Good sound advice but it does not have to be that expensive. I live out in the countryside therefore whenever I am out walking the dogs or going for runs on the bike always have with me a few small poly bags, scissors and a knife. Very rarely do I come back without having something that cannot be used in fly tying. Also have a friend that keeps bantam cockerels/hens so there are always valuable feathers coming from there. The swans, geese, ducks, herons have all started to moult so here is another supply of feathers being washed up when out fishing. All these highly priced goods we see on sale just to make fancy flies is just a waste of money. I have been fly fishing since 1958 and although these fancy flies still catch fish, have yet to see any in the stomach contents of a fish. Come to think of it, have yet to see an Endrick Spider in a fishes stomach but must have caught hundreds of sea trout, the occasional salmon and thousands of trout on it. This is a now world famous fly that I created back in the early 1970,s and as it did then and still does today, it only costs me the price of the hook to tie. Up until the mid 1980,s its first name was my 'Free Fly', it was the late Peter Mackenzie-Philps of Wetherby that gave it a proper name for he was advertising it in his catalogue. When the flies get badly chewed up the fly is stripped down, the hook recycled where the hook is then ready to be used again. I can't remember when I actually last had to by hooks but it definitely was not in this century and don't expect to be buying them in the near future either.Gary, you really can’t beat listening to experience and watching someone tie, hence the Davy McPhail videos. Start with something simple like a black and peacock spider and keep at it until it looks good enough to catch a fish.
I was round at a fishing buddy’s house recently and he asked me to show him how to tie. His gear was so cheap and nasty I struggled, so the first thing I’d recommend if you’re serious about tying is to use decent materials.
you can’t tie without decent thread, say 8.0 veniard to start with, also a nice runny clear varnish as that will cover up a messy head. Then decent black feathers and a pack of black peacock herl for the body.
I know Capn Fishy just uses a bobbin but to start out you‘ll need a bobbin holder so you can keep decent tension on your thread.
If you do get into fly tying there is a caveat....it becomes addictive, enjoyable, expensive but it gets you lots more fish.