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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

Artistic view of a Perlodidae (Springflies and Yellow Stones) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This one seems to lead to Couplet 35 of the Key to Genera of Perlodidae Nymphs and the genus Isoperla, but I'm skeptical that's correct based on the general look. I need to get it under the microscope to review several choices in the key, and it'll probably end up a different Perlodidae.
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.


Posts: 2
Smindel56 on Sep 8, 2019September 8th, 2019, 1:41 pm EDT
I started fly fishing a little over 2 years ago and absolutely love it! I’ve been wanting to start tying my own flies for a while now and have been looking up different kits, but want to know what the best, most durable, one would be. Any suggestions or ideas would be much appreciated. Thank you!
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Sep 9, 2019September 9th, 2019, 4:32 am EDT
This is a question that comes up often on various FF forums. By and large, when you factor overall cost and the utility of what you get in terms of materials and tools, you're probably better off passing on the kit and coming up with a list of a half dozen or so basic, effective patterns to start and then go to a fly shop you trust or go there with a knowledgeable FF friend you trust and buying your basic tools (vise, scissors, bobbins, hackle pliers etc) and the hooks and materials to tie the flies on your list.

You probably end up spending less startup money this way and you won't be stuck with materials you may never use like cerise saddles hackles and golden pheasant tippets.

Then, as you grow as a tier, you can add stuff as you need or decide to do so.

On Edit: I see you're in Chicago. Orvis downtown on Ontario Street would be a good place to start as would the Driftless Angler in Viroqua, WI if you are up that way fishing anyway. Both reputable and helpful places.
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Sep 9, 2019September 9th, 2019, 9:47 am EDT
Dear Chicago,

Everything Rleep said and my comments below which BTW seem redundant after reading Rleep post.

There is really no such thing as the "Best Fy Tying Kit". Most are either totally useless or cost so much money and you may wind up not using all the stuff they include. What do you like to tie? What do you want to tie? Buy individual packages of those materials. Buy good hooks but they don't have to be the high prices Tiemcos or other Japanese micro barb hooks. There are numerous fly material sellers who have their own brand hooks for much less per 25 or 100. The "Trout Shop" in Merced, CA comes to mind as does JS Stockard. Both have their own hooks at great prices. JS Stockard sells all kinds of fly tying material at as least as low as any one else. Spend your dough on the best tools you can afford. Get a good vise, one with truly hardened jaws and one that can tightly hold a #26 hook or a #1/0 hook. Buy good scissors. Don't buy Pakistani or Indian scissors because most of them suck.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

Posts: 2
Smindel56 on Sep 9, 2019September 9th, 2019, 9:51 am EDT
Thank you, this is great advice! I wasn’t sure what kits exactly come with because they are all so different. I like the idea of just creating my own.
Coha's profile picture
Cazin, Bosnia

Posts: 2
Coha on Nov 22, 2020November 22nd, 2020, 4:10 am EST
See this Barry Ord Clarke post
Fly tying kit

Fly tying
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Nov 23, 2020November 23rd, 2020, 1:56 am EST
Hello Coha,

I see you are from Bosnia. Do you have any pictures of those beautiful clear rivers you can share with us? How about pictures of marble trout or big brown trout.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Nov 23, 2020November 23rd, 2020, 1:51 pm EST
I'll mention here that I have about 4 or five pair of tying scissors, including some pricy models such as a pair of Swiss curved scissors somebody highly recommended at some point, but the ones I use the most are Fiskars 5" microtip scissors, about $9 at many stores. I've had them for years. As for bobbins, I prefer the ceramic ones, as they won't begin to wear and shred your thread after years of use.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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