Originally Posted by tbblom
I like the beginner/advanced idea. Or at least having some level of 'involvement' on a fly pattern. If not beginner or advanced, maybe simple/intermediate/complex?
The swap I was involved in was cool, but some patterns obviously took a lot of time and energy; while others were simply a chunk of foam on a hook (ie no time invested at all, the simplest fly available). I kind of felt like I had traded away some really nice flies for a handful that were just really basic. Most were great, but it was obvious that some people just want to crank out something easy and get something nice in return.
I would try a swap again, but I would like to know that the 'level' of flies that I am sending out is that which is being returned in terms of quality and intricacy.
---------- Post added at 07:09 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:16 AM ----------
PS, sorry if that sounds snooty... And it is really not about beginner or advanced (only tying for 15 months here). But really about level of involvement in the particular pattern.
For example, imagine being in a streamer swap (I was not). If you made a box of beautiful deer hair headed sculpins; would you really want to receive a wooly bugger in return?
If you tied a bunch of intricate stimulators up, would you like to receive a griffiths gnat in return?
Nothing inherently wrong with simple ties (they are popular for good reasons!), but there is a level of material investment and time spent on good flies.
Would you want to trade the effort in producing copper johns for the effort of producing San Juans or eggs? probably not.
That said, it was great seeing other people's flies and ideas that are working elsewhere. I would do it again, I just hope people bring their 'A game' to the swaps in terms of deadlines, quality, and creativity!
PPS, thanks to Ard for spearing the Medusa in the head, ie trying to reorganize a good thing!
I don't mean this in a bad way but I think that maybe you should not join the swaps.
There is NO WAY to really regulate what you want, AND I think in most cases is goes against the idea of what people are being asked to do in swaps here.
For instance, let's say we have a "Favorite Spring Nymph" swap. Someone may tie an intricate Woven Golden Stone nymph, and I may tie a simple Hare's Ear.
So who didn't get an even swap?
Is it the guy that spent a lot of time on the beautiful woven nymph? He certainly spent more time per fly than me.
What if I told you we don't have golden stones here in AZ and that beautiful fly would likely never get used? Most certainly a Hare's Ear can be used anywhere there are fish, so did I get short changed because I got a fly I can't use?
What if there is a lesson to be learned in the simple fly.
I sent in a very simple foam ant to one of the last swaps here. Was it as beautiful as that epoxy body ant? Nope, but I would put it up against any ant pattern in terms of catching fish effectively.
Maybe the lesson there is that the dozen foam ants you can tie up quickly the night before a trip is better than the ants you never tied because you didn't have time.
Quick to tie, effective, cheap flies have a place and are often called "Guide Flies" and if someone get's a fly like that in a swap, uses it to catch fish, then learns how to tie it, then that is a good thing.
The truth is that if you are using swaps to fill your fly box you are doing it wrong. For me it is more about improving my skill and the curiosity of seeing what others tie.