Get Started in Fly Tying

Beginner fly tying is a subject not often discussed in sport-show seminars. Ben Rowell is the owner and guide at Highway 3 Angler and in this video, he tells you how to get started in fly tying, and how to fill your fly box for under 70 bucks!

For fly tying tools, Rowell suggests avoiding beginner fly tying tool kits when it comes to tying flies for Alaska. You don’t need all those tools to get started. There are only a few tools you need. An inexpensive vice can be purchased for about $15. You’ll want to upgrade eventually, but you can start with an inexpensive one. You’ll need a pair of fly-tying scissors ($12), a bobbin to hold the thread ($7) and a whip finish tool ($10). 

Whenever possible, Ben chose materials that can be used for both flies he demonstrates in the video. That saves you money!

In keeping with the beginner fly tying theme, Ben demonstrates two simple flies that will produce trout in both moving and still waters: the Flesh Fly, and the black Pine Squirrel Leech. In the process, he demonstrates using the tools, the materials you need and the cost. 

The flesh fly works well in both fall when carcasses are deposited in the stream, and in spring as some of those carcasses will still be in the stream in spring. 

The black Pine Squirrel Leech works in both moving water or stillwater, throughout the open-water seasons. It is tied on the same hook as the flesh fly, an economical choice for beginning fly tying.

By buying these tools and materials you’ll be able to tie about 20 flies—enough to get you started to catch trout and grayling in Alaska, for less than $70. What more reason is needed to for a fanatic fly flinger to embark on beginner fly tying?

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