View Full Version : To Tie or Not to Tie

04-11-2007, 01:53 PM
How many of you tie flies?

Hey, you guys that do, how long did you fish before starting to?


04-11-2007, 02:07 PM
i tied them..now i can't see well enough to tie them. so i buy them.

04-11-2007, 02:14 PM
Only a year after I started fishing, My big brother got me into it. I started tying at the age of 14...mainly woolybuggers...been tying for 5 years now, youd think I would actually be good at it by now, but I just dont do it enough. You know, the crazy life of a college student. Iv graduated now to various nymphs and wet fly's but thats as far as I can go.

Pro's-The most rewarding feeling when you catch a fish on something you tie.

04-11-2007, 02:24 PM
I was tying my own flies (if you could call them that) within 6 months of getting a fly rod. I started out tying panfish bugs and then moved up to Wooly Buggers. Last year I discovered the Fly Anglers On Line site that has a huge archive of flies. I'm now tying Hare's Ears, Zonkers, Gurglers, James Woods Bucktails, etc. I tied my first Double Bunny yesterday. I've really gotten into foam poppers and am using the Pugliosi synthetics to make frog legs and craw claws. I even developed a little bug made from small foam tubes.
Before I started FF, I was making my own spinnerbaits and in-line spinners. It was then that I got caught up in catching fish with your own lure. There is just something special about hooking up on a home-made.

Jack M.
04-11-2007, 02:26 PM
I tie to save money. Anyone who says it isn't cheaper just, well, they just spend too much on materials, I guess. But, come about late April through October, I have a hard time keeping up with my needs because, frankly, I'd rather be on the water than behind a vice that part of the year, so I supplement with mail ordered flies. Also, when visiting a destination for more than a few days, I usually grab some local patterns, just to avoid being a freeloader when I stop in the shop to find out what's going on. I'll probably buy a dozen or three flies from LRO when I'm down there this Spring.

04-11-2007, 03:21 PM
I tie 75% of my flies. The ones I buy are usually when I see a new pattern that catches my eye and I'll buy at least three. Two to use and one as an example in case it works well and I decide to tie my own. The expense can be high at first with the vise, tools, basic materials, etc. but the reward of catching something you created is pretty awesome! I tie yearround, mainly during the week, weekends are for fishin them!
Been tying about 9 years now.

04-11-2007, 03:27 PM
I have been seriously fly fishing for about 3 years. At about the same time I started fly fishing, I purchased a beginners kit and started tying. I still tie some rather un-attractive flies. I find a get deal of satisfaction catching fish on flies I tie myself. I also have an artistic side and it plays a big role in the whole thing. For me it is part of the over all fly fishing experience and as my tying gets better the more I enjoy it but I still buy flies, and I often do not have enough time. I am still a novice but now have the confidence to bring my gear to work and at lunch tie a couple.

Con is it can be fustrating.

Pro the satisfaction of having a fish hit a dry fly I tie myself makes it all worth the effort.

Flat Fly n
04-11-2007, 06:07 PM
Started tying 26 years ago to save money. I even went to a furrier inside Lenox mall in Atlanta and ask for "scrap fur" for material! Needless to say, I had some beautiful brown mink nymphs for many years!

My vice is never down, and unfortuneatly for my wife, the flytying desk has overtaken the computer desk. Believe it or not I enjoy tying and using my hands as an art form after a long day of using my hands for other things.

Pro- Getting a 18 inch brown or rainbow to slowly examine your dry fly for about a foot, and then ever so slightly sip it in.

Con- Tying a #20 parachute adams is far more difficult than helping sew a 1.5mm obtuse marginal circumflex coronary artery after 20 years of that experience!

Flat Fly'n

04-11-2007, 07:01 PM
I used to tie but life and young kids seem to take priority over many things. I look forward to teaching the kids!


04-11-2007, 07:03 PM
I started tying around a year after I started fly fishing. I voted for the "I never buy flies" category, but that's not entirely true. I tie probably 98% of what I use, but will on occasion buy a fly to use as a pattern design or to fill out my box on strange water. I also highly value flies tied by friends, acquaintances, and well-known tiers. For example, I'd never turn down an offer of a dozen free flies from A.K. Best, although I'd be more likely to frame something like that than fish with them. Catching a fish on a store-bought fly is fun, but catching one on a fly I tied just adds an extra layer of fun to the whole process. Never let anyone say I turned my back on more fun. If you crave yet more fun, build your own rod. Using equipment I've built grafts an indefineable "rightness" onto an already exhilirating sport. Take care,

Nathan Kennedy

04-11-2007, 08:39 PM
I have tied off and on over the last few years, unfortunately, there seem to be some little old ladies in Sri Lanka who can tie a whole lot better than I could ever hope to tie. The icon posted above is a perfect example of tying time mis-spent. I worked really hard to perfect a single pattern figuring that it would cover a large percentage of my dry fly needs. It is a biot bodied parachute. After months of practice they come out pretty nice. The problem is, they don't seem to be very effective in the fish catching department. So here I spent a good number of hours of my finite time here above the grass perfecting a nice looking but for the most part useless fly.

