Beginning Fly Tying Class - YouTube

A little instruction when getting started fly tying is almost essential. Simple things, like putting a hook in a vise and getting thread started on the hook, are often trickier than they look.

When we teach in-person fly tying we focus on skills rather than specific patterns. Once you have the skills to tie a Schminnow you can tie a variety of other patterns that require the same skills. As you learn more skills and are able to work with additional materials the list of flies you can tie will increase exponentially.

If you are new to fly tying we recommend starting with the first video and working your way through to the end, practicing the skills and tying each fly in turn. The videos are organized so that, worked through in order, the skills videos will teach you the skills necessary to tie the subsequent flies. If you watch the tying videos out of order there will be some skills that were covered in an earlier class playlist that you may want to go back and watch.

The videos are organized into a series of classes, set up as individual YouTube playlists, roughly matching what we would do for an in-person class. We typically would cover this information in a series of classes lasting a couple hours each. One of the benefits of learning from online videos is that you can work at your own pace as well as go back and cover information whenever needed.

You may find it helpful to watch the fly pattern video for each class before watching the skills videos. This will give you more context when watching the skills videos. Also note that not all the individual skills are essential for tying these patterns (Fixing a Thread Break and Tying a Single Post Mono Weedguard, for example) but are very useful things to know and fit well where they are placed in the lineup.

If you are a more advanced fly tyer you might want to go straight to the pattern videos and then go back and watch videos for any skills you find difficult.

To complete these five classes you will need the following tools. The materials list for each class is listed under the class heading.

Fly Tying Tools:

  • Fly Tying Vise. If you don’t already have one, we recommend the Renzetti Traveler rotary vise.
  • Fly Tying Scissors
  • Bobbin
  • Bobbin Threader
  • Bodkin
  • Whip Finish Tool
  • Hair Stacker (not essential but nice to have)
  • Hackle Pliers (not essential but nice to have)

If you don’t already have a vise and tools, we sell several Fly Tying Tool Kits that contain everything listed above, except for the hackle pliers and hair stacker, along with head cement. We highly recommend one of the Renzetti Traveler kits. 

Class 1: Fly Tying Basics

YouTube Videos:
  1. How to put a hook in vise
  2. How to set up and adjust a fly tying bobbin
  3. Starting thread on a hook
  4. Which direction should you wrap thread when tying a fly?
  5. Essential Knots: tying the half hitch and whip finish
  6. How to control your thread
  7. Tight thread wraps and breaking thread
  8. Fixing a thread break
  9. How to use the finger triangle
  10. How to apply head cement
Materials List:
  • Hook: Any hook, preferably #6 or larger
  • Thread: Your choice of fly tying thread
  • Head Cement: Hard as Hull, Loon Water Based or another option

Class 2: Tying the Schminnow

YouTube Videos:
  1. How to manage marabou and other loose materials
  2. How to work with Estaz and other roped material
  3. Trimming materials for a smooth body
  4. How to tie in mono eyes
  5. How to tie in flash
  6. Tie the Crystal Schminnow for snook and baby tarpon
Materials List:

We sell a Crystal Schminnow Tying Kit that includes everything you need, other than head cement, to tie this fly.

Class 3: Tying the Fleeing Crab

YouTube Videos:
  1. Tying in lead eyes
  2. Tying a yarn crab body
  3. Tying in silicone or rubber legs
  4. Tying a single post mono weed guard
  5. Tying the Fleeing Crab
Materials List:

We sell a Fleeing Crab Tying Kit that includes everything you need, other than head cement, to tie this fly.

Class 4: Tying the Seaducer

YouTube Videos:
  1. How to tie in matched feathers
  2. Palmering feathers
  3. Tying the Seaducer
Materials List:

We sell a Seaducer Tying Kit that includes everything you need, other than head cement, to tie this fly. 

Class 5: Tying the Clouser Minnow

YouTube Videos:
  1. Tying in bucktail
  2. Tying the Clouser Minnow
Materials List:

We sell a Clouser Tying Kit that includes everything you need, other than head cement, to tie this fly.

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