A close friend called a few days ago looking for advice. Her husband, Greg, is soon reaching one of those “milestone” birthdays, and she is looking for ideas to help ease his transition to this advancing maturity. Knowing Greg and I are fly fishing buddies, she was wondering if there was something along that line I could recommend as a gift. Greg and I have been out on a few fishing trips together, so I have a good idea of equipment he already has and what might interest him. Getting Greg involved in tying his own flies seemed like a good idea. I offered to come up with a list of basic equipment to consider when she makes a trip to our local Vail fly shop, Minturn Anglers.
There are kits available that provide a basic set of fly tying tools at reasonable prices. These kits, the individual tools and information about them are available online. However, nothing replaces the hands-on experience of a trip to an actual fly shop.
I made a list of basic tools to be included:
- a fly tying vise, looking for one of good quality as this is an important tool
- large and small fly tying scissors
- a thread bobbin and a dubbing needle or bodkin
- a whip finisher as well as wax and fly tying cement
- various flying materials like feathers, hair or fur and silks
A “how to” video or book that is well illustrated and provides clear instructions about the fly tying process is most helpful, even though steps are sequential and easy to learn. Even better, I suggested she consider signing Greg up for a basic fly tying workshop offered by Vail fly fishing experts to receive expert one on one instruction in developing skills in this fascinating hobby. The Minturn Anglers professionals (fly tyer) offers an added benefit of a tuition credit and discount on store purchases.
I am confident that fly tying will quickly become an engaging activity for Greg. I also reminded her that Greg could always call me for expert advice when needed! We are all looking forward to seeing how this experiment works out.