Re: Do you buy or tie?
Like Diver Dan said, it is good to support your local shop. We have a place here in Wasilla called Three Rivers Fly Shop, I stop in now and then to buy hooks or some other item and often buy a few flies if I see something that looks fishy.
I have been fishing for a long time and have collected more materials than I will ever use. The one thing that I enjoy today as much as I did when I was a kid is wandering slowly through a fish'en shop looking at everything. The guys who run Three Rivers always give me a cheerful greeting and make some small talk when I stop in. I don't try to impress them with tales of my experience, I listen to what they have to tell me. It seems that since they feel I may need some pointers I get some useful information regarding how they are catching their fish.
They will like me more soon because I'm going to try a pair of the Simms G4 waders and a G4 jacket also. The conditions I faced out on the islands this fall drove home the point that "good' rain gear just wont do. I need the best, and the shop sells it. I could buy online or go to Anchorage where I would save a few bucks but the small shop needs the revenue.