Cheap Flies

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Big E, Nov 20, 2011.


Where do you buy flies?

Cheapest place you can find 6 vote(s) 11.5%
Local fly shop 43 vote(s) 82.7%
EBay 2 vote(s) 3.8%
Local Commercial Tier 6 vote(s) 11.5%
A Friend who likes to tie 6 vote(s) 11.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. FT Active Member

    Posts: 1,242
    Burlington, WA
    Ratings: +102 / 0

    I don't see any mention on his website about his flies being tied in the USA. And at the prices he is selling them for, I hightly doubt he has tyers in the USA tying them for him because they would have to sell them to him for 40%-50% less than he is selling them for. That means that for flies like the GRIFFITH'S GNAT that he sells for $1.00 each, they would be selling them to him for $.50 to $.65 each. Since Griffith's Gnats require the use of quality genetic grizzly hackle (which isn't cheap), I know I wouldn't tie them for those prices. Heck, I wouldn't tie them for the $1.00 each he is selling them for. And for his deer head streamer flies with bunny strip wings, Krystal Flash, eyes, and bodies at $2.50 each, it means he would have to be paying the tyer $1.25-$1.60 each. These are time consuming flies and the bunny strips are not exactly cheap when you figure how many flies you can tie with a package of bunny or even a whole skin that has been turned into strips. Like I said, I hightly doubt he is getting his flies tied in the USA. Again, I'd never tie these flies for that price because I'd be working for $4.00-$5.00 per hour, which is less than minimum wage, to do something that takes skill.

    I have no doubt that he is buying them from a wholesale distributor in the USA though that is very different than buying US tied flies.
  2. idahokid David Willey

    Posts: 167
    Hayden Lake,Idaho
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I like it.
  3. Philster New Member

    Posts: 2,479
    Ratings: +3 / 0
  4. Joe Smolt Member

    Posts: 532
    Bothell, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +9 / 0
    I tie most of my own flies for salt, river salmon and steelhead and lakes. I don't trout fish enough, so I will purchase dries and some nymphs at a local shop to also get river intel. Outside of that, I've only bought bass poppers on line because you don't find them typically stocked in local shops. More and more I am tying my own surface flies to replace surface poppers.

  5. Mike Lee It's all about the sauce.....

    Posts: 556
    South King County
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I do the best I can at the vise but that's not saying much for quality. If I don't know how to tie it, or tie it well I'll buy it. I don't catch much so I guess it doesn't really make much of a difference.
  6. troutwoman Member

    Posts: 36
    Billings, Montana
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    I know for a fact that he gets them tied in the USA, he has a very good business relationship with a prison in Pennsylvania. He and a friend tie all the streamers he sells. I know him personally and
    trust me they all are tied in the USA. He has skill and lots of it. It is truly amazing to watch how fast and good he can tie a fly. I will have to suggest to him to put made in USA on his site, we
    never thought of that.
  7. FT Active Member

    Posts: 1,242
    Burlington, WA
    Ratings: +102 / 0
    Glad to hear that he and a friend are tying all the streamers he is selling. He really ought to be charging more for them though because they are well tied and their time and skill are worth more than flies priced on the low side of the flies imported from 3rd world countries.

    Having them tied by folks in a prison in Pennsylvania would sure keep the costs down to about what the 3rd world countries do them for. However, the inmates aren't making very much and once they get out (assuming they aren't lifers, which they might well be), they aren't going to be able to make a living tying the flies they tied as part of prison industries. Yes, having inmates tie them makes for good PR and gives the inmates something productive to do; however, they get paid very little for doing so and I personally have a problem with that. I'd much rather see folks not in prison be able to make a decent living (as in $40,000.00 or even a bit more) tying flies. Afterall, tying well-tied flies is not a skill one learns overnight and it is very much a skilled profession, just like automechanics.
  8. Drifter Active Member

    Posts: 1,623
    Ratings: +634 / 2
    My local shop has a bin that is $5 a dozen and i always check it when i go in for flies in #18 or #20

    I tie most of my own but when it comes to the small spring creek flies that someone else can tie i just have to buy them . TYING #22 parachute adams is not easy and most the time you have to have the finer caps to tie these kind of flies which i do not have .

    I have also bought a single fly for a pattern match . This last winter i was trying my luck at epoxy streamers and man what a pain . got it done but would of rather taken the easy way out and paid someone else to do it .
  9. Bighorn Flies Member

    Posts: 54
    Billings, Mt.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I would personally like to clear a few things up. Everything on my website is tied by me and my friend. I also have a wholesale company that does about 975 different patterns that I do not put on my website simply because I could not keep up. About 90% of the wholesale flies are tied in Pennsylvania and the other 10% by me. I charge $8.00 a doz. wholesale for standard patterns and the tier receives $5.00 a doz., most of them make about $50.00 to $100.00 a day, which is a hell of an income for their situation. I also have to say that the quality of these flies are top notch (some better than I can tie). They might not be able to make a solid career out of it when they get out, but they will have a solid work ethic and save up a lot of money to get started again when they get out.
  10. rory Go Outside

    Posts: 390
    Maple Leaf, WA
    Ratings: +187 / 0
    Dov tied some of the pink turd and comets this year as well.