, comfortable place to tie your files, with good lighting and ergonomics. It will make your efforts much more fun. I have bad eyes, so I invested in a good Magnifier Lamp - one of the best things I've ever purchased. Really makes detailed work much easier!

Here's my bench setup. A bit over the top and a bit OCD - but that's the way I roll with most things. Having the laptop computer right on the bench is handy for referring to fly tying videos.
UserPostedImage

If you have pets or children around, be sure to secure your tools and materials. Cats in particular really love to rip up feather capes, and you really don't want a trip to the vet to extract a bunch of hooks.

If there's a TrapFest this January for the opener, I might just be there tying some flies for the kiddies again.
UserPostedImage


Catching Trout with flies that you've personally tied is a great thrill. It's also a fine way to wile away the cold winter months.

Good luck!
-Bill


Bill - thanks for the recommendation on the light. I ordered one and got it setup last night. It’s a massive improvement over the light from Cabela’s I’ve been using the last few years. Thanks again and Happy Holidays!
William Schlafer  
#17 Posted : Tuesday, December 17, 2019 2:10:52 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
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Location: Sussex Wisconsin

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Your welcome.

I love my mag light. I wish I had bought one years earlier.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
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