Posts Tagged ‘Fly Tying’

I started fly fishing at 9 years old. Teaching myself by watching videos and reading L.L. Bean’s fly fishing hand book. I am not sure exactly when I started tying flies but I know it wasn’t long after. I was probably around 11 or 12 when I got my first fly tying kit. Even at a young age I knew flies where expensive and I would save money tying my own, or at least I thought.

Tying flies to save money is one the biggest myths in fly fishing. There are only 2 ways to tie flies and save money. The first is if you tie 3 dozen flies a day every day every year. Of course you would never need that many flies and could sell some to make up for all the materials and tools you have bought.

The other way you could tie and save money would be to never upgrade from the original fly tying kit you buy. If you don’t buy a $200 plus vise, $150 worth of new tools you “need”, $500 worth of different colors and sizes of hackle, $1500 worth of other feathers and furs, and don’t forget $200 worth of fly boxes for all the flies you are going to tie ahead of time.

We all know the only people who put money in their pockets by tying flies are commercial tiers. The reason we tie flies is because it is fun and there is nothing better than catching fish on flies that we have tied ourselves.  Sometimes when we see flies in the fly shop for $2.49 each we trick ourselves into  thinking we are saving money too.

As a guide I find that my guests enjoy the fact that I tie most of my own flies. They like the idea of catching fish on flies I have tied. Many of my guests who are also fly tiers like to bring flies for me try or to fish with on their trip.  I enjoy both.  I really enjoy emailing guests with pictures of fish I have caught on flies they tie for me.

Tying flies also gives the non steelhead fisherman something to do in the winter. Those of us in the Salmon River, New York area know that there is no off season here. We fish 12 months a year in New York.  A tough week during prime Salmon season on the Salmon River often means tying flies though the middle of the night between trips. The last thing you want is to run out of flies.

If you are thinking of getting into fly tying I highly recommend it. It is a great feeling catching fish on flies you have tied. It is also a great way to pass the time when you can’t get out on the water.

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