Fly Tying For Beginners – Where To Start

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There’s nothing quite like the feeling of catching a fish on a fly you have tied yourself. For a fly tying beginner, looking at all the vices, materials and tools on offer, it can be hard to decide where to start. This simple guide for fly tying for beginners, outlines some simple tips and help on where to start.

Most people who are fly tying beginners will start with some sort of fly tying kit. There’s a good reason for this, fly tying kits will contain all the materials & tools you need to start.  This means you have everything at your finger tips to learn and practice the different skills needed to progress through your fly tying journey.

Start Simple

When you start fly tying, starting with simple flies such as buzzers will help you learn how to handle the bobbin & thread, tie in a rib and finish the fly with a whip finish tool. You can also learn how to complete the fly with epoxy or varnish.

Spend plenty of time tying buzzers until you are completely comfortable with them, learning these basics is invaluable.

After you have mastered simple flies such as buzzers, simple dries such as Griffiths Gnats will teach you how to select and tie hackles and use hackle pliers. Although Griffiths Gnats are usually tied in small sizes theres nothing stopping you tieing them in big sizes as a learning exercise, tying in big sizes can be easier when learning and you can progress down to smaller flies as your skills improve.

Frank Sawyers Pheasant Tails Nymphs and Killer Bugs are two other flies that are very simple to tie but absolutely deadly on the river.

You can then move on to learning how to tie different hackles such as parachutes hackles on dries and Klinkhammers.

Larger reservoir type lures using fritz and chenilles are also good flies to tie when learning as they are nice and big which can help fly tying beginners.

Recommended Kits

We highly recommend the Veniard Premium Fly Tying Kit which contains all the materials, tools & vice needed to get started. You can order and pay directly on this page below:




YouTube & DVD’s

I cannot recommend enough subscribing to Davie McPhail’s YouTube channel. His easy going style and well filmed videos are a must.


Chris Man & Terry Griffiths’s work is the standard beginners book with clear explanations & terminology as well as clear easy to understand diagrams. 

Final Thoughts

My top tip is to start with very simple flies, it can be frustrating at first when you are learning especially if you are not the most dexterous and nimbled fingered individual. It’s all just about repetition and practice, fly tying classes or YouTube videos will really help but nothing beats practicing yourself. Like any skill, once you have ingrained fly tying skills in to you muscle memory you will be amazed how quick, easy and fun fly tying can be!

You can view our full range of tying materials by clicking here.

Please don;t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions! Have fun…

Free Video River Fly Fishing Course

20+ instructional videos, shot in 4k. Free to all new and existing newsletter subscribers – Click Here!