Concentration is required as well as practice for fly tying. This picture was taken by Nigel Duncan during a demonstration at Orvis in Edinburgh.

Fishing consultant Graeme Keir believes joining a club and seeking advice from experienced fly tyers is the best way ahead for beginners.

Midlothian-based Graeme also advises that novices should steer away from buying a fly tying kit.

Graeme said: “If you are starting out it is best to find somebody who already ties flies and who can advise you on basic tactics and skills and materials.

“I would not buy a fly thing kit. Go along to local fly tying class and pick up some hints and tips and find your way.

“However, tying flies is as complicated as you want it to be. You can spend a fortune, but my advice is to concentrate on the flies you need for the waters you fish.

“You could go down the Water of Leith, for example, or the Tyne in East Lothian and one box (of flies) would do you the whole season.”

It is, he conceded, more complex when you fish still waters for rainbow trout, but the basic requirements are good quality thread a quality vice.

He added: “It is like anything, if you buy cheap you will get cheap results. Buy good quality and you will eventually get good results. You will, however, have to be dedicated to it and I am as dedicated to tying as I am to my fishing.”

Graeme, who is a consultant with Orvis in Edinburgh, said that beginners are unlikely to make the best flies initially.

He added: “A lot of dedication and hours at the vice are key but once you catch a fish on your home-made fly then that is you.

“The simple message is that if you fish the Water of Leith or The Almond or any water, check what the most popular flies are and target in on them during your fly tying.”

The Edinburgh Fly Dressers club meets every Wednesday in Slateford Bowling Club, Lanark Road, at 7.30pm and anybody interested is invited to pop along.

Demonstrations and advice sessions are part of the varied programme for the group. Regulars are happy to advise on the best equipment and flies to tie.

And Fishers host a weekly fly tying session in their Penicuik shop at 7.30pm on a Thursday. Bring your own equipment and regulars are more than happy to pass on advice.

You can, of course, buy materials in the shop on the night and Orvis host regular sessions in their shop. Phone the store for details.

Finally, a note about annual meetings. West Lothian Angling Association host their annual meeting on Monday, November 26 at 8pm in Mid Calder Community Centre.

Musselburgh and District Angling Association hold their annual meeting on Tuesday, November 27 at 7.45pm in the Congregational Church at 6 Links Street, Musselburgh.

Chris Halliday, the chairman, said that this will be the ideal opportunity for anybody interested in joining the committee and he added: “You can put your name forward for consideration by email to”