Swap how a fly swap works


WFF Moderator
Quick overview of what a fly swap is.

Fly swaps are an opportunity for tiers to exchange flies, it's usually done on a 1 fly for 1 fly basis. A member will post a thread about a swap with general guidelines including number of tiers and a deadline for when flies need to be in, the original poster is usually called the swapmeister. Once the deadline is set, other members post about their desire to participate and the swapmeister will add them to the list.

Once you are part of a swap you need to tie your flies then mail them to the swapmeister with a couple dollars for return postage, or a self addressed and stamped package, dont stiff the swapmeister. When the swapmesiter recieves all the flies he splits them up so that everyone gets eachothers flies and then sends them off to the participants. As an example, you send in 12 of the same pattern, and if all goes right you should recieve 12 different flies from the other swap participants.

When you mail your flies try to use some sort of crush resistant packaging, a small box, altoids tin, or something along those lines will work great, your box should be re-used by the swapmeister to return your flies so don't send them in just an envelope.

Flies should be toe-tagged with the name of your pattern and your WAFF board screen name so we know who tied what. A toe tag is usually just a small strip of paper that you stick on to each fly over the barb so it wont fall off, if you tie with barbless hooks then tie a small piece of mono on to your fly and tape it to the paper rather then having it slip off the barbless hook.

Anyone can be a swapmeister, but if you choose to run a swap, do it responsibly and keep all the members informed of the status of the swap, ie.. post when you get flies, post a weekly reminder of when the deadline is, and post when you send flies out. Don't be a flake.

Please PM me if you feel I've missed something and would like to add to this post.



New Member
I was part of a fly swap in the past where you would receive a box of flies and pick 3 to keep and add 4 of your own before sending it off to the next person. The swapmeister would compile a list of each participant and post the next address to the current holder of the box. As new participants joined they would be added to the list chronologically, once the list ended it looped back to the beginning for a second cycle. It began with a collection from a couple of tyers from a local shop just to start with a good beginning selection. Size limits were pre-arranged (18-10). The box fit into a small priority mailer box and each participant is responsible for the reshipment costs. At the end the swapmeister. Got the amalgamation of new flies as the prize for all the hard work of planning and setup. Honesty is important but we all signed a document stating that we would pay a fixed fee if we failed to re-send the box after a week.

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