So my tying is now pretty simple. I tie quite a few soft hackles because it seems like no matter how crappy they look, they seem to catch fish for me. And occasionally I'll tie up a few sparkle duns/comparaduns because they are easy to tie, cheap, relatively indestructible and, unlike my biot-bodied parachutes, they seem to catch fish.

Pretty much everything else comes from one of the following places: LRO for mostly everything, Catskill Flies in Roscoe NY (catskill style dries, and a few comparaduns), Trout Hunter in Idaho (CDC flies), Colemans Fly Shop in upstate NY (a really good caddis pattern and some great midges) and Blue Ribbon Flies in Montana for the occasional batch of sparkle duns.

04-11-2007, 08:55 PM
I tie about 75% of the flies I use. Nothing complex. For the rest, I call Paula or stop by a little shop in Norris. I started tying about a year after I started fly fishing. I really enjoy tying my own flies, especially experimenting with patterns and coming up with a ringer. Wish I had more time to devote to it.

04-11-2007, 09:57 PM
I tie most of the flies I fish with. I'm one of those personalities who finds a new hobby then devotes an extreme amount of time and energy into trying to perfect it. It could be a new fly pattern it could be researching the internet trying to find an innovative tying material. I lose a lot of sleep but I can tie a pattern or two that I'm no longer ashamed of ;)

04-11-2007, 10:06 PM
I started tying in january after taking the beginner class at LRO. I also doubled my education by attending the free tying demos. those were priceless. all the tiers were absolutely wonderful. steve brown even sat with me for almost an hour after his demo was supposed to be over and taught me all about biots and helped me solve some other problems I was having. if anyone ever sees him, tell him trevor said thanks. I have a whole different perspective on buying flies now. on one hand, I hate paying the money when I know I could just tie them up myself. but then again, I realize that the price is pretty cheap now that I know what goes into making it (well, some flies at least). I mean, if you asked me to tie you a yellow stimulator, and make it nice and good looking, I'd figure it would be worth about $5 of my time. but then again, I can't just crank that fly out like some people.......yet.

04-11-2007, 11:40 PM
ttas67 -- I agree with you about Steve Brown -- he's very patient and an excellent instructor. I took a flytying class long ago from the CRCTU, and Steve was one of the instructors. All of the guys I've met from that TU chapter are very willing to help new-comers and old-timers as well.

FFG Angler
04-12-2007, 12:23 AM
I have tied most everything over time, but it just seems to take to much time and effort to tie the drys. Plus, I can't do as well on the drys, especially the parachutes.

My 2 favorite flys :p(by far) are gold-ribbed hare's ears and pheasant tails. I always tie these. Even if I am going to tie a new nymph, I always buy a few to use as an example of what to shoot for.

I always buy flys at LRO when I stop in. It helps me to feel like I am helping to support the fishing report and the message board if nothing else. Plus Daniel and Paula always have a few good suggestions on something new to try.

04-12-2007, 12:14 PM
I am learning to tie my own flys. I did not realize these flies sold in fly shops are made in China. There is just something that just doesn't feel right about catching a beautiful American spec on a fly tied in a chinese labor shop. Oh well, I guess thats just the "good ol boy" side of me coming through.

04-12-2007, 12:58 PM
I tie a few, but I find most of the best ones in the rhododendron bushes :)

04-12-2007, 03:30 PM
OK..... I went and got the (http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10151_-1_10001_27765_175004001_175000000_175004000_175-4-1)White River Fly Tying Kit.

Lefty, I didn't know you were so famous....;)

I'm excited to get started.....

04-12-2007, 05:53 PM
I stopped buying flies the year I picked up fly fishing (which has only been about 9 years) I used to frequent LRO during the winters when they were at the old location to pick up tidbits and patterns from the local guys, everything else was from reading and doing through books...course all my materials came from LRO (sometimes some great dubbing came from my cat, but thats another story) I saw fly tying as another facet of the sport and as an extenstion of entemology. While I can't spout the latin its good to know the bugs which translates to the flies I'm using and when.
When I get into the streamers, I just steal from my buddy Rusty :rolleyes:

Paula Begley
04-12-2007, 11:07 PM
(sometimes some great dubbing came from my cat, but thats another story)


YOUR cat Dubbing? Or OUR cat Dubbing? :eek:


04-12-2007, 11:37 PM
Well if my kids could ever catch your Dubbing, I suppose that'll make for some great October Caddis patterns :p but you manage to ward off my material collecting scheme with the lollipops there at the counter!