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How many fly fishermen are NOT fly tiers? Why not.

Bimini15Bimini15 Posts: 24 Greenhorn
Just wondering. For me tying is not only an extension of fishing, but, as life gets busy and fishing time is less and less, it is almost a hobby on its own right.


  • Docked WagesDocked Wages Posts: 3,167 Moderator
    I think you hit it on the head. I fly fish, spin fish, bottom fish, and all that stuff and always wanted to get into making my own rods and tying my own flies. I just have way too much going on with work and family. I fish in unpredictable surges and taking on Fly Tying would be like taking on a whole new hobby. I hope to some day, maybe if I retire sooner than later I can :-)
    Mark Wilson
    USCG 100t Master, Assist Tow, 200nm Coastal
    Marine Surveyor, SAMS, ABYC, IAMI, FMIU
    Wilson Yacht Survey, Inc. 
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,422 Captain
    Ask 100 guys and you'll get 100 different reasons why they do/don't tie. I started tying after losing a fish that I shouldn't have lost. I was using the right fly on the wrong hook, probably tied by 12 year old children in Myanmar. These days I have a different attitude. I tie because I have to. It's more of a compulsive disorder than a hobby.
  • ShadowcastShadowcast Posts: 1,064 Officer
    I can tie a couple patterns pretty well. My issue is with a family and demands on my time, I just do not have the time to truly devote to tying.
    Capt. Jon Bull
    Sales Rep - Ankona Boats, Salt Marsh Skiffs, Tavernier Skiff Company
  • saltybumsaltybum Posts: 1,700 Captain
    After getting into fly fishing and buying a couple larger salt flies and discovering the hooks were crap it was only logical to start making my own. Having tied bucktails for years it was an easy and rewarding transition.
    Now it's like a disease at times.
  • idlerickidlerick Posts: 247 Deckhand
    With some anglers it's a physical or mental ability. I have a friend who'd love to tie, but his old fingers do well to tie his boots. Tying a #18 GRHE is out of the question for him. Others just aren't mentally suited to creating something with their hands, which is a shame, as it's great therapy.
    But I suspect the high entry costs are the likely blame for most folks. You go into most small fly shops (if you can even find one close anymore) and the owner will show you $250 Regals instead of $30 Thompson vises, $15 bobbins, and $35 scissors. And the Asian "starter kits" are a joke. Then the markup on materials is over 100% just in the shop, and good S/W hooks are $.50-$1.00 apiece. A guy could easily drop $300 and not have enough supplies to make 6 flies.
    I started tying over 50 years ago in college (why, I don't know. I had a glass fly rod, but nowhere to use it. My first flies looked more like jewelry than insects.). I used mail-order equipment and materials from Herter's (Model Perfect, of course). Over the years it was easy to add a few bags of hair or feathers now and then, especially at a discount when I worked in fly shops. Or to save some pheasant or goose feathers or elk hair. To me now, like many tiers, it's more of a hobby in itself, especially in the winters.
  • SUPER DSUPER D Posts: 737 Officer
    I tie so I can catch fish on something I made. It's just another way to challange ones self. Challanging your self in life is important. The easy way leeds to fat, lazy, and dead.
  • MonelloMonello Posts: 46 Deckhand
    I tied a few years ago. I only became proficient in a few patterns. Others I could make a reasonable close replica. I haven't tied in years. I have a few hundred flies to choose from. I also bulk purchase my go to flies. Minimum order is a dozen. They are inexpensive, good quality and I have plenty on hand when I need them.

    There is a lot of personal satisfaction catching a fish with a fly that you tied yourself.
  • mro1mro1 Posts: 77 Greenhorn
    For a guy who isn’t sure that he is going to like tying but wants to try it out with out breaking the bank .....

    Cabelas cheep tool kit has all the tools needed to tie for $35.00
    Mustad 34007 sw hooks 1/0 to 5/0 per 50 count, $9.99 to $18.99 .20 to .38 ea
    In Florida you can probably catch 90+ % of all inshore fish on two hook sizes.
    #6 for bones etc. and 3/0 for Tarpon, Snook, Jacks etc.. Another $30/$40.00 on materials specific for the flies you want to tie and you can be into it for around $100.00.

    That being said, if you get hooked.............. lord save ya :)

  • HambweldHambweld Posts: 218 Deckhand
    I tie. It was the first thing I learned after how to cast. Found it is a good de stresser for me. A good place to buy a setup and get started is jstockard. I still have and use the $35 rotary I bought there years ago.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,712 Captain
    My folks bought me a Ned Gray kit and a decent vise when I was 11 and took casting lessons @ the local park. I don't fly fish much anymore, arthritic shoulders, but still tie some bluegill bugs and clousers.
  • Elk ChaserElk Chaser Posts: 173 Deckhand

    I have too many other time consuming hobbies I enjoy. Any more would cut into my fishing time.

  • JWTJWT Posts: 788 Officer

    i have been tying stuff to hooks since i was a single digit. one of the first fish i caught was on a hook with some fluffy field grass tied to it. been "hooked" ever since. some fish food ready to serve.......

  • rumit4rumit4 Posts: 18 Greenhorn
    I imagine that fly-tying is an extremely characteristic sidekick to angling, yet you might not have any desire to set out on the voyage: investing energy and cash on instruments and materials...
  • smctroutsmctrout Posts: 37 Greenhorn
    If I had it to do over, I probably wouldn't tie flies. I am a licensed professional at work, and I bill my time at $240.00/hr. It takes me 10 or 15 minutes to tie a moderately complex fly. At that rate my flies are worth $40-60 each, and that does not include the cost of materials and tools. It just doesn't make any sense economically. You have to tie a lot of flies to get good at it, and most of us amateurs don't have the time. A friend who has tied and fished a whole lot more than I told me that a tier can't tie really high-quality flies until he/she has tied 100 dozen of a single pattern.  I won't use 100 dozen of a single pattern in my lifetime! I just tied 11 files of a new pattern, and I couldn't sell any of them. They may catch fish, but they don't look quite right. If you haven't started, don't. Find a shop or online vendor that sells flies, and buy 'em. Some of the online vendors will tie flies to your specs at less cost than a fly shop. Tying your own flies is a money pit. I'll bet I've got in excess of $5,000.00 in tools and materials, and I still have to buy more when I find a new pattern that I like. There is no way back once you get past the beginning stages because you have too much invested, and selling partially-used fly tying materials and tools is a way to lose a lot of money. Sorry to be so pessimistic, but that is my experience. You have been warned. 
  • BigVernBigVern Posts: 217 Deckhand
    Hi folks.

    I got my dad a tying kit many many years ago and it sat collecting dust for a few years before I thought I would give it a go. I caught my first trout on a white fry pattern and was hooked. 30years later you can see I still tie for fun. I mainly tie salmon flies for my dad and brother. When they tell me they have caught one on my flies I get a real buzz, just as much if I catch one on my flies too! My saltwater patterns are improving?! The thought that I created it and a wild creature thinks it is edible gives me immense satisfaction. Long may I get that feeling!! I do not fish as much as I did, which makes each trip and catch that much more special.

    Tight lines

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