I need a fly tying robot.....


WFF Supporter
Something I can program to tie flies to my specifications with the materials I like!

I have only been seriously tying for a couple of years now and I can truly say I love and loathe it all at the same time. I love tinkering. I love learning new methods to tie or new materials to play with. My doodling time during meetings at work has now turned into fly design time as I draw up different things to try. I love watching fly tying videos on YouTube during my commute and then taking what I learned and tinkering until I find something l like. Fly tying to me, is a lot like cooking, I love finding a recipe and then iterating to find the flavors I like!

However....I hate knocking out bulk. Once I find a pattern that works and I am confident in, I hate the prospect of sitting at desk and knocking out a dozen of the same thing - or even a half dozen. It leads to me usually only having 1-2 of any given pattern in my fly boxes at the same time.

How about you all? Any of you find enjoyment in just turning out flies in mass? I could see where that might be a relaxing hobby. I think I just hate it because I am at a desk all day for my job- which is tough enough for me as I hate sitting still for long periods of time.

Or, are most of you like me and the true enjoyment comes from playing with new designs, materials, tying methods, etc. and then testing them. I love the feeling of catching fish I flies came up with - either as my own design or as an iteration of someone else’s fly.

Oh - if you do just like tying in bulk, let me know. I’ll send you some recipes and pay you $10 a dozen :)....sorry, I’m a cheapskate!

Edit: here is a picture I took of one side of one of my fly boxes after coho season. Well used set of flies and maybe 1-2 patterns with duplicates. I need to work on my organizational skills as well...

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Active Member
I started tying flies my junior year in college, back then stillwater wasn't something I was much interested in, not when there were a couple really good rivers nearby. In those days I tied up about six different patterns with the most common being a muddler minnow, stonefly nymph, muskrat nymph and the "casual dress" (Polly Rosborough patterns). I didn't have much time to tie, let alone fish, and I didn't have a lot of tying materials. Oh, I fished everything with a spinning rod since I didn't have a fly rod.

Now days I fished lakes more often than rivers and at times do sit down to "mass tie" - I sure don't want to run out of my favorite blood worm and chromie or Ethyl Lake midge when the trout seem to be keyed into one fly. But I too have a hard time staying focused on just one pattern over and over.

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
About the only time I tie in bulk now is when one of my Nephews requests something and even then I stretch it out. Since my bench is a roll-top desk, I tie 3 or 4 flies at a time, close the roll door and get back to it when time permits, Before I know it, several dozen flies are done.


Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
I do bulk in stages over several days.
Say I want to know out three dozen stinger clousers.
I’ll add the stinger loops to all of them. Then add the eyes the next day. Bellies the next day then finally the wings.
I just can’t tie each one, one at a time.
I probably have close to 1,000 clousers at my place, but I still continue to tie them!

I always pretty much tie two of any pattern I think myself and the fish will like.


I don't particularly enjoy bulk either. But I also find I don't need it a ton. Once I stepped up my knot game, I just don't lose that many flies. I also make an effort to build sturdy flies. Short of the usual stuff like pheasant tails breaking, I have had very few flies come part in the last decade. So I can often get 8 or 12 or sometimes (in lakes) 20+ fish on a fly. So I just don't often find myself needing dozen(s)_ of a pattern. Granted this is unique to my fishing situations. If I fished salt more (i.e., had to cast around rocks), I'm guessing I'd have to do more repetition.

The one downside to this is that I don't often get good at a pattern (or getting the material amounts/proportions down) because I'm too often switching, either patterns or sizes.


WFF Supporter
Your last few words may be key to your dilemma. It also sounds like you're being a bit hard on yourself when it comes to your expectations. Why do you need to tie a dozen of anything? I have tied flies that have caught me a lot of fish before I decided to toss them. This is a hobby. Don't stress yourself dude.

Ehh, I would not call it stress, more of a thought I had as I was doing a mental inventory of what I wanted to tie up over the next couple of weeks to get me through winter SRC fishing. Not super excited to sit down and tie stuff up I have a set pattern for. To your point though, I’ll just keep tinkering. Try out some new materials, new techniques and colors, etc. maybe I’ll find something that ends up working even better.


Active Member
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. I always have dozens of ideas for patterns bouncing off the limited grey matter that is still functioning between my ears. Tying flies is a creative process and I don't think that any of us are too different when it comes to tying. It is the one solid link to the time we spend on the water, when we can't be on the water. I think about it often when I can't be on the water and I find the process of planning what to tie a useful thing to do. Visiting this website is also part of the planning process as I get a tremendous amount of inspiration from members here who share their creative ideas and talents.

Mark Mercer

You have to be in the mood to tie a bunch of flies at once but it's not too bad if you set everything up before you start. You want to tie 6 flies, take out six hooks, pick out that number of beads/cones/ eyes ect,
then do the same with hackles or whatever you need to do that number of flies, then start tying.

Years ago I used to tie a lot for local shops and didn't mind it too much (would never do it again) learned some valuable lessons from it and made me a better tier.


Active Member
I try to diversify what kinds of fisheries I partake in. Subsequently this means tying a lot of different styles of flies which can keep things interesting. I find that as my tying abilities improve I rarely fish older flies and I'm always trying to keep up with the current season. This can be stressful, especially when I'm low on stock and needing to tie stuff for a special trip. One thing I'm doing to reduce the stress is trying to stay ahead by tying stuff I'll need for the next seasonal fishery now (tie in the winter for spring etc.) It can feel like a chore when I'm trying to fill a box with only days before a trip.


Beach Bum
I hear you, I spent many years developing and redesigning perfect Puget Sound flies, but they were all too complicated and time consuming. I now have about 4 patterns in 2 colors each I can knock out fast. That's it. I tie my clousers like Stone fish even when they're not stingers, eyes and body. Same with epoxy heads. Knock out all the fly bodies then go back and eyes and epoxy on. I also prestage stuff. I have 36 hooks hanging with cone heads on them, I'll tie one or 2 up when I have a couple minutes.

I do enjoy tying, so I save my creative one off flies for steelhead. Getting one pair of goose shoulder slips to sit right is enough for one sitting

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