Originally Posted by s fontinalis
i should also add this in addition to my warning.
Tying is one of the greatest things i ever started to do -- EVER --!
Its a stress reliever, helps me focus, let out my limited creativity and generally makes me a few bucks too. Not profit, but it some what covers my latest material expenses.
I've in no way broken even, but if you get into it, you dont worry about where the materials are coming from, some how you find the money.
I'll quote a post from my blog, which I also put in a similar thread to this about a week ago.
You start fly tying, buy materials for a fly , get home, tie said flies and like them. then you post them on forum, "hey, i tied some nice flies, my first" and ask for critique.
You get great positive comments, but also some stuff to improve which entails buying more materials to better fit the same flies you just tied, ex, hackles.
So you go to the store again and buy the hackles recommended.
Now, you've been to the store twice, lets say the second time you pick up some extra stuff for the next fly you want to tie, 'since you're already at the store'.
Two trips, and maybe you're out $50 including gas etc.
Now, would you have spent $50 on flies for the fishing trip. Maybe, but here's the thing, the materials will tie you more flies than 10 or 20, they crossover to other patterns. But thats materials for just two patterns, and simple patterns at that.
6 Months down the line, you're well into fly tying, its relaxing, you enjoy it. Lets say two trips to the tackle store for fly tying materials per month, for 6 months, = 12 trips, $30 a trip = $360. (more if you shop online, but we'll not count that yet)
Now ask yourself this - if you were to buy flies, would you spend $360 in 6 months. or $720 in year? I think not, unless you're buying display flies.
5 years down the line, you like the look of display flies, want to start tying them.
Materials are in some instances rare and expensive, even the hooks ($12 each), you start to buy those materials, lets say the budget entry level subs in case you dont stick with it. You end up sticking with it and get pretty decent at tying display flies. You start to search out rare and expensive materials. The purchases in one week from three different sources >$120. Always searching ebay and other sites, picking up what you can find when you find it, in case you never see it again, lets say an Argus pheasant feather from Netherlands for $35 shipped - ONE FEATHER.
Now ask yourself, are you doing it to save money, or are you doing it because you love it. If the answer is the first, its time to get help. If the answer is the second, you tie because you love it, its relaxing, its creative, your addicted to it, its still time to get help, but you can put it off for a while
This is drawn from two real life experiences. My own, and that of a forum member.
From my own standpoint, this year alone i've spent way more on fly tying materials than I have on flies ($0) - guess how many times i've been fishing - - - lets say i can count it on one hand.
Great information. Perhaps what would be helpful, is a guide to the simpler general attractors, which would involve a lower start up cost for the beginners.
Also, a guide to a few simple hooks with a general useage, so that beginners do not have to buy many different kinds of hooks to start.
I noticed lately, that many of the basic Dry Mayfly immitations
(White Wulff & Adams) and their variants (March Brown, Blue-Winged Olive "BWO" etc...) require few simple materials. What do you think?
Hare's Ear's of course, and Wets also can be simple efforts. I think beginners need clear guidance in this, so that they don't have to leave the Fly Store, having dropped $50.00 more than they planned, or even $100.00 more than they planned.
Also, what you wrote about Fly Tying being a stress reliever, is absolutely true. Many perhaps do not realize the benefits of
being able to Do---Something---For---Yourself; but I have learned exactly what you are talking about. I get "buoyed up" and uplifted by the feelings associated
with tying another fly. My search for materials to cut costs is one of the most exciting things I have done, and my mind is working on "the problem" all the time.
Royce Dam, author of "The Practical Fly Tier" was a WWII Marine who made the landing on Iwo Jima. In the Introduction to his book, he talks about
his discovery of Fly Tying. It was never clear how he got into it, but it was very healing for him.
So I am able to take something out of it, that is really worth the money. The world seems nuts to many, and this wonderful abstraction
is a powerful benefit. Fly Tying is one of those things that gives back. There is no Monetary Value for a kind of Self-Therapy.
It's common sense. Sitting down at a tying vise slows the breathing just as a start. It encourages concentration. In many ways, it is like Chess, because one has to think about what one is doing. It is one occasion where a man or woman doesn't have to "worry".
So there are compensations for the expense that go beyond simple calculations of ...."Gee, ...I spent That Much Money!"
A beginner won't know these things at first. It looks like the proverb about the definition for a Boat. "It's a Hole in the water that you throw money into!"
These benefits are, by and large, hidden from all beginners. A beginner, might not work at it enough to see that they have been changed in a subtle and gradual way.
The changes may become evident, when on some evening, the chance to watch TV appears, or to go out, and the Beginner thinks;
"What I would like to do, is to get down on that tying vise and start a new pattern. Yeah!"
Another aspect of Fly Tying, and its benefits, has to do with being able to be alone, and be comfortable with one's self, and turning off the Thousand Screaming Thoughts and Worries that go whizzing around in the modern person's mind, brought on by the Information Glut and clamor of world affairs.
The ability to be relaxed within one's self, with a single clear purpose in mind, is a hallmark of good mental health and emotional well-being.
Tying improves Self-Esteem, regardless of self-esteem associated with poor early efforts. Even an ugly first attempt can to be stuck right in the fly box, and fished with the others.
Another benefit is a general knowledge of many subjects that is the natural result of reading, study, and thinking on Streams, Insects, locations etc.
In the end, I think one of the poorest life decisions that one can make, is to be discouraged about something, and decide to...well...not do anything.
People who make a commitment to something, always seem to be self-possessed, calm, and knowledgeable about what they are doing.
Not doing something, is something that seems very odd.
So I think for the hesitant beginner, a decision to buy one of the simple vises for under $15.00 is wise, along with an intention to tie only some simple things, like a Griffith's Gnat, a Wooly Booger, and a Hare's Ear or the like, would be wise. Given those options, any beginner can give it a go, without regrets. Tying those few things will not be a financial loss, but will indeed, save money on the costs of Fly Fishing.
I don't know if I would want to drop a store-bought $2.50 each nymph into some hole, only to lose it on an unseen log.
I would rather drop a hand-tied Wooly Booger in there, to explore it, and possibly lose it. It's common sense.
So I agree with you. It is one of the Greatest EVER things to do.
Maybe there could be a label put on our Fly Tying Boxes; "Made---In---The---USA".