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Trout fly tying?

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An outdoors store in my neighborhood is going out of business and having some great deals, so I though this would be a good time to jump into fly tying. I don't think they have a great tying section, so I want to know what i need. I'd like to tie flies for trout and bluegill. Are there any essential materials that I should buy? I figured that if i got some thread, dubbing, elk hair, hackle, foam, and beadheads i could tie a lot of different basic flies. Is there anything else that I should have to start tying for these species (I know I need a vice and bobbin and other tools). 

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try sending a PM to smalljaw67 (dan)...  the guy ties A LOT of different things on his youtube channel, he might point you in the right direction for supplies you'd want

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look at patterns you want to tie and get those materials.  Personally i would get hooks more than anything else.

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A foam spider is my favorite bug to tie for gills; need the foam body and the rubber hackle.


A Wooly Bugger is probably my best producer for all species though.  If you can get a deal on actual hackle, I would take that too.

Gills love any fly with rubber hackle though and there are lots of patterns you can tie with that.

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Assuming you've got a vise then the next things I'd get are as follows for a few basic patterns.


Foam "popper" for bluegills

2mm craft foam (I'd get white so you can color it later w/ sharpies)

Small or medium chenille  (or use dubbing w/ some flash to it)

Small to medium sized rubber legs

6/0 or 70 Denier thread


A few basic trout flies: Ingredients will tie a Wooly Bugger and a Pheasant Tail Nymph


Pheasant Tail:

Thread: 6/0 or 70 denier is a good starting point. Either white or black (white thread can be colored up w/ marker)

Pheasant tail feathers

Copper Wire (small or brassie sized)

Peacock Herl


Wooly Bugger

6/0 or 70 denier thread

Black saddle hackle (Whitings is the best, if you can find it)

Medium Black Chenille

Black Marabou

Copper wire (use the same wire that you get for the pheasant tails)

Flashabou or Krystal Flash in whatever color you'd like.


Hooks: For the Wooly Bugger I'd find a 3xl size 6 or 8 streamer hook and the appropriate sized bead for that hook

For the Pheasant tail, I'd start with a size 12 nymph hook and work your way down to the smaller sizes once you start getting better at tying.


If you can't find a decent price on hooks and beads at your local store, give Allen Fly Fishing a try. They've got a really great selection of hooks and beads. Done a lot of business with them over the years. No affiliation other than I really just like their company. Great customer service if you needed it.


You could also add some black or brown Goose Biots to your ingredients list and then have what you'd need to tie a Copper john as well. They're not much different from the Pheasant tail besides the tail material and the thorax being made from wire.

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The one most effective fly I have ever encountered is the traditional Gold Ribbed Hare's ear. I have fished it from New Mexico for native brown and rainbows, Small mouth bass. In Idaho for bull, brown, and native rainbow and brook trout, yellow perch, small mouth and large mouth. In Oklahoma and Arkansas for all varieties of perch, small mouth and large mouth bass. I have tied them in sizes from 14 to 6 hooks and varied colors from olive to brown. It is a nymph so it lacks the excitement of a surface hit but it is very effective. Not hard to tie and materials are inexpensive (I use artificial dubbing). Get yourself a book for patterns.

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