fishing / tying?


curious to know who all fishes/ and ties their own flies,
fishes/ and tried to tie flies
and those who just fly fish ?
i know it cuts cost but how do i get into this without breaking the bank, im a gadget guy so i'll probably-, no , i know i will over buy. so many feathers !!!


New Member
I do both. Started tying just after I started fly fishing which was about 6 years ago. Didn't have much money to buy flies, so I got a kit and kind of taught myself. Of all the flies I tied my first 2 years, I would say that I don't have a single one in any of my boxes today. I would consider myself to be a good tier right now, just took a few years to get there. I proably have more flies then I know what to do with, but also have some that one will never see in a flyshop.

If I were starting out again, here are some things I would recomend
-Don't buy a kit. Most of the stuff in them is crap.
-Instead get a decent vice ($80+) and a few tools (bobbin, hackle pliers, & whip finisher). Then ask the guy in the shop what materials you will need to tie a few basic flies like wooley buggers, or whatever you use the most
-Don't buy mustad hooks. They may be less $, but the quality sucks. Tiemco or daiichi are much better.
-Last, if you have the money take a class. Really takes some time off the learning curve.

It's a great hobby to get into. Over the years I have collected lots of material, and have hundreds of flies. Just remember, you don't need to buy everything at one.

Matt Burke

Active Member
I fish and tie. Tying is not cost effective. But then spending thousands on rods, reels, lines and accessories like waders, vests and all the gadgets you can put in one, really isn't very cost effective either. If I were to do the math, it costs me about a grand per Steelhead. Of course the more you catch, that dollar sign goes lower, but will never meet those Safeway prices. When you hook up to a Steelhead, the last thing that crosses your mind is what you spent getting there. "PRICELESS"


Old Man

Just an Old Man
What do I know---I'm just an old man

Yes,you do need it all at once. How many times have you said to your self "if I had those feathers I could have tied up a different fly". I seem to start out trying to tie up one kind and end up going in another direction. My mind likes to wander.

I can tie up the easy ones but the ones with more that three different kinds of feathers and stuff I end up buying. My hands seem to wander also.


Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
I do both. Fishing and tying. I have been doing it for years, but never quite got the bug to tie trout flies. I pretty much self taught myself. Sure wish I had a mentor for fly tying/fishing. My Dad taught most everything I know, but he wasn't much of a fly fisherman. You can check previous posts about same topic.

Here's what you do, buy a decent vise, and then buy materials for first fly you want to tie. Then, once you've mastered that one, buy materials for next fly. So on and so on. THEN, here's the kicker. Once you're decent at tying, offer to tie for friends/family, BUT on a condition. They buy the materials, and you keep what's left over. You really start to buildup a collection and none of the costs. It's how I started. I have quite the collection from over the years. And with very minimal costs. I've upgraded over the years, and have bought some newer materials. Upgraded to a Barracuda vise. But, most of my upgrades have come from me buying things, and reselling at a profit, my Barracuda ended up being free (plus I get a hellacious deal on them for being a professional tyer).

Fly tying is almost like hunting, you either get the taste for it or you don't. I'd suggest finding someone who'll let you use their equiptment and try it out. Some guys spend the money to tie, and find out they don't care for it. Nothing worse then spending say $500 to outfit yourself, then turn around and sell for $200 because you didn't like it.


AKA: Gregory Mine
Cheapest way to put food on the table ??? Lake Safeway.... Best way to have the most satisfaction, pleasure, reward, confidence and pride ???? Do it all...Tying, rod building, learingin on your own, trial and error, never giving up, staying dedicated and focused... My opinion and I'm sticking to it.


New Member
I currently tie about 80% of my flies. Started attempting to tie as I was learning to fly cast. I didn't take any classes cause I'm not a very social critter, but it would have saved many horribly deformed flies from being brought into this world. The book "Western Trout Fly Tying Manual" helped me out quite a bit. Lots of step by step pictures.If you are not sure it's somthing you want to get into a kit is OK. Just know that you will need to expand feather and fur collection soon afterward. Better materials are easier to work with. Start with some simple flies
like the wooly bugger and build from there. Also, the fly tying section
of this forum is great to ask and learn. Sure, eventually your fly tying
box will resemble Noah's ark. I know I am weak when in the presence new
and exotic materials. I like the way Seelheader69 works things. I got too many friends on the dark side to swing that right now :AA
I tie my own flies and tend to these over my store-bought flies (of which I buy quite a few). I typically use the store-bought flies for two reasons:

(1) They are tied by tyers more skilled than me, so I use 'em as examples.

