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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

IEatimago
Spring Mills, PA

Posts: 97
IEatimago on Jun 18, 2007June 18th, 2007, 2:55 pm EDT
any recomendations of books or maybe classes around or near state college PA?
JAD
JAD's profile picture
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
JAD on Jun 19, 2007June 19th, 2007, 2:06 am EDT


Living around State College is like looking for gold and being in Fort Knox .I think FFp would be a good start---http://www.flyfishersparadise.com/ 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 cock’s wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
JOHNW
JOHNW's profile picture
Chambersburg, PA

Posts: 452
JOHNW on Jun 19, 2007June 19th, 2007, 1:48 pm EDT
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$
JW
"old habits are hard to kill once you have gray in your beard" -Old Red Barn
Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jun 19, 2007June 19th, 2007, 2:00 pm EDT
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
Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Jun 19, 2007June 19th, 2007, 2:12 pm EDT
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.
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jun 19, 2007June 19th, 2007, 2:20 pm EDT
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_3g
Posts: 59
Chris_3g on Jun 19, 2007June 19th, 2007, 3:02 pm EDT
I'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 www.flyanglersonline.com. 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.

Chris.

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.
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jun 19, 2007June 19th, 2007, 3:36 pm EDT
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.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Wiflyfisher
Wiflyfisher's profile picture
Wisconsin

Posts: 622
Wiflyfisher on Jun 19, 2007June 19th, 2007, 3:47 pm EDT
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.
Softhackle
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Jun 20, 2007June 20th, 2007, 2:20 am EDT
IEatimago,
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,
Mark
"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: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
JAD
JAD's profile picture
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
JAD on Jun 20, 2007June 20th, 2007, 3:47 am EDT
Imago
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.

johnny

They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cock’s wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jun 20, 2007June 20th, 2007, 5:05 am EDT
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
IEatimago
Spring Mills, PA

Posts: 97
IEatimago on Jun 29, 2007June 29th, 2007, 2:39 pm EDT
thanks for all the info, this is a good start.

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