I started tying in the early 60's as a kid in Michigan. I got a "boxed kit" for Christmas. I and a friend tied for panfish on a local pond and dreamed of catching Trout on flies. The Herter's Catalog arrival was a wonderful day, but we supplimented heavily with our prizes from our Saturday hunting trips. Mt friend's father raised some chickens that shuttered whenever we came near their run. Mustad Abredeen hooks made a good dry fly hook.
I switched to ultralight spinning while in College and grad. schools while teaching, then returned to tying in Mid 70's when my father asked me if he could "dump the my tying supplies" when cleaning the attic to remodel his house. I rescued them and have added greatly to the amount since. I still have a wax paper wrapped squirrel tail and a 1 oz package of loose Iron Blue Dun Hackle feathers (It might have a couple #14's in the pkg).
As tyers today, We are spoiled by the high quality and diversity of materials. I remember scraping trapped muskrat and ground hog hides, and dying squirrel tails. If you look at the early Catskill dry flies, their hackles looked a lot different than what we find in the fly bins today due to what was available then. Memories!!