Dry Flies - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-06-2010, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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Dry Flies

Ok, I am starting to venture now into the world of tying dry flies! Getting better at the nymphs every time I sit at the vice. But now, dries to me are going to be a bit more harder. Proportions I think need to be exactly on the money in order to look correct. Buying dries at $2 a piece is biting into the wallet! LOL!

Since the tan caddis seems to be a very popular hatch. I want to start off with this fly. I been buying the CDC Elk Hair Caddis. With good results on the Tully, which is why I want to start with this fly.

I am just a little confused on which materials to purchase, any help?

John-LifeNRA http://www.NRA.org
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-06-2010, 05:34 PM
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Re: Dry Flies

NRA,

I recently (last 6 months) started tying dry flies, and I can tell you that per fly they are probably twice as expensive (or more). You can buy a couple hackles at a time but they really put a hole in the wallet fast. Granted, you'll probably have the hackles the rest of your life because there are more feathers there than you'll ever use, they are expensive.


There are 20-30 different caddis fly recipes so you'll either have to experiment or pick the one that is best for you. I really like the tan CDC caddis or the tan elk hair caddis.

Tan elk hair caddis:
tan elk caddis

Black caddis
black and tan



One suggestion as you get into dry fly tying, do not buy the pre-packaged hackle "kits" that come ready to go presized for different sizes (14, 16, etc). I buy mostly all full necks but you can buy halves or quarters to save a bit of money.

It's a very accomplished feeling to catch fish on your own tied dries. We crushed the fish on the gray foxes and march browns so far. I've been tying up a pile of new flies for next week at camp.

Good luck

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John Adams
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-06-2010, 10:32 PM
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Re: Dry Flies

Life NRA I tie only one caddis pattern in two colors with very good succes. That is the X caddis and it is a very simple and easy pattern to tie.I have tried differnt caddis patterns but have far better luck with this pattern. Good luck like Falcon Four said is it a good feeling to catch on your own flies.

I personally like like the whiting 100's hackles. Nice full hackles and they do the sizing for you. One pack will tie 100 flies for about $14.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 03:21 AM
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Re: Dry Flies

If you want save money on dry flies, learn to tie Comparaduns, which use no hackle at all, and they make excellent imitations of mayfly hatches, and are also very good for just general "searching" patterns.

Terrestrials such as ants, beetles, crickets, hoppers are also excellent, and don't require hackle.

A caddis tied with no hackle, just dubbing and some deer or elk hair, is also very good, especially when fishing smooth, slow moving water.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 07:38 AM
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Re: Dry Flies

Brushwolf, I started with a couple packages of the WHiting 100's, and didn't like them at all. I ordered them pre-sized for size 14 hooks, but I end up using those hackles on my size 18's. They were way too undersized for my liking... I just buy all of my hackles from Phil Baldaccino's fly shop up on Kettle Creek now. He has some of the best prices on his hackles and they are of a quality that I'm happy with.

Last neck hackle I got there was a medium dun and the full hackle only ran me $32.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 12:28 PM
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Re: Dry Flies

Don't pay so much - check out internet shops such as flystop.com and BigY Fly. Dries are only about $.60 each - this way you can save some money for your new tying hobby.

I use flies from both companies but flystop is from PA and the flies are nice
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 08:06 PM
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Re: Dry Flies

Just a thought here:I learned to tie dry flies basically "on my own" I guess you would say.I bought a couple books on the hatches throughout the state so I would know what flies I needed to tie,and the material needed to tie them, and I learned to tie almost solely by watching a video called "Tying dry flies" by A.K. Best.Very easy to follow and very informative.Might be worth a shot for you.Good luck and have fun.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 09:53 PM
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Re: Dry Flies

LifeNRA, I fish the Tully a lot. You need dry fly hooks size 14 through 20 (go down to 22's when you learn how to tie the patterns), tan and green dubbing for the body, coastal deer hair or CDC (dun color) for the wings. No need for hackle. CDC works better for me on the Tully. TCO has all the materials.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 10:25 PM
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Re: Dry Flies

Once you get a grizzly, brown and dun neck you can tie dries for years.

I'd omit the egg sack and legs, but I'd tie em like this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2gtmb76g...next=1&index=21
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2010, 10:35 PM
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Re: Dry Flies

My .02 here is to first go out and buy a dubbing dispenser with superfine dubbing. It will have 10-12 of the most popular colors of dubbing and it will save you time, space, and clutter on your desk.

I personally am not a huge fan of the 100 packs of hackles. I prefer to buy half necks. If this is not just a "phase" for you, you will appreciate having a quality neck. If you buy a decent one it will have plenty of hackles ranging from #4-22. That will cover any size dry you will be tying. You can also use the larger ones for tailing and wings as well as all kinds of applications for streamers. If you get a brown, black, grizzly, dun, and creme one you will be covering most flies.

Get some deer hair, elk hair, and poly yarn and you will be covered for wings. Z-lon has a ton of useful applications for caddis patterns as well.

This would be where I would start if I wanted to begin tying basic or essential dries. You can always add more as you expand the flies you will be tying. I know this collection may be a bit pricey initially, but most of these things (especially necks) are something you will have for quite a few years.
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