(2) When I fish a river I haven't fished before, I'll buy and use a set of flies thought to be tailored for that river. By the next time I fish that same river, tho', I'll have tied my own versions of the store-bought ones.

Tying my own flies costs me a lot more than buying store-bought ones. But on days like this, when the local rivers are blown-out, it's great to have something to do that keeps my mind in the game.


I tie and fish, steelhead and saltwater. I like to tie since it is a creative outlet for me - i don't save money on flies, but do dive them as special presents to friends etc. I'll even tie marlin flies in the winter just dreaming about that Baja trip that I will take someday. I tie with my kids too - they make great creations - pick up feathers off the lawn, use their craft stuff.

The easiest way to think of this as saving money is that you don't get to visit the shops as often pick up 100's of dollars of gear that you normally would not have if I had stayed home and tied on your own!

I do the same as Luv2Spey - I'll buy a pattern and use it as an example...if you can get the recipe and have a real example even better.

I have found videos to be great too - put your vise infront of the TV and hit tie right along with them.

You can also spend some time in a shop that ties flies when it is slow- bring in a few cups of coffee on a Sunday and have them tie a few infront of you - they will even let you try -it's good PR for them.

I also collect tying books, hunt on the net and on forums for patterns.

being politically correct sucks

between school, skateboarding, and being 16, i have no time for tying my own flies. im sure someday i will cross that bridge, but not at this point.

Just a thought is there such a thing of catch and release girl chasin? What are the ethics for this sport? Is there such a thing as native and hatchery? What kind of flys do you use? This could be quite a thread? Although it wouldn't matter to me as I was hooked, tagged and put into the live tank long ago. :THUMBSUP

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Why yes lastcall, there is

It's a give and take on both ends, C & R for both women and men (depends on who's doing the fishing). For the most part, we're all brats. Very few of us come from the pure "native" strain. I know I come mostly from a German strain. :BIGSMILE They key to proper C & R is to not sink your fly too deep. You may be stuck with what you catch, because of mishandling your fly (make sure you keep that fly protected :WINK ). You can easily and safely catch and release as much as you'd like. But beware, sometimes when you toss that pink leech around, your prey may want to come back to it over and over again. And if you want to go fish another hole, you'll be impeded by the other fish intercepting your casts. :WINK

Luckily for me, I grew up out of that syndrome. I prefer to fish the same pocket water. If the fishing's good, why not stick to what I enjoy? :THUMBSUP

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
Hi, my name is Bob and Im a fly tier.... It all started out innocently enough. I was going to save money. After all, I couldnt afford flys, but there I was buying them every week at the fly shops.
"That'll be $127.50" The clerk would state flatly. He had sen my kind before; scruffy and unshaven, broke and sleeping in my car on the Beaverkill, living from one hatch to the next, drinking coffee and sniveling in the rain,living on peanutbutter, waiting for the next hatch, the next rise, the next pulse of life from the rivers.Im sure he suspected I was coming by the money for flies in some ungodly way. I sure smelled like it by sunday. I was guiding and doing some woodworking. Mostly I was fishing. So I bought one of those kits that all my friends advised me not to buy. I saved allot of money buying a kit- it was complete with materials and a vice, tools, a book.... No more spending money at the fly shops.That was along time ago. I have slept on allot of rivers in a few diffrant cars since then. I threw away or gave away all of the kit stuff and have spent thousands of dollars on tying materials by now- enough to buy a whole fly shop no doubt.I tie my own salt and freshwater flies. I doubt I have saved any money. Maybe broke even. At least Im still broke and still fishing. I do it for the art and the craft and the expression and there is no end to the spread of things to do in fly tying. I have met some amazing people in the craft and it's a whole life of it's own. And I fish my flies, and my friends flies too.And that feels really good sometimes.