I have a book called "From Field to Fly" and it has been helpful to me. For my tying I take a look at the hide when I skin out an animal and decide which chunks I like the best based on how uniform and straight the hairs are. Then I might just cut a big square of the good stuff and discard the rest depending on my needs. I don't "tan" a hide that I'm going to use for my personal tying because I don't see the need, just flesh it and cure it. Sure it is stiff but if it's a smaller piece you can still clip hair from it.
I haven't tried dying anything yet but I have thought about it.