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I Love Skinny Water
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Back about 40 years ago I was introduced to John Wildermuth who taught me some basic in tying flies. His real job was to draw music, let me explain. Some professional musicians prefer hand drawn notes rather than mass printed music. That's what john did. he also liked to tie Historic Salmon Flies with the original material, like Polar Bear Fur

I photographed some of his flies, and the photos appeared in the Silver Creek Press Calendar In "88-89
Here's some of his Salmon Flies. How did you learn. YouTube wasn't invented when I started

Arthropod Insect Pollinator Art Tints and shades

Orange Red Material property Tints and shades Art
 

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I went to a fly tying social here in Corpus at a beer/pizza joint. I had a box full of stuff that was passed to me from my dad which was passed to him from a life-long family friend who’s husband had passed. He was a very avid fly fisherman and fly tyer. The young guy that showed me a clouser was absolutely pumped at the “box” full of old stuff, and proceeded to explain basically all that was in there (I was clueless). I mean there was a vice, material, books, notes, and even a letter from a friend and a pack of his dog’s fur. I have it all and very well may make a crab out of that dogs fur…I’d love to know that story.

I get a lot of enjoyment out of tying flies with Mr. Rector’s vice, and imagine that he‘d be happy to know that I’m using it.
 

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Myself. Got an Orvis Fly tying kit as a gift when I was a teen. Tied a few trout flies back then, a light cahill dry was my first one and shortly thereafter set the kit aside along with the fly rod for about 30 years. Still had the kit after all that time when I decided I wanted to pursue the local saltwater fish with fly tackle. I didn’t particularly like the majority of commercially available saltwater fly offerings I was coming across and decided I would enjoy fly fishing more by tying my own. Took some trial and error to figure out what patterns I most liked to fish and tie. Tying for me now is mostly replacing flies lost to attrition.
 
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Self taught. Tied my first fly when I was fourteen using pliers to hold the hook, sewing thread and squirrel fur. Used the fly to catch some panfish in a pond. The fly didn’t last long but it did work. To be honest though I think a small piece of cloth on the hook would have also worked on those fish.
 

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I'm largely self-taught with the addition of the help and advise of quite a few along the way... My start came before my fly-tying when I found that the bucktail jigs we used quickly lost the cheap tied in bucktail or nylon tails. Starting with a handful of chewed up leadheads I was able to come up with workable bucktail jigs... From there I went to looking for charterboats that had what were called "jap feathers" that needed new feather tails - sometimes in quantity.... Back in 1976 I joined the Tropical Anglers Club in Miami and found that along with all the other tackle categories you could compete in was a fly division.. In typical backwards fashion I built my first fly rod - before I knew how to use it... Back then there simply were very very few places that even stocked decent flies locally so I struggled to tie up a few myself -and it was all downhill from there. Abe Gaspar, then working at Uslan Rods locally, was kind enough to not only teach me the basics of building fly rods - he also introduced me to Harry Friedman - who was a contemporary of Joe Brooks and nearing the end of his time... He taught me to tie my first bonefish fly (and I did catch a nice bone with it soon after..). You can see pics of Harry back in the early 1950's in the early books on saltwater fly fishing by Joe Brooks... His proudest catch over the years was a 72lb tarpon on 12lb tippet with the old Miami Beach Fishing Club. i didn't think much of it until I learned that back then no one used bite tippets (they thought them un-sporting...). I can't imagine how many tarpon he had to hook and fight to beat a fish that size on straight 12 lb tippet...

At the end of the seventies I filled my first small order for a shop in Ft. Lauderdale and things just took off from there. In the early eighties I actually set up and taught fly fishing classes at night at my local community college - but after two years we lost our site when we weren't able to clean all the hair and feather trimmings properly from the classroom we were using... That was every bit of forty years ago now... but I'm still tying, just not commercially any more...
 

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Self taught using books, which is my usual strategy for my hobbies. I tend to dive right in and work it out as I go.

Not much information on fly tying or saltwater fly fishing when I started except for books. I have to credit J. Kenney Abrames, Ray Bondarew, Ed Jaworowski, Bob Popavics and, of course Lefty, for the material they published.
 

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Maverick HPXS
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I begged my parents for a fly tying kit when i was around 5 and started tying my first "flies" on Christmas ornament hooks before moving on to real hooks later.

I do credit a gentleman named Fred that worked at Bill Jacksons for really sparking the fire in me. I started regularly attending his tying classes when I was around 9, one day after class in talking I shared I tied flies but didn't even own a fly rod. The next week when I arrived there was a 6wt he had built himself cut to 7.5ft for a kid, from there the neighborhood bass didn't stand a chance.
To this day all my flies are still tied on a handmade tying station he built and gifted me.
 

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I begged my parents for a fly tying kit when i was around 5 and started tying my first "flies" on Christmas ornament hooks before moving on to real hooks later.

I do credit a gentleman named Fred that worked at Bill Jacksons for really sparking the fire in me. I started regularly attending his tying classes when I was around 9, one day after class in talking I shared I tied flies but didn't even own a fly rod. The next week when I arrived there was a 6wt he had built himself cut to 7.5ft for a kid, from there the neighborhood bass didn't stand a chance.
To this day all my flies are still tied on a handmade tying station he built and gifted me.
That’s a cool story!!
 

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Another self taught here. I started tying in the mid 1980s, shortly after I got into fly fishing. I just thought that is what fly fishermen do. Most of my "instruction" came from looking at pictures of flies in fishing catalogs, then trying to match it with what materials I had on hand. Some of the ugliest flies you have ever seen will catch fish. I later got involved in NGTO (North Georgia Trout Online), and through the twice yearly "Flings" I met and learned from some great tyers. My biggest challenge was finding decent materials to tie with.
 

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I Love Skinny Water
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My grandson said he wanted to learn to tie flies a couple of years ago. So for Christmas I have him a Bait fish gift box from Fly Tiers Dungeon, gave him a vise and set of scissors, bodkin, spindle. Then gave him a lesson on basics, he took off tying hundreds watching YouTube. Still tying. I upgraded his fly rod to an 8 wt. So now he has a 5 and 8
By the way those gift boxes from FTD have so much stuff in them he has years of supplies
 
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