The beginning fly tyer can really sink some serious money into fly tying hooks if they are not careful. So that you don't spend a lot of money foolishly on hooks you'll never use, let's spend just a minute determining the hooks you should start out with.
The first step is to determine which flies you're going to start with. Most beginners start with very simple patterns like the Green Weenie, the San Juan Worm or the Woolly Bugger. Once those are mastered, they may move on to a simple dry fly such as the Elk Hair Caddis. Only you can determine the flies you're going to start with.
The next step is simply to figure out how much you're going to be tying. This will determine the quantity of each style and size of hook that you wish to purchase. Typically hooks come in quantities of 25, 50 or 100. I recommend starting small and buying the 25 or 50 packs until you're sure that you're going to continue.
Let's now take a quick look at some different manufacturers and the different hook types. Then I'll make some recommendations after that. Click on any of the links in the chart below to find out more or to make a purchase.
Fly Tying Hook Conversion Table
|94845||02||Barbless Dry Fly|
|94831||5212||03||Dry Fly 2X Long|
|3906B||3761||22||Wet Fly/Nymph 1X Long|
|9671||5262||23||Wet Fly/Nymph 2X Long|
|9672||5263||24||Streamer 3X Long|
|9674||40||Streamer 4X Long|
Now that you've been through the quick, beginners fly tying hooks tutorial, let's talk about where to start. In my humble opinion, I believe you should start with the Mustad 94840 or Cabelas Model 01 in sizes 14 and 16 for most dry flies, the Mustad 3906 or Cabelas Model 30 in sizes 12 and 14 for most nymphs, the Mustad 9672 or Cabelas Model 24 in size 10 for Woolly Buggers and the like, and Mustad C49S or Cabelas Model 20 in sizes 12 and 14 for eggs/glo bugs, scuds and San Juan Worms, etc. Purchase all of these in the 25 or 50 pack until you're ready to move up, which hopefully won't be long.
...and since you're aspiring to become (or already are) a fly fisherman, you most likely will practice catch and release when fishing. For this reason, always remember to pinch down the barbs on the hooks so you can release the fish easier without harming them. Remember to do this before tying the fly. The reason is that on rare occasions, I've actually broken the point off attempting to pinch down the barb, thus wasting all that time it took to tie that fly. Read on...