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Old 08-03-2009, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jaker1011 View Post
I have been tying for a few years now, and I have wanted to sell my flies for along time. I am a good tier, and I would like to find a company that would buy my flies. I am also going to talk to the local fly shop owner to see if he would buy some flies. Any suggestions about companies that might hire me would be great.
Jaker,
As mentioned earlier, it's going to be tough to compete against the overseas tying houses. Some flies are available as little as 50 to 60 cents each when bought in bulk.

As for local shops, what you should do is tie custom flies for the shop. There are always local patterns that are not commercially available. Also customers come into shops asking to have flies custom made. See if you could come up with an arrangement with your local shop.

I tie commercially for my local shop. The flies that I tie are custom jobs. For example, there aren't many flies that are made commercially for American Shad. Last shad season, I tied 300 shad flies. The order for next year has doubled, so I'm starting now. My arrangement with the shop is to be compensated with store credit. I'm not in it for the money.

I got my tying gig with the local shop because the owner and the shop manager are good friends of mine. For you, it may be a challenge. Give the shop some flies to test out. If they like them, at least you will have your foot in the door. Leave your contact information just in case someone wants a custom order.

MP
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:41 AM
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I own a shop and tie 80% of my flies, used to be 100% and even now I'm cutting back and buying over seas. you cannot compete with them. I tied over 4,000 flies last year alone. took away from my fishing time. want to tie for me you'll have to pay the feds a 10% tax on each fly you tie to be legal. or have the shop pay it and you get less.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:20 AM
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Try getting your feet wet selling some area specific flies on Craig's List. There is a guy up Fort Collins way [i think it's fort collins] that is doing that. Don't know how well he's doing, but it's a good way to get a feel for the market.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:40 AM
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I have been tying for years and I can tell you that it is a rough go. I have a client list of over 300 people world wide and it took me years to come up with that list. I also do custom tying for a local tackle store and target Pike flies for them. The biggest thing to remember is how you tie your flies and how long they last. People do not want a Pike fly to last only two fish so the way you tie will dictate how many you can sell. It is a tough haul but once you have a few client word of mouth will make it easier. Another thing I have done is to adjust the patterns that I tie. I have to tie a dozen flies per hour to make it worth my while, if I can't do this many I will not tie that pattern.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:55 PM
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listen to frank .....

I sell a dozen flies in a box through my website and through local shops for about $30.00. All are proven "local" patterns. Know your market!!!!
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:01 PM
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I think you got good advice here. I tried tying for local shops years ago & had a hard time finishing orders. I'd look out the window & Think " I'd rather be fishing, what the hell did I get into" Once you tie 12 doz. of 1 type of fly you don't want to see another. I haven't tied a muddler in quite a few years.
Tying commercially is the quickest way to end your enjoyment of tying.
That said. Ck out E-Bay there are some tyers selling on there. Maybe you can make up nymph packs, or Caddis Boxes & offer them.



Good Luck
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Fly Tying Business

Thanks for all the advice. I can tie saltwater flies and know a lot about the Saco River Valley in New Hampshire. I'll also talk to my local fly shop to see if they will buy some of my flies, and if I can tie custom orders. I would rather not lose the love of fly tying just to get an order done.
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: Fly Tying Business

My local fly shop gets all of their flies from local tyers. You pay a little more for the flies, but many local shops use "local patterns"; patterns that work well in their specific area. So, if it were me (but it never will be), then I would start with some discussions with local shops; see if they'd be interested and, if so, what you could make by tying up some flies for them.

One of my friends used to tie for Abercrombie's in NYC. He said that US tyers can't compete with the overseas tyers on a volume basis anymore. From what the other posters have said, I think he's probably right.

But if you just want to tie a couple dozen flies a week; then, as above, I'd go talk to the owners of some of your local shops and see if you can work something out with them.

As with most enterprises, I suspect that the experience of tying and supplying flies to any organization runs the spectrum from bad to good. What you experience from it will probably depend on your expectations at the outset, our adaptability in dealing with others and your approach to doing business.
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