Growing Pains: Haunted by GAS- need satchel advise!
Like every other hobby I've ever had, I'm getting GAS again. You know what I'm talkin' bout: At first its windows shopping, then late night browsing on the Simms site, then before you know it you're frantically browsing ebay on your phone at 3 am on the john praying you don't find anything lest the credit card gets another burn mark.
But I'm a seasoned GAS sufferer, I have some modicum of control; hey, stop laughing! I can funnel it into productivity, and progressively streamline my setups. That said, I've come to two dangerous conclusions that I need some advise on:
1. After quite some time of searching for and identifying the flies in my box, I've come to the conclusion that I'm really starting to dislike commercial flies. I've used the same wooly bugger from orvis maybe twice, now, and it lost all of its hackles after the first cast. the worm I used on my last trip had the dangling rubber ends fall off after 2 casts into the water, also an orvis fly. I've read a lot and expect flys to degenerate quickly, but I wasn't expecting that type of damage right off the bat.
Now the question is: should I save myself further disappointment and just get on with tying my own, or are there better distributers out there?
2. After being and working around musicians and artists my entire life and working in mechanical and electrical trades, I'm big on tailored and streamlined gear setups. when I initially got into fly fishing, I got a lot of stuff off an old friend: tools, a few gear bags etc., I picked what I needed and sold the rest (kind of regret getting rid of that fishpond bighorn kit bag now, could have used it for a fly tying kit...)he turned me onto fishpond and I ended up getting a wildhorse tech pack. I love this thing: a sizeable backpack with a full vest and more pockets, loops, tabs and hooks than I know what to do with and room for a huge water bladder and anything else I can possibly think of needing. shoot, I can backpack with this thing. but as I go for my little half day trips, I find that while the pack is sure utility based, I rarely wear it in the water for its intended purpose. it usually gets thrown onto the log or grass as I go about my business, making the short walk back when I need to change a fly or tippet. to me this seems like a waste of energy and space . now if I was hefting more gear like on a salmon trip or guiding, I could see this being a viable wear-all-the-time deal, but the utility freak in me is crying for further simplicity.
So I ask, how many setups do you have? I was thinking of trying a satchel: since I'm a leathersmith, maybe even making one if I like it. But then again I fall into the conundrum of finding a satchel dirt cheap with the features I'd want to try and see if I liked it or not.
Get a basic but solid vise, same for the basic tools, a starter combo hackle cape, and small assortment thread, dubbing etc. Search this forum for first vise and tying tools and you'll find a lot advice. If you are not satisfied with commercial flies and are inclined to learning new skills then by all means go for it. Fly tying is easily one of my favorite hobbies.
If you use wooly buggers by all means get a vise and start tying them. The savings isn't what I like about it. It is having the ability to put a tungsten bead or a brass bead on the head, wrapping in lead for the body and having control of the weight to tie a fly that really works best in the waters I am fishing.
I can try little things that make the fly my own and maybe make it grab more attention among the seasoned fish that have seen many wooly buggers before.
Then there is the satisfaction of having that monstrosity you created hanging out of a big fish's mouth at the end of a fun battle.
I don't tie all my own flies. Getting flies from Jerry (hairwing530) is just too good of a deal and the quality is better than the ones I tie myself.
But I do enjoy tying the patterns I use the most and learning a new pattern from time to time. I just ordered a few more materials to start tying a bunch of egg-sucking leeches. Salmon season is right around the corner!
If you give into the dark side, you are going to need more than a satchel. It is an addictive hobby and tying flies on your own isn't really any more budget friendly than buy the junk they sell on the market now days##. If you fight the dark side at least get a bottle of super glue or head cement. That way you can apply a dab to the head wraps or any other weak area of the store bought flies
That being said...... go for it. It is a kick in the pants to catch fish on flies you tied. Just know going into it that the inventory of materials will be a ever increasing storage issue.
There are great deals on vises and equipment out there. You will get 1000 different opinions on what the best vise is. Try several until you find one that feels right to you. I would recommend getting a rotary vise. It opens up your options. Most fly fishing clubs offer fly tying classes. I would recommend joining one. Knocks down the learning curve and allows you to try out other tier's equipment.
## Not every store bought fly is junk, there are a couple of good fly retailers out there.
Location: White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Re: Growing Pains: Haunted by GAS
I sooooo hear you Jeed. FedEx truck just drove up (and I do mean just) and she hauls out this huge Amazon box. I have NO IDEA what I bought that would take a box that big. Christmas on 1 August.
Actually there's more to the 'buy on line' than just boxes at the door. Most of the 'stuff' I may want can be found 'on line' and I don't have to do any bloody chasing around to find 'it.' 'Click-Click' and 'it' is on its way; including what ever the hells in this huge box.
Hint: 99% of the time you get exactly what you expected ... THE EXCEPTION is footware. NEVER-EVER buy a pair of shoes on line.
Several of the guys I fish with, including myself keep a small tying kit in the truck with the basics for the conditions we are fishing. It's great for the slow times during the afternoon before the hatch or it cools enough to fish again.
I would recommend a pedstal for whatever vise you get. Then a fence post, tailgate or stump is your friend.
So I figure i'll start tying once I have the cash needed for startup, but that still leaves me with number two!
Still torn on what to do. I love the pack but its too much bulk for short trips. I thought about a sling pack, but as a larger guy, the whole sling thing doesn't suit me well for ergonomics. so maybe the satchel? how many packs do you usually keep for certain situations?
I agree with the GAS thing. I spend countless hours searching for "Simms Closeouts" picking up things I don't really need now but justify it by saying that I'll need it later. Do I really need 5 pairs of Waders?
As for flytying, although I'm a beginner to flyfishing, I started tying my own flies early on with some help from my friend who is an expert fly fisher. Found that flies I tied myself worked way better. I also get more satisfaction when I catch fish on my own flies.