Courtesy for a Fly Swap

Discussion in 'Fly Swaps' started by dryflylarry, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. I'm thinking of joining a kitchen table watercraft, my fat ass would sink that fine craft. I'm good at tables when fliped over properly and fully outfitted with vittles.
  2. Why dont we start a list of people not to be trusted?. Give everyone a heads up on who is trouble and to avoid when trying to organise a swap.
  3. Hope my name does not get on the list.... I think my color is still green in reference to the Patriot Act and the color attatched to your name based upon your previous travels, legal issues, and place of birth. :D:D
  4. I dont do fly swaps anymore because there are a lot of people that cant tie worth a damn and I feel it is a waste to tie 12 good flies of my own, to get 11 back of which 6 or 7 might have any quality.
    They are fun to see new patterns abd others good work, but for me it isnt worth it any more.

    on the other site i was on people would say... advanced, competent or beginner... maybe listing swaps like that would help here as well.
  5. John, I thought pretty flies only caught fishermen...that would be a waste of time, I want to catch fish.

    I think the level of talent idea is a strong one. I certainly would consider myself a beinner working toward completent. As such I really appreciate hearing feedback from guys that have fished my flies in successful line tightening adventures.

  6. Not that this the case but I have sent mail with some small parts to a window before, about the size of a # 8 3XL hook, the customer called and said the envelope was was tore up and nothing was in it. I have also sent mail with small things in it that the envelope never made it, envelopes go through an automated sorter of some sort and can shred an envelope if something hard and not flat is in it. Again not that this is the case with the delayed swap but shit does this does happen.
  7. before i mail any envelopes, i tape up the 3 closed sides of the envelope with clear packaging tape as a safety precaution. insert the sase with the swap flies into the large envelope to be mailed, then seal up the open end, again with clear packaging tape.
  8. Yeah, I have often thought the same thing, but I kind of like the mixed skill levels. Sure, I might not "learn" anything from a less advanced tier in a swap, but I am still getting back a fishable fly. And, that guy is probably learning a lot from the more advanced tiers he is receiveing flies from (and hopefully corresponding with, if he wants any tips or advice).

    I have come to realize that I participate in swaps, not to stock my boxes, but to communicate and share ideas with like-minded folks. I especially value the opportunity to do this because I live in Alabama--a wonderful place, but not exactly a hot-bed of fly tying. I know 3 or 4 guys here who tie / fish at the same skill level as me (not that I am Lefty Kreh or anything, but I wouldn't consider myself a "beginner"). Sometimes I am envious of you guys out west, where it seems like everyone is in on this gig...

    Now, here is what does rub me the wrong way: When an otherwise-skilled fly tier submits simple and generic flies for a swap that I have put a lot of effort into. :mad:

    You know, when everyone else in the swap has been creative or innovative or shared a lesser-known pattern or technique in the spirit of the swap and some dude sends in a dozen GRHEs or phesant-tail nymphs that look like they are straight out of a Dan Bailey's catalog. Not that those are bad flies--we all fish them, and they certainly produce--but not really swap material, in my opinion. Especially when you have people sending in something as creative and innovative as the flies that xDog ties:


    I need to get in a swap with that guy.

    DeLeon is another good guy to be in a swap with:

    And Pfitz...

    And Marty Howard...

    It's guys like these that keep me coming back to fly swaps.
  9. chattmr, you are the voice of reason! I'm a beginner by any stretch, I find some of my attempts easier than others and so goes my progression. I apprecitate the input I get from seasoned and talented tyers and hope that my humble flies today are fishable and that someday I'll turn out a fly or two that will catch both the fish and the fisherman.

    If someone else does not want to tie because their precious flies are too valuable to risk getting less in return, so be it. I understand and respect that, but why would the uber talented crack on new tyers except to embarass and drive them away. Maybe some don't care if others grow and learn.

    chattmr, again, thank you for a well grounded perspective. Someday when I grow up as a tyer I hope to be one of those singled out for submitting a quality tie with an innovative material or presentation. Until then I send off my flies hoping that they are capable of catching fish.
  10. my flies fall into the simple but effective catagory
    i apologize
  11. even when i tie simple and generic patterns, they never look that good... k

  12. It has NOTHING to do with how good a person can tie. That is why it is a Fly Swap NOT a Fly Tying Contest!

    I think this whole Discussion Thread has gotten off base from the original topic.

    Just my 2 cents.

  13. I couldn't agree more. I've participated in a half dozen or so swaps hosted by others and most of those Swapmeisters convinced me there was a better way to run a swap.

    I've since hosted 8-10 swaps and all have gone off on time with a minimum of fuss. Here's my list of important points for Swapmeisters:

    1. State your expectations clearly and in advance. Tell everyone what the swap theme is, when the flies are due, where to send them, how to package them, remind them to send prepaid return postage, and most importantly, what you're gonna do when the deadline comes and someone hasn't sent in their flies yet.

    1. Overcommunicate. Add a post to the thread and update the participant list whenever someone joins. Once the swap is full, post that it's closed and then regularly to ask how folks are coming along. Ask particiants to communicate how they're doing.

    1. Encourage folks to finish early. I've run several swaps where everyone finished ahead of the deadline so everyone got their flies early instead of late. Believe me, it's a refreshing change from the way some swaps end.

    1. If you don't hear back from some tyers, contact 'em by PM or email and make sure they're still on board. Not hearing from some folks can be an early predictor of possible trouble later on. If they're having second thoughts, ask 'em to either commit or drop out. Better to find out in advance than when the deadline comes and goes.

    1. Don't waffle. If you posted a deadline and everyone except one or two tyers got their stuff in on time, why should they be penalized because of a slacker or two?

    1. Decide how you want to handle slackers. From experience, my policy now is to distribute the flies I received when I said I would at the start of the swap. If some dribble in late, too bad - I just send 'em back. Same with those who forget to send return postage - and it happens more than you'd think - I tell the tyer and just hang onto his flies until he sends stamps or money or spaces it out entirely. After extending credit to slackers early on and not getting repaid, I finally decided I'm not gonna pick up a couple bucks in postage every swap or two. I'm running a fly swap, not a fucking charity.

    Notice that all the points above are number 1? That's how I earned the name SwapNazi. It's also why my swaps fill up quickly and finish on time.

  14. I agree that skill level should have little to do with participating in a fly swap. But, if everyone in a swap cranks out generic and simple flys that everyone knows about, why would you sign up for it? What do you stand to learn?

    Does anyone seriously sign up for a swap under the premise of "filling their boxes"? Of course not. It doesn't make sense. You tie 12 flies to get 12 others back. The only incentive to participate is to get back something new and different that you couldn't or wouldn't think to tie yourself. You join to get new ideas from other tiers, or to get a close look at techniques that you can't buy in a store or read in a book. When one of the tiers "underperforms" it is at everyone elses expense. I suspect what happens is that some people procrastinate, and then crank out the quickest fly they can tie at the last minute. They get back flies that all the other participants have put significant time and thought into. The other participants don't get much in return.

    That is what I have a problem with, and I think it is discourteous to the other participants of a swap.

    I also agree that swaps are not contests. I only mentioned specific tiers above because their innovation and skills are what make me want to be a part of the swaps they are in. I want to learn from them. I suspect most people would agree.

    Again, I am not saying you need to be an expert, or tie really innovative flies to be a good participant in a swap--but at least give it some effort. If you are a beginner, then just do your best and enjoy the ride.

    p.s. Rotato, I have no problem with "simple and effective". Just don't cop out...

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