It depends on what you are tying. I get most of my materials from my local fly shop - Mad River Outfitters. I have ordered from other places though. One thing I like about MRO is that when ordering online you can even write to them and let them know what you are doing and they will select the best product for that based on your order. Anyways not a plug for them just stoked to have a shop like that so close. I would say that dubbing, bead heads, hooks, thread, and hackle saddles are a must have. Other than that, it depends really on what you are tying or wanting to tie. I tie a lot of streamers so I get into brushes, deer body hair, zonker strips, glues (zap & UV), and various other materials. Let me know if that helps at all.
@PeterMartinussen asks the critical question Carly. Hard to offer advice without knowing the main thrust of your tying efforts.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the “must haves” as these vary depending on whether you want to tie dry or wet.
I’ll offer one suggestion. Unless you are independently wealthy, start your materials collection slowly. I’m still adding to mine after many decades. You will surely discover that every tyers “must haves” are different.
Please let us all know what preferences you have? I’m sure we can help.
I usually get my materials from the local Fly Shop or Mad River Outfitters but it does depend on what you tie. Some things you can find on amazon but be careful cause they can be bad quality. Hope this helps!
Hi again Carly. Since you want to tie dry flies, and good quality dry hackle (capes or saddles) is expensive, I’ll suggest you try the Whiting 100 packs as a start. You can choose the size hook and all the feathers will be consistently good and correctly sized.
Suggest a pack in grizzly and one in brown or barred dark ginger for starters. Size will be dependent on the specific insect you want to imitate but 16 is a good middle ground.
Tailing material for dry flies can be as simple as a few colors of microfibbets similar to your hackle colors. For body materials, I like Wapsi superfine dubbing. Colors again dependent on your insects.
Winging materials can be as simple as using Zelon in white or gray.
Sure you will get many other opinions. Relax and enjoy, there are no wrong choices. Let the trout decide.
Carly, I also tie a lot of streamers. I know you asked about tying dry flies and there are many very good fly tiers on this app to help you with materials for that. In terms of my “must have” materials for streamers, however, I buy a lot of pine squirrel zonker strips. With the amount of streamers I tie I usually buy them by the half hide. All colors for various species I’m trying to imitate. Galloup’s Slide Inn (Montana) sells a barred pine squirrel zonker strip that I like for baitfish patterns. However, I also buy tungsten beads and cones, hourglass eyes, and clear fish masks with glue in eyes. Lastly, I buy Arizona seal sub and blend my own to get the right shade of color. Lots of various types of flash materials as well. My favorite fly shops to order materials are Feather Craft out of St. Louis and also J Stockard fly shop. Hope I help a little with my rambling.
I have bought a couple of Whiting Variety Packs in my time, and you get a lot of streamer materials that way, for a very reasonable price. Another great way is to join a club, guild society, or whatever it is named in your neck of the woods, and swap materials. Great way to reduce costs.
Agreed with whiting variety. Check out also 1 Dollar marts. They have always glue, some feathers and marabou and peacock and Pheasent for decoration. You can check out Facebook also. They are a few guys who sell anything you can need
For tying dries you’ll need dubbing that won’t get water logged rooster capes and there not cheap you can google metz hackle peacock hearl you will need to strip it use for bodies or you can dub the bodies you can use the capes for the tail hackle and wings turkey and goose feathers will make wings if live around a park with a pond birds gather there and you can collect feathers you can buy from eBay craft stores local fly shop there are countless materials you can use cdc feathers wood duck mallard as long as they don’t get water logged you can also put a little fly dope on them one more thing the right proportions are very important so they will ride right on the water you can look those up on the internet and you watch tying videos on YouTube but you will soon learn you never have enough materials us fly Tyers become material very quickly pretty soon every where you go you’ll start looking at stuff and figuring out how to use it I hope this helps
Tie one pattern at a time that you would like to learn and buy just the materials for that fly keeps you learning at a steady pass and find you a teacher and stick with it I just started again and am way rusty and my instructor passed away but when he was alive he had me tying some great pattens a lot of them on my page are trashy first attempts but some I am proud to put my name on especially ones I learned while he was coaching me find you a good instructor and the sky’s the limit
You will want to get a coffee grinder you can make your own dubbing out of yarn and save a ton of money I bout a stuffed dog at the dollar store the other day cut him up and got some very nice dubbing and I got yarn for four bucks at the good will that will make a couple hundred dollars worth of dubbing the good will usually has bulk bags of thread also
Get down to your local fly shop and chat with the old guy just sittin at the tying bench! Seen all too many fly shops closing down in recent years:( when I first started tying 6 or so years ago, I wanted all the materials I saw. Now I rarely use some of the first (cheaper) materials I got. After tying for a couple years, I found my go to materials. There's a lot of specific patterns I was trying to mimic and found it hard to do with cheap or insufficient feathers etc... sounds like you got a lot of good tips from our friends here. Keep tying and adding to the tying box!
Fishing/getting out doors was the gateway drug. Tying became a whole new beast... now I admit I'm addicted to collecting new materials for the box, maybe more than fishing!...
Excited to see your progress!
jann's nettcraft...low priced go to....an go to different fly shops .. first!!!.,..tell them the truth....tell them ur n a fixed budget ..an ur a learnin' ,.....then after that ...the Big box stores.... Bass pro shop,,, sportsman warehouse....
if you know a female fly fishing person....drag them along to help you...an have fun....first an foremost have fun..learn things...fly shops are much more willing to teach an offer ideas
to start off:
best hackle capes you can afford in tan/brown and grizzle
Tiewell or SLF dubbing dispenser (12 colours)
Tan tying thread 8/0
peacock eye feather
elk hair patch
packet of CDC (natural grey)
Just this is enough to tie a huge array of dry flies. But then you will want to start getting everything else to tie all those flies that you need just in case ( and carry for countless seasons without using).
If you have any friends who hunt, ask if you can have fur and feathers from their kills. Deer hair, buck tail, pheasant, coyote, squirrel, and duck all make beautiful additions to flies and have plenty of movement. I'd also suggest finding your local fly shop (or Orvis) and talking to someone about what you might need. If you have an idea of the materials you can get, flytiersdungeon has very good materials (mainly flash and dubbings) for bargain prices
On FlyFlasher.com you can find 33,389 flies from all over the world. Flash your own fly patterns, upload your current work or search for inspiration. The flies are tagged, so you easily can search for them.