How often do you tie?

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
I don't tie as much as I used to . . . didn't fish last year, so no depleted inventory, although after tying since 1958 any Great Grandkids will be hard-pressed to use what I have in boxes, lol. When I tie, I'll usually tie 3 of 1 pattern at a time, close the roll-top desk & tie 3 more a little later as time permits. Occasionally, I'll see a pattern in the "What's in Your Vise" thread that intrigues me. I'll tie for longer periods of time when one of my Montana Nephews submits a request. Now that I'm vaccinated, I'll buy my old man license so I'll get back to replacing lost/worn-out patterns again, but time with my Kids & Grandkids is still my #1 passion.


WFF Supporter
Pretty much every night the Oilers play. Set up a portable bench in front of the TV and go to it.


Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
unless I'm really inspired, usually only once or twice a week, generally a 2-ish hour session to get out one or two tiger musky flies or a pile of bass streamers


First the question...

How often do you tie, and for what length of time?

Something I have struggled with for years is tying consistently. I find myself tying every day for a week or two, than not having the motivation to tie for weeks if not months. I notice whenever I come back to the vice my skills are not quite as sharp as they were before and it takes me a few flies to get back up to speed.

For me, I don't really need another fishing fly. When i was younger i needed to refill the boxes after pulling flies off in the bushes. I also buy flies I visit that are the "hot pattern" of the month to support the local store.

So how often do you guys tie? And how long are your tying sessions?

I tie flies every day for at least an hour. As a result, I have a million flies that I'll most likely never use. I find tying flies relaxes me so it's what I do after work and on weekends when I'm not fishing -- which during 2020 was not at all. .
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wadin' boot

Donny, you're out of your element...
WFF Supporter
I tie sporadically, when I am out of a particular fly for instance. or on the local lake if I see a bug hatching and I don't quite have the pattern I'll take a stab at it.

I used to tie whenever Roger Stephens had a "Fishing is heating up" style post because for whatever reason that was a big stoke for me.

I also tie when I realize I should have rinsed my flies and I am beset with hook breakage and rust. It's a lazy thing, I'll avoid it as long as possible, but when your hook breaks because of your own moronic issues....

I'll also tie when I do a season's check of the flies I have, restart with a lousy pattern that's falling apart, razor it down, restart- so long as the hook is still good.

I guess at this point I have a few go-to patterns, like anyone, and if it's not working on those often I'll end up doing something different anyway, like birding, or fossicking or taking photos.

i don't love fly tying by any stretch, though it is sorta like gardening, if you like how the garden grows you gotta put some time in before it gets some point the chore is enjoyable enough, but not something I necessarily look forward to


WFF Supporter
It happens about once a month. Ill go out into the garage on a Friday or Saturday night to grab a cold one from the garage fridge. Thats when it happens - I see the vice. It's like a beacon, or a glowing light. I wander over to see where I left off and get intrigued. I sit down and start looking thru materials. "Hey, looky here, jig hooks. Haven't used these in awhile." Or, "ahhh, forgot I bought these shanks from @Spawnflyfish"....three hours later and I've tied one, maybe two flies but somehow gotten sucked into the black hole that is the internet and bought about $80 worth of tying material...


I used to tie almost every night anywhere from 6 to a dozen or more. Last winter (2019-2020) I tied about 170 dozen flies. About 500 went to TU (Trout Unlimited) Kids Camp, 500 to CFWEP (Clark Ford Watershed Education Program) Kids camp, and the rest (about 1500) to Reel Recovery program (for men with cancer). This winter I slowed down. only tied about 34 dozen for the MayFly Project (takes foster kids fly fishing). All of the above projects for Southwest Montana persons. Kinda trying to use up all that material I accumulated over the last 50 years.

Old Trout11

I tie every morning for about 3 or so hours. I'm now tying flies that will most likely never see the water. But I see a new pattern and I have to tie up a dozen.


WFF Supporter
Every day; even if it’s just one fly, which it often is, I like to keep the tying muscles from atrophying. I really hate tying anything in multiples any more (there are some exceptions) so I’ll mix things up, or at least do variations on patterns to keep things fresh.



Active Member
I guess I tie when I see something that inspires me or when I think I need something new in one of my far too numerous fly boxes. I have a nice man cave where my vise is always set up. Sometimes I tie four or five days in a row and then miss several. So I guess "when the mood is right".

Even though I've been tying for something like 40 years, I'm still just an amateur at the vise. I look at the "What's in your vise" thread at what many of the contributors tie and am amazed at the talent. DSCF2031.JPG

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