Recently I’ve started tying flies again, not on a big scale level, but a few here and there, mostly nymphs, eggs and worms, the staple of any Rocky Mountain fly fisher’s spring arsenal. I also dug out the vice and materials so that my daughters could be creative, too. If you haven’t introduced your kids to tying you’re definitely missing out.
Anyway, all of this got me to thinking about how I got started in tying and the books that helped me learn how to do it. These days we have the Web and you can find videos that show how to tie just about any pattern, but the books that I learned from Tying Nymphs and Tying Dry Flies, by Randall Kaufmann, are still treasures. In fact, his books are as much about fishing as they are tying and the images from lakes in Oregon, or the High Sierras, or New Zealand can’t help but get you fired up to fish. When you are tying the particular patterns he covers in the book, which are mostly traditional, such as the Elk Hair Caddis and P-Chute Adams, you can pretty much visualize yourself casting that fly for the trout in the images.
Part of the appeal to these books are the step by step images that show exactly how to tie these patterns, including how much material to place on the hook to achieve the results you’re looking for. Which all means, these are great books to start tying with.
If you are looking for a place to start in tying, make sure to take a look at Kaufmann’s books. I consider them classics, even if some of the patterns are a little dated. Let me know what your favorite tying books are.